Bigfoot Sightings in Humboldt County’s Giant Redwoods

You’ve heard the stories… sightings of Bigfoot, Yeti, Tasmanian Tiger, the Loch Ness monster, unicorns, mermaids. Throughout the world, fantastic reports of giant footsteps, large, furry creatures, or eerie water monsters have captured people’s attention for many years. Humboldt County, California is one such place. The modern, local legend suggests that Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, has been sighted in Humboldt County’s giant redwoods, a place he (or she) would naturally feel right at home. Are the stories fact or fable, real or imagined? Let’s take a look at the history.

Where it All Began

Kids book about Bigfoot at the Redwood's Mercantile giftshop

Book for sale at The Redwood’s TR Mercantile

The story began in 1958 around the town, Willow Creek, with a series of encounters along with Bigfoot prints allegedly found along Route 96, now known as “The Bigfoot Highway.” Nine years later in 1967, the legend grew from local to international with the famous Patterson-Grimlim film, in which explorers/directors Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson captured footage of the mysterious Bigfoot near Bluff Creek, just 50 miles south of Willow Creek. This grainy 16mm film taken on a sunny day on October 20, can still be seen today. Witnesses, like Bob Gimlin, resolutely believed that the elusive Bigfoot was one of the forest people who would come out only to escape to the nearby mountains, until the next time. 

Bob Gimlin was interviewed by CBC Radio in 2017, the 50th anniversary of the film. He still stands by his belief in the forest people and considers it a privilege to have witnessed such a mysterious creature. While many folks believe that Bigfoot was merely a human dressed up in a furry costume, Hollywood special effects man Bill Munns said he couldn’t have created such a costume at that time, and he was an expert in the field. 

The Search Continues

Today, Willow Creek is considered the Bigfoot capital of the world, where people still visit in hopes of catching sight of this modern legend. Willow Creek is also home to the Willow Creek China Flat Museum, which includes a Bigfoot exhibit. You can see footprint casts and pictures of this elusive creature, along with maps, other papers and research. Not to be missed is the town’s annual “Bigfoot Daze” festival each September, when visitors and locals honor Bigfoot with festivities in the local park. 

Museum Hours of Operation: 
May 1 – Sep 30, Wednesday – Sunday from 10am-4pm
October 1 – April 30, Friday – Sunday from Noon-4pm

Museum Parking:
Look for the parking lot that borders Highway 299 near the museum entrance.

The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel

Shelving unit at TR Mercantile in The Redwood Hotel full of gift items

Gift display at The Redwood’s TR Mercantile

It’s been almost 60 years since the first sighting in Willow Creek, yet the question remains: was it all just a hoax? Come see for yourself. Reserve a room at The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel in Fortuna, CA, and take an adventure into the ancient, giant redwoods. Keep your eyes and ears open and let us know what you find.

Check out our TR Mercantile for more Bigfoot gifts. They make great gifts for kids young and old and Bigfoot believers.

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