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Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Solid black basalt that flowed into the Pacific Ocean as long as 20 million years ago formed the rugged cove of Depoe Bay, now a notable departure point for chartered boat whale watching tours that leave from what the town promotes as the world’s smallest harbor.  The wayside is also a terrific location for viewing resident gray whales* from land, with the Whale Watching Center** acting as the hub for collecting information on the mammals.

* Gray whales will migrate as many as 12,000 miles annually.  There are two key time periods in which the largest quantity of whales pass the Oregon shores: between late December and the beginning of January the gray whales make their way down to the calving lagoons of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, and between mid-March and early April the whales head back north to Alaska to feed.  The best opportunities for viewing the whales are during these two migratory windows of time or the late summer when the roughly 200 resident whales stick around the central Oregon coast to feed.  Visit the Whale Watching Spoken Here site for more information.

** The Whale Watching Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  during the winter season.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Not Required


Boardwalk-style sidewalk for watching resident gray whales and violent storms.


All viewing is along Highway 101 near the passing traffic.


Whale watching



Didn't spot any whales-- but they were certainly out there! A little tougher to spot their spouts when the waves are choppy. Nonetheless, it was great to explore the historic bridge and the 'World's Smallest Bay'!
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A profound concept originally envisioned by governor Oswald West, in 1967 the Oregon legislature ultimately realized his vision of making the entire Oregon Coast forever open to the public in a piece of landmark legislation titled the Oregon Beach Bill, officially making all 363 miles public land. "The People's Coast" is truly a one-of-a-kind coastline, a unique blend of mountains and rocky stacks, towering old growth forests, marine sanctuaries, tide pools and kelp forests, charming towns, historic fishing communities, world-class golfing, breweries, and simply jaw-dropping scenic beaches. We encourage you to plan your next trip at or by calling (541) 574-2679.

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