Watch for whales in Crescent City and Klamath, California. Over 20,000 gray whales swim our ocean shores year-round on their 9,000 – 12,000-mile round trip migrations from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic. This is the most common whale to watch for followed by the Humpback whale (prime season for viewing September – October). Killer whales a.k.a orca (both individuals and pods) sometimes make an appearance when the salmon are entering the Klamath River in Klamath, California (August – September).
The winter and spring whale migration is a spectacular sight to see here in Crescent City and Klamath. Primary months for being able to see the most whales are from May to October. According to the National Park Service, some California gray whales spend summers at the Redwood National and State Parks.
Plan to visit during Spring Whale Watch Week at the end of March. During whale watch week, a volunteer from Whale Watching Spoken Here is in Crescent City to help you spot whales and to learn more about the whale migration.
Watch On Foot
You can watch for whales on foot by visiting our Pacific ocean overlook areas along the coastline from Crescent City to Klamath, California. Our favorite spots include Pebble Beach Drive, Crescent Beach Overlook, Battery Pt. Lighthouse, and the Klamath Overlook. You can also plan a day hike along the California Coastal Trail and keep an eye out as you trek.
Watch By Kayak
Redwood Rides offer guided sea kayaking trips. A popular destination and whale sighting spot is Castle Rock. You’ll paddle a 1/2 mile out to this protected National Wildlife Refuge where you might see a gray whale if you’re lucky. The seals, sea lions and nesting bird viewing is definitely worth the paddle even without a whale sighting.
Watch By Boat
Book a private guiding and charter boat to take you to the whales. Check out the Crescent City Harbor District’s website for a list of guided fishing and ocean boat charters.