Razor Clams on the Oregon Coast: Best Kept Secret!

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The first year we lived here, it stormed like The God of Wind and Rain meant business. So of course, we compared every winter thereafter to that initial shock. It stormed so hard, the docks broke in half despite the concrete breaker wall in front of it. It stormed so hard that back in the valley, trees were crashing down in the forest all around The Guy’s childhood home.


Every winter since that first one, we lived like the black bears around us. Forage in warmer weather to sleep through the hot mess that is winter.


So every year, the cooler weather and shorter days triggered us to do less in preparation for hibernation. But last winter was mild and we were unusually motivated. By March, we’d been even more productive than we’d been during the summer.


Fast forward to this summer, we’ve had a lot of family visitors, which provided the opportunity for us to stop and actually enjoy our surroundings instead of the usual logistics of building and using all our down time to decompress from doing too much.


It turns out doing fun outdoor activities is better medicine.


My niece, who just turned 9, and nephew, who will be 6 next month, are staying here for a week to build some precious Siltcoos memories. 


We’ve been picking all the vegetables out of Popo’s garden, combing the beach for shells and baby crab skeletons, and laying out coins for the train to flatten. 


Yesterday at lunch, there were packets of multi-colored wax strands at the restaurant for the kids to build something and get creative. My nephew put them together end to end and said, “It’s a necklace.” 


The Guy responds to him, “That sure is a giant necklace.” 


My sweet little nephew stops thoughtfully and says, “It’s a giant necklace…for a giant.” He pauses. “You’re a giant.” 


My cup runneth over. Folks, I think we’ve got some Siltcoos besties in the making.


And then today, we took the kids to catch crawdads in the river. After lunch, my nephew looks at The Guy and says, “Uncle Dannon, I’m ready whenever you are.” 


Then they both looked at each other and did that upwards nod that guys do with each other when they’re on the same wavelength. 


Long story short, The Guy enjoyed himself enough to realize that winter is a great time to construct and work really hard to make room for us to enjoy our summers as well. I agreed.


Now the big question is, what does ANY OF THIS have to do with razor clamming on the coast? Well first, you need to find yourself A Giant (check). 


And then you need a negative tide, which we have several coming up (check check): 


  • Jul 31 Low Tide: -1.5 at 6:22AM
  • Aug 1 Low Tide: -1.8 at 7:11AM
  • Aug 2 Low Tide: -2.1 at 7:56AM
  • Aug 3 Low Tide: -2.0 at 8:38AM
  • Aug 4 Low Tide: -1.6 at 9:19AM
  • Aug 5 Low Tide: -1.0 at 9:58AM
  • Aug 29 Low Tide:-1.5 at 6:01AM
  • Aug 30 Low Tide:-1.7 at 6:46AM
  • Aug 31 Low Tide:-1.7 at 7:28AM
  • Sep 1 Low Tide: -1.4 at 8:08AM


Funny enough, the best place to razor clam is down The Hobbit’s Trail at Hobbit Beach. Driving North from Florence, there is parking on the right hand side of the highway and signs for either the trail to Hobbit’s Beach or Heceta Beach. 


You’ll want to arrive at least 1 hour before low tide. The hike may be a little steep for some and is generally considered moderately challenging. But it’s short and the beach is rewarding with its stunning view.


At this point, if you are lucky enough to have A Giant with you, all you need to do is have him walk the shoreline and follow about 1 minute behind him looking for large holes in the sand. Sometimes those holes look like a donut, with the sand getting sucked down into the center. 


What’s happening is, by simply walking by, The Giant has knocked the razor clam out of its comfortable slumber; thereby scaring it into digging deeper in the sand. That’s when you take out your clam gun, put it centered over the clam hole, and push down. 


Twist. Use your legs. Jump a little for added leverage - it’s not too shabby of a workout. Sometimes you’ll have to repeat the digging several times as these delicious, sneaky creatures can go down as much as 4 feet.


If you don’t happen to have A Giant with you, don’t worry. We’ve seen many people use a walking stick or other apparatus to tap at the ground around them and look for the holes that appear.


Sometimes, we give up on tapping and just start digging at the biggest holes we see near the shoreline (don’t get fooled by all the little holes, look for ones larger than the tip of a pencil eraser). 


Remember, the Oregon Coast is generally cold so you’ll want to bring a light jacket. And we have a handful of quality clam guns if you’d like to borrow one!


So there you have it, razor clamming at its finest. Remember, enjoy your time! I’ll be working over here on doing that myself.