Hike of the Week for Friday, March 23, 2012
Just in the Nick of Time for razor clam season
Article and photo by Craig Romano
A hiker faces Beards Hollow.
Location: Long Beach Peninsula, Pacific County, WA
Land Agency: Washington State Parks
Contact: Washington State Parks: www.parks.wa.gov
Roundtrip to Beards Hollow: 1.0 mile
Elevation Gain: 50 feet
Roundtrip to North Head Lighthouse: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Access: From Ilwaco, take Loop Spur State Road 100 in either direction to Beards Hollow Trailhead parking in Cape Disappointment State Park.
Notes: Discover Pass required; dogs must be leashed.
Bivalve connoisseurs take note—grab your pail and shovel and head to the Washington coast this weekend for a little razor clam harvesting. The morning razor clam dig for this season is set for this weekend, March 24 and 25 at four beaches; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbor, and Long Beach. And while all of those beaches offer some nice hiking and beach walking, I can’t think of a more apropos place to grab a razor than at Beards Hollow. Located within the shadows of the Cape Disappointment headlands, Beards Hollow makes for one scenic place to comb for clams.
And while harvesting those succulent mollusks certainly can be a rewarding and therapeutic endeavor, you may want to do a little hiking while you’re in such a beautiful location. The hike to Beards Hollow is short—a mere half mile one way along the Discovery Trail, but you can extend your adventure on that trail or on the nearby trail to the North Head Lighthouse.
Leaving from the same trailhead, the North Head Trail climbs 300 feet through a luxuriant old-growth Sitka spruce forest. Peek-a-boo views down to Beards Hollow tease you along the way. However, once you get to the North Head Lighthouse you are granted a sweeping view down the 28-mile long, Long Beach Peninsula. That’s a whole lot of territory for razor clamming. But take note, you’ll have plenty of company on those beaches. Of course you can always buy a bucket of Willipa Bay oysters to tide you over just in case you come up short handed in the clam department!
There will be another dig sometime in April, but why put off what may finally be a sunny weekend? And just a reminder to you diggers, under state law, you can take 15 razor clams per day, and are required to keep the first 15 you dig. All diggers age 15 or older must have a valid 2011-2012 fishing license to harvest razor clams those days. Licensing options range from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license. Dig in!
For more information on hiking on the Long Beach Peninsula, Check out my Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula book!