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Sasquatch summer

Make Bigfoot part of your summer

Compass Rose gift store in Tacoma’s Proctor neighborhood has a whole section dedicated to Bigfoot. Photo Credit: Kim Thompson

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Hikers and campers: as you descend into the depths of the Pacific Northwest forests for adventure this summer, you do know to beware of wild animals, right?

Of course you do!

However, did you know there's one rare creature that's so unusual, so large and so formidable it will either leave you running for your life or breaking out your camera?

No, we're not talking bears here.

We are talking about a critter so amazing, elusive and mysterious, that it is the stuff of legend!

A description of this fine beast, you ask? Why of course.

Try this on for size: a super hairy, apelike animal that sits about seven to nine feet tall, weighing in at 600 to 900 pounds and walks the earth, upright, on two legs.

A creature, so revered, that it goes by three names.

In Asia, it is known as "Yeti." In the Native American tongue, it is referred to as "Sasquatch" (hairy giant). And the final name, well, that has to do with a very large foot (try about 16 to 17 inches long and eight inches wide, to be precise).

And the name?


And Bigfoot is no laughing matter, folks (well, sorta).

The legend, lore and mystery of Bigfoot is alive and well in Washington state. In fact, it's alive and well on the entire West Coast, including Canada. Whether you think there's a possibility or think it's a big joke, Bigfoot popularity has never waned over many decades.

A quick history of the hairy beast. Bigfoot was noted in some Native American legends way back, however, the first reported sighting was in 1811 in the province of Alberta, Canada.

Rumors, hoaxes and more weird sightings continued throughout the years; and then came the early 1920's. Three major sightings turned people into true believers and true sceptics (Canada and Washington's Mt. St. Helens region were the sites of the turning point). In the 1950s and 1960s, California's forested areas were the scenes of Bigfoot frenzy, yet other regions still spotted the creature.

It didn't stop there.

Footprint sightings mostly continued throughout the west coast. While some were the clear result of hoaxes and jokes (including a man running through the woods in a gorilla suit), some people really believe and swear that they've actually encountered the big guy.

Whether you think there's a possibility or think it's all a bunch of silliness, Bigfoot has definitely made a presence. Bigfoot has been characterized in all ways:  big and scary, super mysterious, alien-like and even downright lovable and cuddly (a side note: a great example of cute and cuddly was Canada's 2010 Winter Olympics mascot, the cartoony and cuddly, "Quatchi").

Want to learn more? Sure, you do. So, here's a quick guide to Bigfoot goodness (or madness, depending upon how you see it) here in our state and beyond.

Bigfoot sightings: Where is Bigfoot? The Bigfoot Researchers Organization (, has your back. Thorough sightings by region, followed by county, are noted throughout. Which county has the most sightings? Why Pierce County of course! In fact, it blows away the rest of the counties by boasting 71 sightings!

The latest and greatest Bigfoot news: Need your fix of Bigfoot news? Look no further than Join the club and get in on all Bigfoot action, including a "secret handshake."

Bigfoot law: Did you know that in some places Bigfoot is protected by law? Well, yes indeed! A great example is Skamania County, who has two Bigfoot ordinances. Hunt down or harass the big critter and you are looking at fines AND/OR jail time. No kidding. Read about it, here:

Bigfoot gifts: While you can find many Bigfoot inspired items in gift shops throughout the Pacific Northwest, if you are looking to shop online, check out Pretty easy to guess what they sell there; everything, and we mean everything, Bigfoot.

Bigfoot Roadside attractions: In your summer travels, Bigfoot roadside attractions abound! has a dedicated Bigfoot attraction section that is the ultimate guide to Bigfoot legend and kitsch. Check it out here:

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