- 18 Mile Stretch of Beach From Tillamook Head to Columbia River.
- Seaside, Gearhart, Del Ray, Sunset, Ft Stevens, North Jetty Beaches.
- All Year Drive on Access 12 Miles From Gearhart to Columbia River.
- 95% of All Oregon Razor Clams are Dug Here.
Clatsup Spit Beaches
The Clatsup Spit Beaches are considered all beaches from Tillamook Head in Seaside north to the Columbia River.
Seaside, Oregon is Oregon’s most popular beach for many reasons. Not only is it just 80 miles west of Portland, Oregon, it is also one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast. In 2013 the clamming was superb; in fact, the clamming is reliably good here. With exception to a few years going back to 1964 when my grandfather taught me how to razor clam here in Seaside. There are two to three million clams dug each year from Tillamook Head, north to the Columbia River Spit. However, the vast majority are dug here in Seaside.
So, if this is your first time clamming you’ve come to the right place! Adults and kids alike love to razor clam in Seaside, Oregon. You’ll also find that everything you need is conveniently located. Therefore, you can book a hotel, have lunch overlooking the ocean, check out the nightlife, and go clamming, all without having to get into your car. To find more information about Seaside, Oregon go to Seaside Oregon Visitors Bureau.
This beach starts at the Necanicum River and goes all the way north to the Columbia River. This is a very good place to razor clam. Many believe it just gets better the further north to the Columbia River you go. For years people have told me the clams are smaller here, but I have never experienced that? For me, the size of clams here are the same as in Seaside.
Just find your way to the Gearhart Hotel and Golf Course (the oldest Golf Course on the west coast). There you will find, a beach entrance where you can drive your car onto the beach. From there you can drive all the way to the Columbia River, about 15 miles. If you don’t like the clamming where you’re at it only takes minutes to get to your car and drive up to Sunset Beach, Del Rey Beach, or Fort Stevens (which is about 15 minutes). When you limit out on clams in Gearhart, the McMenamins Sand Trap Pub is right there at the Gearhart Golf Course when you exit the beach. It’s also a great place to spend the night at The Gearhart Hotel at McMenamins Pub.
Del Rey Beach
Here, there is easy beach access with a nice car parking area (for those not so comfortable driving on the beach). There are a number of great rental homes surrounding the Highlands Golf Course (which has a great view of the Pacific Ocean from the 6th hole). I’ve clammed here many times as our family has rented homes here for years.
Great homes to rent, easy beach access, the ability to park where you want to clam. Then being able to quickly get to your car and drive to change spots. So, all of this make this a good spot for clamming.
Sunset Beach is just north on Hwy 101 from Seaside, Oregon. So, just turn left on Sunset Beach Road, and you’re about a quarter mile from this Oregon State Park. Sunset beach has the “Fort to Sea Trail”. This follows the route used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition from Fort Clatsup, Oregon, all the way down to the beach. There you will find two parking lots (if you prefer not to drive on the beach).
There is also a lake at Sunset Beach. The lake is frequently stocked with trout, and it’s a favorite place for many to go trout fishing. There is also a small store that where you’ll find food, bait and tackle. Across the street is a lunch spot, which can be a great place for breakfast and lunch as well.
Some say the clamming here is the best along the 18 mile stretch of beach from Seaside to the Columbia River. They could very well be correct. The thing is, access can be a little tricky? So consequently, it just might be better because fewer clammers frequent here.
From Fort Stevens State Park just follow Peter Iredale Road to the end where the Peter Iredale shipwreck sits on the edge of the beach. Driving on the beach here is open all year round going south. But, keep in mind, going north from here to the Columbia River is closed May through September from 12:00pm to midnight. There are four parking lots that do give access for clammers all year, but not for driving on the beach. So, I have listed them above on the Fort Stevens Area Map. Parking Area C however is not listed since it is better for viewing the Jetty, and not so good for clammers.
If you’ve never been clamming and you want to rent everything you need (see “clamming garb” on this site), the local KOA rents everything you need and is located at the Fort Stevens State Park entrance.
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