Clam digging on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula is one of the most popular outdoor activities for visitors and locals alike. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages for very little investment in equipment. With a little pre-planning and knowledge, you can add this adventure to your Alaskan vacation.
Digging for Arctic razor clams can be done on most sandy tidal beaches from the Bering Sea to Cook Inlet. Beaches between Kasilof and Ninilchik on the Kenai Peninsula are the most popular clamming spots in the state. Clam Gulch State Recreation area is a particularly popular place to dig. Located just off the Sterling Highway on the way to Homer, you’ll find the bluffs overlooking scenic Cook Inlet. The recreation area offers visitors a panoramic view of the Aleutian Mountain Range and its three tallest peaks - Mount Iliamna, Mount Redoubt and Mount Spurr. Wildlife in the area includes moose, bald eagles, gulls and many small birds and mammals. A wide variety of wild flowers may also be found within the recreation area, including lupine, Jacob's ladder, wild geranium and the prickly rose.
Razor Clams are filter feeders which rely on plankton for food. Mature clams are typically a yellowish brown, oblong and can grow up to 12 inches in length. The interior shell is pearly white. Razor clams are prized for their meat which is considered particularly delicious and can be prepared in a variety of ways. To locate razor clams look for small round dimples or holes on the surface of the sand. Once a dimple has been located use a clam shovel to dig a small hole about six inches from the dimple and search through the sand until you find the clam. Be careful when handling the clams as their shells can be "razor" sharp.
Basic clam digging gear is a 5 gallon bucket, a clam shovel or a Clam Gun (also called a clam tube), sturdy gloves, and water proof boots. Sudden changes in weather can occur even in the summer, so make sure that you are prepared for potentially wet weather by carrying rain gear and warm clothes. Having a plastic bag with you to put waders and boots in after your dig is also a great tip.
To dig for the clam once you see the dimple:
Clamming is another way to get out and enjoy the majesty of the Alaskan outdoors. And it’s not a bad meal either! Contact us now to reserve your RV to get the whole family out for some muddy fun.