Whale Watching


Between December and May, approximately 15,000 California gray whales travel 10,000 miles along the Pacific Coast from cold Arctic feeding grounds to warm, shallow breeding waters off Baja, California. During December and January, the pregnant whales are traveling south, carrying their babies who will be born in the warmer waters off Mexico. From February through May the northward migration is lead by pregnant females while the mothers and babies trail behind, closer to the coast to avoid predators.

During the migration, whales can often be seen from the Pt. Bonita Lighthouse in the Marin Headlands or from various sites on the Pt. Reyes peninsula. The headlands of the Pt. Reyes Peninsula offer one of the finest spots to view the gray whale. The areas around Chimney Rock and the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse offers some of the best whale-watching spots in the park. The best chance of seeing whales from the Pt. Reyes coast is in mid-January, the peak of the southern migration. Observers should look for 10-15 foot spouts. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/pore/