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One of the arguments against the existence of Bigfoot is its elusiveness.  But that's hardly conclusive, plenty of other creatures are hard to find, and official discoveries of new creatures continue to be made on a regular basis.

By analyzing the probabilities of what we think we know about Bigfoot, it is possible to make some suppositions about strategies that will at least serve to enhance your chances of coming across some signs of Bigfoot, should you choose to go looking.

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Where and When to Find Bigfoot

See where Bigfoot may have been and might now be

A typical scene in the western Cascade foothills, just off I-90 in Washington.

With thick bush cover and a river, this is an ideal area for Bigfoot, and there have been Bigfoot sightings in this immediate vicinity.

Part two of a four part series on Bigfoot; see also :

1.  All about Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest
2.  Where and When to Find Bigfoot
3.  How to Search for Bigfoot
4.  Some suggested Bigfoot touring around Seattle



There's no Bigfoot to be found in Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, and no guarantee of finding a Bigfoot anywhere else, either.  With a clear preference of avoiding people, Bigfoot's reclusive nature makes him difficult to find anywhere.

But some areas have had more regular sightings or other evidence of Bigfoot activity than others, and if you go to the places where he has been seen before, you'll at least develop more of an appreciation about the places he may inhabit and also get a sense of the challenges in sighting Bigfoot.

Bigfoot in Washington State

There's no reason why you have to go to Washington for a Bigfoot expedition - other places also have concentrations of Bigfoot sightings, and the balance of this page is fairly location neutral in its comments.  The third page of this article will give specific places in Washington for you to visit.

However, Washington does have more reported Bigfoot sightings than any other state.  As of April 2009, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization reports 460 reasonably credible sightings from WA, with the next highest number being 407 from much larger California.  Adjacent Oregon scores third on the list, with 210 sightings, and British Columbia also has a good number of sightings (102).

As such, WA can be considered the central hot spot for Bigfoot activity.  While the largest number of sightings have been in Skamania Country in southern WA (where Bigfoot awareness is so developed that an ordinance was passed making it illegal to kill a Bigfoot), there have been sightings much closer to Seattle, making it possible for a visitor to the region to develop a day of touring taking them to several conveniently accessible areas where there have been high quality Bigfoot sightings in the reasonably recent past.

Viewing a Map of Past Bigfoot Encounters

Perhaps the best resource to understand where people have had Bigfoot encounters is the Google Earth overlay provided by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO).

If you don't already have the free Google Earth program, you can download it onto your computer here.  Note this is a different program to the Google Maps program that runs in your web browser.

Once you've installed the Google Earth software, you can then get a set of sighting data from BFRO that will appear on the Google Earth map.  You can adjust the sighting data to only show the highest quality sightings (what they term their 'A' category sightings), or to add the 'B' and, if you wish, 'C' category sightings too, and see it all displayed on a satellite view of as much or as little of North America as you wish.

You can also choose for what time period you want to see sighting data.  Maybe you only want to see information about sightings in the last year, rather than sightings that go back all the way to 1869.

Clicking on any sighting point opens up a window with information about that sighting.

At its simplest, this gives you some information about where the biggest concentrations of Bigfoot sightings have been, although there are so many of them, and the map quickly becomes infested with sightings, making it is hard to see much of a pattern at all.

Planning Your Own Sightseeing Around Bigfoot Territory

In the fourth page of this article, we'll offer you a tour or two to consider that we've already created for you, but first we'll explain the process that we used, so you can use this to create your own itinerary for other locations, or to modify our suggested itinerary.

We wanted to develop an itinerary that would be a nice easy day of touring from Seattle and back to Seattle, and which didn't involve too much difficult off-roading or too extensive hiking in and out from trailheads.

So we started off looking for recent 'A' category contacts that were reasonably easy to get to, and after finding those, then expanded the filters on the Google Earth map to look for less recent contacts and B or C category events.  The net result is an itinerary that - while absolutely not guaranteeing you any chance of a Bigfoot sighting or related encounter (such as hearing a strange noise or seeing footprints) will at least let you see where other people have had such experiences and maybe give you some of the ambience and atmosphere of Bigfoot.  Plus, if you keep your senses finely tuned - you just never know, do you.

So you can do a similar sort of planning process yourself.  It probably makes sense to 'anchor' your itinerary with one or two recent high quality Bigfoot experiences; after all, what is more likely - to have a Bigfoot encounter yourself where Bigfoot was recently seen, or somewhere where it was seen thirty years earlier?  With the gradual development and urban encroachment, plus impacts of possible climate change and who knows what else, one has to assume that the areas where Bigfoot is most likely to live gradually evolve and change over time.

Perhaps you'll combine some Bigfoot sightseeing with other touring around the region, or as part of a day traveling between two places for other reasons.

Seasonality of Sightings

Because Bigfoot is thought to be a primate (ie an ape like creature) rather than a member of the bear family, it is unlikely that Bigfoot hibernates in the winter, and there have been some winter-time sightings.

The reduced number of winter-time sightings is probably as much a reflection on fewer people being out looking for Bigfoot at that time of year.  One good thing about winter is that it makes tracks more apparent, although perhaps not as distinct and maybe more fleetingly if fresh snow is falling.

In view of no clear seasonal issues for when to go looking for Bigfoot, you probably should choose the most convenient time of year for you, which will likely be from late spring (some of the snow in the forests takes a long time to thaw) through to early fall and before it gets too uncomfortably cold and wet/snowy once more.

The Best Time and Place to see Bigfoot

It may be that Bigfoot is semi-nocturnal.  There seem to be more sightings at night than during the day, and when one assumes that fewer people are out and about at night, this disparity widens further.

On the other hand, unless it is a clear evening with a full moon, and/or unless you have state of the art night vision aids, it is harder to see a dark shadowy indistinct shape at night, and of course, night time searches for Bigfoot are less convenient for most people's schedules.  So consider this point, but don't feel obliged to limit your searching to only at night.

There is also a surprising number of times that Bigfoot is sighted in, at, or close to the water (whether it be a lake or river).  Clearly they need to drink, and if they take their water from rivers and lakes (where else would they get it from, after all), then this creates a focus point where you might be more likely to see a Bigfoot than just 'anywhere' in the wilds.

There's another point for choosing a lake side or river bank.  Such places may often have a thin strip of clearing where the water meets the bank, and this may give you a broader field of view over a larger area than if you choose the bush in general.

There's another benefit to considering lake sides and river banks.  Such areas often have softer ground in which footprints may more readily be created.  Perhaps the most obvious indicator of a Bigfoot having been in an area is the large footprints they create when the ground is slightly soft.

The other location issue is suggested by common sense.  Avoid places frequented by lots of people and traffic and other trappings of civilization.  Seek out quieter more out of the way places, and while looking for places with plenty of bush and trees, try to also find a place that isn't too heavily overgrown, so as to have some reasonable amount of area that you can clearly see.

One more thought.  It seems that Bigfoot may like fish.  If you wanted to lure a Bigfoot towards your general area, you might choose to leave some fish out as 'bait'.

Part two of a four part series on Bigfoot; see also :

1.  All about Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest
2.  Where and When to Find Bigfoot
3.  How to Search for Bigfoot
4.  Some suggested Bigfoot touring around Seattle

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Originally published 24 April 2009, last update 30 May 2021

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

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