The Best Way to See Alaska

The Best Way to See Alaska

Happy as a Clam on Alaskan Beaches

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.

Razor clam


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.

Mount Iliamna

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.

Types of Clam Shows

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:

  • Place the shovel blade 4 to 6 inches ocean side of the clam show. The handle should be pointed toward the bluffs (inland).
  • Use your body weight to push the shovel blade straight into the sand while you drop to one knee. In hard sand, gently rock the shovel handle from side to side for ease of entry and to loosen the sand. It is very important to keep the blade as vertical as possible to keep from breaking the clam shell.

Clamming regulations:

  • Anyone aged 16 or older must have a valid Alaska sport fishing license to dig clams.
  • You can dig for clams during any low tide, but a tide of minus two feet or lower is recommended for the greatest success.
  • State law requires you keep all clams dug up regardless of size or condition.
  • The daily limit for clams taken can vary. Contact the Department of Fish and Game for more information.

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.

ABC Motorhome Rentals

Phone: (800) 421-7456

RV Rentals & RV Service
3875 Old International Airport Rd
Anchorage, AK 99502 [Map]
(907) 279-2000

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