Moonstone Beach, Cambria

Gray whales, humpback whales, dolphins and sea otters can be seen anywhere along Moonstone Beach. The Whale Trail sign is at Santa Rosa Creek Park, at the south end of Moonstone Beach.  A one-mile boardwalk stretches along Moonstone Beach to Leffwell landing on the north. Stroll along the boardwalk and watch for whales. Step down to the beach and look for moonstones, too!

Santa Rosa Creek Park is a day-use park with steps leading down to the driftwood-covered beaches at the rivermouth. Birdlife is abundant. The park is the southernmost end of Hearst San Simeon State Park.

Where the Whales Are

Gray whales, humpbacks, sea otters and dolphins can all be seen along Moonstone Beach. 

The California Gray Whale migration south occurs in late December through February and migration north starts in early spring through March and April. The whales are closer to shore and easier to see on their northbound migration.

Humpback whales are most visible in the summer. They are increasingly seen close to shore, in search of prey like anchovies and other baitfish. 

Dolphins and sea otters are year-round residents. Watch for them any time!

Stewardship Travel Activities

A Stewardship activity provides an opportunity for visitors to connect, learn about and preserve the natural beauty of Cambria.

Examples of Stewardship Activities in Cambria:
• Self-Guided Walking Tour of Historic Cambria
• Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Docent Nature Walk
• Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Invasive Plant Restoration
• Self-Guided Tour of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
• Cambria Beach Clean-up 
• Covell Clydesdale Ranch & History of the Ranchlands

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The Whale Trail

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8:00 a.m. to sunset

Whale Trail Features

Whale Trail Sign


  • restrooms
  • accessible
  • trails
  • picnic-area

Marine Mammals Commonly Seen Here

Marine Mammals Occasionally Seen Here

Marine Mammals Rarely Seen Here

The Whale Trail is a nonprofit organization in partnership with
Partners NOAA Seattle Aquarium People for Puget Sound Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife The Whale Museum National Marine Sanctuaries