The landscape of the Strait of Juan de Fuca was
carved out by ice-age glaciers 13,000 years ago.
The retreat of the glaciers created deep fjords which
provide abundant food and habitat for many species
of marine mammals.
By the mid-1900's, commercial whaling had
pushed many great whale's to the edge of extinction.
Through decades of conservation efforts, species
like gray whales have rebounded. Others are
endangered, and need our help to recover.
Local citizens and visitors to this coastline
enjoy watching marine mammals all year long.
Researchers watch for the return of the southern
resident orcas in the spring.
From here, look for the spouts of passing whales,
a splash as they breach, or their tails as they dive.
On calm days, listen for the sound of their blows.
You may see sea otters, too. Once extinct in
Washington waters, 69 sea otters were reintroduced
to nearby La Push in 1969. Since then, the population
has grown to over 1,000, and their territories have
expanded up the strait. Look for one or dozens of the
big otters floating on their backs near the kelp.
The Whale Trail is a series of sites around the region where you may view orcas and other whales or marine mammals from shore.