Click below to discover more about The Whale Trail sites throughout WA.


The Whale Trail is a collaborative effort. Find out who our WA partners are.


Check out these handy tips before you explore The Whale Trail in WA.


View our guide on when, where, and how to watch marine animals from shore.

Based out of West Seattle, the Whale Trail was founded in 2008. Sixteen inaugural sites were chosen throughout Washington, and the Whale Trail continues to expand it’s range every year. Check out the Whale Trail’s timeline to explore the history of the organization from our origin in Washington and beyond.

The Whale Trail

Washington Timeline

January 14, 2002
Springer (A73) Rescued

Springer (A73) Rescued

Orphaned orca A73 Springer discovered near Seattle. Six months later she was successfully rescued, rehabilitated and reunited with her family on the north end of Vancouver Island. Orphan Orca Fund leads community fundraising efforts.

January 20, 2010

First Signs Installed

Whale Trail inaugurated at Salt Creek Recreation Area with welcome by Lower Elwha Klallam tribe. Signs funded by ALEA grant.

June 17, 2010
Gray Whale Tail

First Orca Talk

John Calambokidis launches our long-running lecture series with a talk about gray whales, held at the Duwamish Longhouse

October 16, 2010

PTMSC Sign, and Orca Bingo!

Our largest sign is hung on the exterior wall of PTMSC. We invent Orca Bingo and play for the first time at the sign dedication!

March 10, 2011
Washington State Ferry Signs

Washington State Ferry Signs

Two signs posted on every Washington State ferry and one at every terminal!

August 13, 2011

Whale Trail Shuttle Pioneered on San Juan Island

Shuttles to shore based viewing sites, based on where the whales are!

April 19, 2012
West Seattle Signs Added

West Seattle Signs Added

Four new signs funded by City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF)

April 21, 2012
Orca Steward Program Piloted

Orca Steward Program Piloted

Citizen steward training in West Seattle funded by City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund

July 13, 2012

Celebrate Springer 2012

Tenth anniversary of Springer’s homecoming celebrated in Seattle, Vancouver, and Telegraph Cove, BC

June 6, 2013

Whale Trail Hosts Erich Hoyt

Author and marine conservationist gives his first lecture in PNW in more than 40 years.

August 17, 2013
Kalaloch – First Sign on Pacific Coast

Kalaloch – First Sign on Pacific Coast

New signs including Kalaloch Lodge in Olympic National Park (ONP) installed in partnership with OCNMS and ONP.

May 16, 2014
Orca Tour 2014

Orca Tour 2014

TWT produces lecture tour featuring Erich Hoyt. We travel from Saturna BC to Monterey CA – 9 cities, 4 states, 2 countries in 2 weeks. Co-hosted by SIMRES, ACS Oregon, PTMSC, OCNMS, NMS West Coast Region and the Georgia Strait Alliance. We travel with Mike, a life-size replica of J26!

December 28, 2015
Orca Tour 2015

Orca Tour 2015

A new tour with Erich Hoyt, featuring stops in Saturna, Sydney, Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle.

July 11, 2017
Springer seen with Second Calf

Springer seen with Second Calf

DFO team spots Springer, Spirit and a new calf in Whale Channel!

July 21, 2017
Celebrate Springer 2017

Celebrate Springer 2017

Team gathers on Vashon Island and Telegraph Cove to celebrate 15th anniversary!

August 1, 2017
3 new signs in Washington

3 new signs in Washington

Faye Bainbridge, Point Robinson and Point Defiance. Funded by WDFW Enforcement.

June 1, 2018

Gov. Inslee forms Task Force on SRKW Recovery

Director Donna joins Task Force and Vessel Impacts Working Group


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