Cayucos is an idyllic beach town located between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California's central coast. The Whale Trail site is on the Cayucos Pier - a great spot to view marine wildlife. 

Where the Whales Are

  • Gray whales travel along the central California coast during their annual migrations between their calving grounds in Baja California and feeding grounds in Alaska. The whales are generally southbound in December and January, and northbound in March and April. The best time to see them from Cayucos is March and April, when mothers and calves travel closer to shore.
  • Humpback whale populations are rebounding, and are increasingly seen from shore along the Pacific Coast. Dolphins are commonly seen from the pier, hunting baitfish like anchovies or playing in the surf.
  • Sea lions haul out on nearby Mouse Rock. Listen for their raucous barks.
  • Kelp beds, to the left of the pier, provide protection and food for marine mammals.
  • Explore the tide pools to the north and see more wildlife including starfish, sea anemones, crabs, or sea urchins.

Did You Know

Cayucos gets its name from the Chumash word for canoe.

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  1. What's New in SLO CAL 2017/18 | : 01 June 2017 11:08AM

    […] shore. New locations along the H1DR Whale Trail are: the Avila Beach Pier, Cambria,  Cayucos, San Simeon, Oceano and Nipomo, in addition to Montaña de Oro State Park in Baywood […]

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The Whale Trail

Address / Contact

10 Cayucos Drive
Cayucos CA

Whale Trail Features

Whale Trail sign at entrance to pier

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