- Small Coastal Tourist Town (pop. 1700).
- Legal Razor Clamming, Except For 300 yds Around Haystack Rock.
- Famous Haystack Rock, Sweeping Ocean Views at Ecola State Park, Sandy Beaches.
- Art, Spas, Shops, Restaurants, Hotels.
- No Drive on Beach Access.
Cannon Beach – Charming Little Tourist Town
Cannon Beach is a small coastal city in northwest Oregon. It’s known for Haystack Rock, Ecola State Park and its long, sandy shore. It’s a small cozy upscale town, with charm, that attracts many visitors every year. Unlike years ago, in the 1960’s (when I tried surfing here in my youth) and when the population was under 500, and being unknown having few visitors.
Clamming here can be good, but not so much in 2016 and 2017. I understand it should improve significantly in 2000. Although I have only clammed here once years ago on the north end of the beach, I did limit out. However, I hear from locals that many years razor clam abundance is not nearly as good as the Clatsup Spit area. I think many people just default to driving to the Clatsup Spit area because it is more accessible with ample parking and you can also drive on the beaches.
You should keep in mind that, north of Cannon Beach (Seaside, etc.) it is closed for razor clamming from August through October! Cannon Beach and south is open all year. That is a big incentive when all of the Clatsup Spit areas are closed.
Haystack Rock Marine Reserve
There is a “NO TAKE” zone of shellfish and marine invertebrates, except single mussels can be taken for bait. Located within a 300 yard radius around the base of Haystack Rock. This includes tide pools, and rocky or sandy beaches between extreme high and low tides. Be forewarned, Cannon Beach is a very serious place concerning conservation, tickets can be steep. Stay clear of Haystack Rock and I recommend the northern beach area anyway.
Parking Can Be a Challenge
Probably the main reason people clam the Clatsup Spit area instead of here is that parking can be limited. Especially during tourist season which these days can be most of the year. There are parking areas listed on the map above. However, to get close, walk on access to the beach, your limited to only a few neighborhood street spots. Generally, you can find a few here or there, like on N. Ash and Oak Streets. But when you can’t you have to use the public parking spots which can be a little hike to the beach.
Information provided is a result of personal experience at each bay or beach location. In addition, local residences providing input and advice, and ongoing information from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife websites. Information will change as incoming seas tend to shift and move sand, after that it makes it harder for clams to reproduce. So, always check for current beach closures and advisories related to biotoxins, pollution or other human health concerns the same day you plan to harvest. Razorclamming.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this data and the outcome or results of your personal efforts, or safe consumption of shellfish.
Shellfish Safety Hotline
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Alt Phone: 503-986-4728