Cape Perpetua

Named for St. Perpetua by Captain James Cook in March of 1778, Siuslaw National Forest’s Cape Perpetua National Scenic Area is the dramatic meeting place of two distinct but joined landscapes; dense and complex forests and the Pacific Ocean.

Experience ancient trees that nurture diverse plant and animal communities, tide pools that emerge at low tide and crashing surf that is the edge of the Land/Sea connection with the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve.

The Reserve is home to a vast array of marine invertebrates, mammals and sea birds, some of which are endangered or threatened species. The Cape itself rises to just over 800 feet, is the highest point accessible by automobile on the Oregon coast and is the perfect venue for whale watching and unbeatable scenic vistas.

Where The Whales Are

Whales can be seen from anywhere in the rocky intertidal from Cook's Chasm to Devil's Churn, the Visitor Center and the Cape Perpetua Day Use Area.  Grey whales can be seen regularly, close to shore, when they are not in Baja for the winter.

Humpbacks are occasionally seen—sometimes breaching off shore, in view of the Visitor Center! They are usually not as close and are not as common as the greys.

Sea otters are extinct in Oregon although we get very occasional visits from young males that come from CA and WA.

Cape Perpetua's Interpretive Guides


The Forest Service provides interpretive programs and family friendly events throughout the year on a range of subjects. Check the Cape's website or call the Visitor Center to check on dates and times.

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The Whale Trail

Address / Contact

2400 Highway 101
Yachats, OR   97498

(541) 547-3289

Hours

Visitor Center hours vary with the season. Summer, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Winter, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at least 5 days a week.  The rest of the sites, including the Visitor Center deck and trails, are open at all hours but there is no overnight parking.

Park Information

Cape Perpetua has 27 miles of hiking trails.

Amenities

  • camping
  • restrooms
  • accessible
  • trails
  • picnic-area

Marine Mammals Commonly Seen Here

Marine Mammals Occasionally Seen Here

Marine Mammals Rarely Seen Here

Travel Tips

Follow the signs on the highway 101 to the Campground, veer left and drive up the hill to the lookout. Follow signs from the highway 101 to the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center. Park at Devils Churn on the highway 101. Park in either of the pullouts on the highway 101 on Cooks Chasm or on the North side of the highway from the Visitors Center.

The Day Use Area, Visitor Center and Devils Churn are parking fee sites.

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