For Bigfoot enthusiasts, 1967 was the year that two researchers in the mountains of California allegedly documented this elusive beast on video for the first time ever, bringing the legends, reports, and monster tales into sharp focus. An amateur 16-mm video reporting to have finally captured pure evidence of the creature’s existence was an obvious big deal. Over the years, the hubbub has died down, leaving only die-hard enthusiasts speculating as to the reality of the creature, which has led to various movies, television shows, and documentaries being made on the subject. Places with reported Bigfoot sightings still remain a popular destination for those who would prefer a vacation from the ordinary.
Willow Creek endearingly taps into this appeal and is known as the Bigfoot Capital of the World. Willow Creek is only a few mere miles from the drainage of Bluff Creek where these researchers, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin, famously filmed Bigfoot in October of 1967.
The entire town hosts various photo ops to document your travels, like Bigfoot statues, businesses, and town murals illustrating the creatures at various stages of life, working and playing. The Early Bird Restaurant at 19 Willow Way bakes fresh French bread buns in the shape of footprints every morning for their signature specialty, the Bigfoot Burger. There’s a Bigfoot Motel, Bigfoot Highway, and even Bigfoot Days, a festival that has been held annually every Labor Day weekend since 1964. In fact, in 2004, National Geographic sent a crew to film the documentary, Bigfoot Experiences, giving the town the attention it deserves – credibility.
Bigfoot Museum is a self-guided experience that takes about fifteen minutes. Granted, it is not as intense as Bigfoot’s Discovery Museum in Felton, about 400 miles to the south, but this exhibit illustrates a reason to appreciate this small town.
During the summer, the museum is open on Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. In the off season, it is open less so it is a good idea to call ahead. You can reach the caretakers at 530-629-2653. Admission is by donation.