When the moon is just right and shadows dance through the forests of Lewis County, myths and legends become reality. Across the forested hills and along glacial-fed river valleys, stories of a towering, hairy beast are as common as rainy days. The wilderness of this region is mysterious and intriguing.
For many, Sasquatch is as real as Mount Rainier. Others are skeptical of the veracity that cryptozoologists claim. Whether you believe in Sasquatch, enjoy the idea of the elusive beast, or deny its existence, the creature has played an important role in shaping the lore of Lewis County. Because of this, we encourage you to go out, explore and let your imagination run free in the wilds of the region.
While proof of their existence is limited, Sasquatch sightings in Lewis County are anything but rare. Since 2000, there have been 30 reported Bigfoot encounters in Lewis County alone, with many more unreported. Ranging from vocalizations to sightings – and every kind of encounter in between – Lewis County residents frequently see or hear the towering forest dwellers.
Bigfoot encounters are broken up into three categories: Class A, Class B and Class C experiences. Class C encounters are typically third-hand reports and those with untraceable stories, none of which are reported to have occurred in Lewis County. Class B is a little more serious. These encounters are when Sasquatch are observed at a great distance, in poor lighting conditions, and in any other circumstance that didn’t afford a clear view. The Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) says Class A sightings are when “reports involve clear sightings in circumstances where misinterpretation or misidentification of other animals can be ruled out with greater confidence.”
In the past 20 years in Lewis County, 11 sightings have been Class A, with many witnesses being experienced hunters and Law Enforcement. The most recent reported Class A encounter was in November of 2013 when a hunter near the Cispus River reported to have seen a Sasquatch walk past his vehicle. Stories like this are more common than you’d think.
By now, you either believe these stories as fact or dismiss them as tall tales by bored hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. But there is a middle ground. Searching for Sasquatch is a great excuse to head outdoors, exploring backroads and remote trails all around Lewis County. Most reported sightings come from the Morton and Packwood Areas and in areas not frequented by the masses who head to Mount Rainier and the White Pass Scenic Byway.
That means that the more you explore, the greater chance you theoretically have of spotting a Sasquatch. While the time of the day isn’t always important, most who have experiences see or hear them in the early morning and evening hours, when visibility is often limited. There are hundreds of tips from Sasquatch experts around North America, but few can compare to the checklist created by a group in Canada.
The best way to get your kids excited about going outdoors, searching for Sasquatch and getting more comfortable in nature is quite simple. David George Gordon, author of The Sasquatch Seekers Field Manual, has been educating the region on Sasquatch and how to document your experiences. His book is published by Mountaineers Books with the goal of inspiring readers and Sasquatch enthusiasts, young and old, to observe nature closely, gathering scientifically acceptable data and refining wilderness navigation skills. The goal of Gordon’s book is to help everyone become proficient citizen scientists, not only bringing Bigfoot into the spotlight of scientific scrutiny but also helping future generations document and explore their surroundings in more detail.
“The basic rule of critical thinking is that extraordinary claims, like saying you’ve seen a Sasquatch, needs extraordinary proof,” explained David. “If you want to help prove or disprove that there’s a Sasquatch, have everything lined up for your research and documentation. Help the experts and fight sloppy science. My motivation is to get as many people as I can out gathering credible evidence. Be vigilant with details.”
If you do see a Sasquatch, document it more than any other event in your life. There are plenty of rewards for actual proof of Sasquatch, and the more you take pictures and videos to document the experience, the better.
One of the classic Lewis County stories about what to do when you find a Sasquatch comes from Toledo, where a man is reported to have offered $1 million for the capture of a live, baby Sasquatch. Sure, this story is from 1998, but the details are amazing. If captured, the man was willing to pay for the baby so he could raise it, drive it around in his truck and have it help with chores outside his ranch. Whether this was a prank or the serious dreams of an old man, if you do get definitive proof of a Sasquatch, there are some great rewards out there.
Whether you believe Sasquatch does or does not exist, belief in the creature serves as a symbol of the unknown elements of our world and the wildness within ourselves. At the end of the day, if you want to see a Sasquatch, or help to disprove its existence once and for all, head outside often, exploring regions not often visited by the masses. Good luck and make sure you document your adventures and experiences.