Where, exactly, is Bigfoot? If he’s real—and our peek into the secret lives of Bigfoot hunters proves that plenty of people think he is—then the wild and woody Pacific Northwest is a likely home for a giant man-ape. We pinpointed six destinations for serious Bigfoot hunting. If see him, send us a photo.
1. Bigfoot's Trap
Venture west of Medford, Oregon, to the Collings Mountain Trail at Applegate Lake, then hike three-quarters of a mile near an abandoned miner’s cabin. That small wooden structure with a bolted-open gate? It’s a Bigfoot trap, the world’s first and only. Built in 1974 on an old mining claim by industrious researchers, it’s now maintained by the Forest Service and covered in graffiti. Back when it was in service, it only ever caught a few bears. Maybe it needs a bigger block of cheese bait.
2. Bigfoot’s Country Retreat
Why wouldn’t Bigfoot hang out in the Blue Mountains, timber-covered hills and grasslands near Walla Walla? After all, it’s close to wine country. Forest Service worker Paul Freeman claimed to have filmed a Sasquatch in the area in 1994, and his reports grabbed the attention of Washington State University cryptozoologist Grover Krantz. Bigfoot sightings are unverified, but we do know that the world’s largest organism lives in the Oregon wing of the Blue Mountains: the massive Armillaria ostoyae fungus.
3. Bigfoot’s Grave
When Mount St. Helens blew in 1980, it definitely killed 57 people and, say believers, it might’ve taken out Bigfoot. About halfway up the Spirit Lake Highway, the route to the mountain’s Johnston Ridge Observatory, a 28-foot Sasquatch statue stands guard at the North Fork Survivors Gift Shop. The smiling figure is a cheerful contrast to the somber memorials to known St. Helens destruction, like a buried A-frame house and the site of vulcanologist Johnston’s final research.
4. Bigfoot’s Coffee Fix
Seminal 1980s psychodrama Harry and the Hendersons (just kidding, it’s a John Lithgow family comedy the New York Times called “aggressively awful") was filmed around Index, and the Highway 2 Espresso Chalet has plenty of memorabilia to mark its brush with Hollywood. One Sasquatch statue holds a snowboard, clearly hoping to bum a ride to Stevens Pass from anyone stopping for Bigfoot cookies and lattes.
5. Bigfoot’s Hot Tub
The Sasquatch name comes from the British Columbia Sts’ailes tribe's word for “wild man,” so the small Canadian town of Harrison Hot Springs celebrates the myth every year with Sasquatch Days (this year June 25-26). The fest is a unique combo of First Nation cultural events and Bigfoot hunts, but expeditions are available year-round through Sasquatch Country Adventures. Located just to the north: Sasquatch Provincial Park. Even when the big guy doesn’t show his hairy face, the lakeside village more regularly offers hot springs soaks and a killer prime rib dinner.
6. Bigfoot’s Home Base
Bluff Creek, California, is the Bigfoot world’s Roswell, its Bermuda Triangle. It’s the site of the most famous Sasquatch footage ever captured—or the site of the biggest Bigfoot hoax ever perpetuated. The Patterson-Gimlin film is still debated by cryptozoologists almost 50 years after it was made, but the surrounding Humboldt County woods have been known for Bigfoot encounters for even longer. Should he prove elusive, the Willow Creek China Flat Museum has a Bigfoot exhibit with foot casts, maps, and a 25-foot redwood sculpture.