Where To Find Bigfoot in the U.S.
An online database of Bigfoot sightings reveals the states in which he’s most likely to be found.
According to data gathered by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (or BFRO), a virtual community that “essentially seeks to resolve the mystery surrounding the Bigfoot phenomenon,” thousands of Americans across the nation have spotted or encountered the hairy beast in recent decades.
One of the oldest Bigfoot sightings submitted to the organization’s “Geographic Database of Bigfoot/Sasquatch Sightings and Reports” dates back to the summer of 1978 on an Arkansas farm not far from the birthplace of both Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee. The witness was a kid at the time, and had been bending down to pick up a red ball when she noticed “there was this huge monster” looming over the fence looking at her.
“You could tell it was very smart because when I started screaming, it immediately looked right at my house for other humans and got nervous,” she wrote in her report.
“I felt It wanted me. It had long, orangutan-colored hair all over it. The hands looked like a gorilla, but had a full thumb like a human and not the nub like a gorilla. It had hazel yellowish eyes. Its face [was] covered with leathery-looking skin with hair. Long arms, very muscular. Walked and ran on two legs. It smelled like a [sic] unkempt, wet dog, mixed with a skunk and goat smell. Many years later, [while] visiting a zoo, I smelled the primates’ section and my memory was like, ‘Yeah, [this is] that primate smell with goat and skunk and dog.”
In addition to this sighting, there are thousands of other Bigfoot reports on the BFRO’s website. Read through them and you’ll notice that the details tend to differ, especially in terms of what the creature looked like.
But one commonality can be found in most of the reported sightings: fear. Wanting to see a Bigfoot, it turns out, is a lot different from actually encountering one in real life.
As the witness of the 1978 Bigfoot sighting wrote: “As a child, I suffered trauma from experiencing this. I wish I would've never seen it.”
According to the BFRO’s data, the ape-like cryptid has been spotted in every single state in the country, but tends to inhabit some more than others. Delaware and Rhode Island have the lowest numbers of Bigfoot sightings, followed by North Dakota and Vermont.
The states in which the hairy creature is most commonly spotted are a bit surprising, as well. Big cities and a lack of open spaces apparently aren’t turn-offs for Bigfoot, nor are tropical climates.
So where are you most likely to find Bigfoot? Read on to discover the top five states he’s been spotted in.
Washington: 666 Bigfoot sightings
With so much open space and wilderness, it makes sense that Washington would be the state with the highest number of Bigfoot sightings. In the southwest region, Skamania County — home to the 4,500-acre Beacon Rock State Park — has the most reports from people who claimed to have seen the ape-like creature. Lewis County, which is located between Olympia and Portland, Oregon, has the second highest number, followed by King County, which includes the city of Seattle.
The state’s most recent Bigfoot sighting was reported on January 1, 2019 by a witness named Bob Tully. The previous morning, he and a friend had been riding snowmobiles near a creek in Yakima County when they heard a series of “super loud” sounds coming from the wilderness.
Tully wrote: “As soon as we took off our helmets, we heard a loud howl/moan sound that lasted eight to 10 seconds. We looked at each other in shock. Another howl followed about eight seconds behind it and then we heard a loud bang on a tree in the opposite direction…After about six more howls with five seconds or so in between, we decided to leave the area. Neither of us have ever heard anything like it.”
California: 441 Bigfoot sightings
The state with the third largest land area in the nation, California has long been known as a must-visit place if you want to find Bigfoot. Unsurprisingly, Humboldt County in northern California — known by locals as “Bigfoot country” — has the most reported sightings of the fabled creature. Tuolumne County, which is also in the north and encompasses parts of both Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest, has the second highest number. While Bigfoot typically stays away from large cities — there have been zero sightings of him in San Francisco — he has been spotted 20 times in Los Angeles County.
In November 2018, a math teacher from San Diego named Ron called the BFRO and left a voicemail about an encounter he and his girlfriend had while hiking in the Inyo National Forest, near Mammoth Lakes. It happened when they stopped to have a snack on a trail and, Ron said, “was the scariest thing I’d ever experienced in my life.”
Ron’s story: “While we were there, I had a very eerie feeling. It caused me to feel cold and shaky and nervous. As we were sitting there, we suddenly heard a noise of something flying through the air. I looked up and saw a huge rock, which probably weighed at least 45 pounds, coming from above us. The rock landed on the trail about 25 yards away from us. It wasn’t rolling down the hillside. Its trajectory indicated to me it had been thrown down the hillside.
“At about that same instant, we heard a very distinct animal-like grunting noise, but it was far louder than any animal grunt I’ve ever heard. We also detected a really foul smell. I particularly remember the foul smell because one moment we were breathing really fresh mountain air and the next moment there was this awful smell.
“About that time, we could hear heavy footsteps coming down the hillside towards us. The terrain in this area is steep with many tall pine trees. We couldn’t see very far above us, but we could hear something was coming towards us.
“I’ve encountered many bears in that area in the past and I immediately grew concerned a bear was approaching us. I yelled something like, It’s a (expletive) bear!
“The whole thing was so frightening and unexpected that we both started running! We left my girlfriend’s jacket, my sunglasses, and our food there and just started running down the trail. The jacket and sunglasses each cost over $100. We never went back to get them.”
Florida: 325 Bigfoot sightings
Home to Everglades National Park and more than 800,000 acres of state parks, Florida has ample undeveloped wilderness that a Bigfoot could live and hide in. Collier County in the southern tip of the state, which includes the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and parts of Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park, has the greatest number of Bigfoot sightings, followed by Lake County in the middle of the state, which is not far from Orlando.
The most recent Bigfoot sighting — submitted to the BFRO in December 2018 — happened about 15 miles north of Tampa in a wooded area near a wilderness preserve. The witness and her husband live in the county and were driving home on Highway 301 when she glanced out the window and saw a Bigfoot by the river.
She wrote: “What I saw I'll never forget. I didn't even believe in Bigfoot before this. I saw a big, white furry animal standing straight up like a human crossing over the stream. We were traveling fast on the road so we couldn't just stop. I told my husband I just saw an animal, as I was in shock about what I saw. He didn't see it as he was driving. It took me two days to realize I just saw a Bigfoot. I think I was in shock about what I had seen.”
Illinois: 298 Bigfoot sightings
Though Bigfoot is usually associated with forested areas, he is also fond of the heartland. With its prairies and almost 300,000 acres of national forest, Illinois is the fourth most likely state to find Bigfoot, with your chances of spotting him increasing the further away you get from Chicago. (Although there have been a few sightings near the Windy City, with 16 submitted to the BFRO’s database.)
Madison County, along the Mississippi River and next to the state border of Missouri, has the highest number of sightings, despite being mere miles away from St. Louis. Further south, in the counties closer to Shawnee National Forest, there have also been a slew of Bigfoot reports.
The last submitted Bigfoot sighting occurred around 5 a.m. on September 16, 2017 near a river and a cornfield in the center of the state. The witness, who was driving home after working a late-night shift, was stopped at a red light when they spotted the hairy beast.
They wrote: “A two-legged creature ran across the road in front of me. It was still dark out and I had my lights on. The creature was just at the end of where my lights hit. It didn't seem to be extremely tall, but what caught my eye was [sic] the huge muscles on its legs and arms. It didn't appear to have much of a neck, like the head was sitting on the shoulders. I could see that it was not wearing any clothes, but also did not see long hair either. I would estimate it to be between 6' to 6'5". It was a dark, dirty black/grey color.
“It disappeared quickly into the cornfield. This all runs extremely close to the river. The area it came from always has multiple deer feeding and crossing the road. [Now,] I always drive slow [sic] and cautiously on this stretch of road.”
Ohio: 290 Bigfoot sightings
Full of hills and forests to roam in, Ohio is the fifth most likely state to see a Bigfoot, with most reports occurring in the eastern portion of the state. You’ll have the most luck of spotting him in Portage and Guernsey counties, which each contain state parks that collectively encompass more than 20,000-acres of untouched wilderness.
In the BFRO’s database, the last reported sighting of Bigfoot in Ohio happened on April 21, 2018 around 10 p.m. “when it was warm enough to be outside at night without a coat and with just shorts and a T-shirt on, and when the leaves on the trees were budding but not fully grown-in.” On that evening, the witness’ 11-year-old Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix — who was outside on the house’s front lawn — started barking at something across the street in the East Fork State Park woods.
The witness wrote: “Often, even at night, I will just ignore him because he barks at every little thing. But this bark definitely sounded like he was saying there’s something HERE and I want to let the whole world know.
“I was in an outbuilding, went inside, and grabbed my high-powered flashlight. When I came back out, our dog was still barking loudly and remained laser-focused as he stared at something in the woods across the street.
“I shone [sic] my light between some trees, and bam, got some bright eyeshine right back. Not the red eye shine you so often read about, but bluish-white, I think. Now, at no point did I have my glasses on which I use for driving at night, but, here’s my point: the eye shine was at a height that I guessed to be about 10- to 12-feet up. The eyes stayed fixed on me at that point, blinking — sometimes both eyes at once, sometimes one eye then quickly the other. My wife came out and said “Oh, it’s just an owl,” but I wasn’t convinced.
“Well, at that point I went inside and grabbed my BB gun. Probably not the best idea, as I do not yet own a handgun or other weapon that could actually provide some protection if things went south.
“So, I went to our front door, opened it a crack, held the flashlight in my teeth, kept a fire extinguisher next to me just in case it came rushing out of the woods at me — at least I could try to fill its face with something it would definitely not like to be breathing in — and aimed my BB rifle at the eyes still shining back at me.
“I pulled the trigger and waited. About 1 to 2 seconds later (I don’t think I hit it), whatever it was clearly reacted to the BB which must have passed nearby. Then, for about 2 and a half seconds I heard it start to crash through the woods from right to left, with left being in the direction of our mailbox, driveway, and the road we take to access our street...then silence.
“I am about 95 percent sure that I shone [sic] my light into the eyes of a sasquatch that night — and a big one, too. Though I wish I’d thought to go look for tracks the next day after work, two things got in my way: busyness and fear. I’m sure the creature was long gone 24 hours later, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a sasquatch remembers someone firing a BB gun at him or not.”