This Unusual Road Trip Is Actually Dedicated To Spotting Bigfoot

The beloved mythical creature Bigfoot has found itself on bumper stickers all over the United States. Bigfoot's alleged sightings have been parodied in films like "Elf" and television shows like "The Simpsons." Animal Planet even aired the reality television show "Finding Bigfoot," dedicated to investigators searching for the creature through the wilderness in multiple states. Luckily for Bigfoot fans, there is a road trip route highlighting the famed beast.

Folklore enthusiasts will enjoy the Bigfoot Scenic Byway in California, which runs along State Route 96. The route cuts through the area of the world, claiming to have the most Bigfoot sightings. This stretch of road in northern California features protected forests, swimming holes, trails to explore, and historic mining towns. If you do not spot a real Bigfoot, there are plenty of images of it on this route, such as the above sculpture in Willow Creek. Whether you are a Bigfoot believer or not, the Bigfoot Scenic Byway in California brings travelers close to the type of nature that any Sasquatch would love to call home.

Traverse through Six Rivers National Forest

The Bigfoot Scenic Byway begins (or ends) in Willow Creek, California. The town's welcome sign boasts the slogan "Bigfoot Capital of the World." Nearby are the BigFoot Steakhouse and the Bigfoot Motel. For all your Bigfoot research and merchandise needs, check out the Bigfoot Collection at the Willow Creek-China Flat Museum, also known as The Bigfoot Museum. Aside from supposed Bigfoot artifacts, the museum features artifacts from the town's extensive mining and logging history as well. Before continuing your road trip, consider a quick 15-minute detour to Berry Summit Vista Point on State Route 299 for stunning views of unspoiled rolling hills.

Heading north on State Route 96 leads you through Six Rivers National Forest. Within this forest is the Bluff Creek Historic Trail. It was near Bluff Creek that cowboys Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin succeeded in their quest to catch a now-famous glimpse of what they believed to be Bigfoot in 1967. A convenient access point for the trail is at the E-Ne-Nuck Campground, open for camping from late May through the end of September. The nearby Aikens Creek West Campground is another camping option on State Route 96, but both are first come, first serve.

Stroll along the lovely streets of Yreka

While Napa Valley near California's Bay Area is a wine hotspot, northern California has well-established wineries of its own. In Orleans, California is Coates Vineyards. This organic winery produces thousands of cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and more. Visitors can make reservations for wine tastings and take tours of the facility to learn about its 30-plus-year history.

The picturesque Clear Creek swimming hole located just a few miles south of Happy Camp is a perfect place to enjoy a dip without crowds. The creek feeds into the Klamath River and is easily found from the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. Happy Camp itself is small but has significant Native American history on display. The Karuk Tribe People's Center Museum & Gift Shop helps both preserve the Karuk culture and educate others about it.

The exclamation point on the Bigfoot Scenic Byway is Yreka, California. Its 1800s gold mining history has given way to quaint streets lined with colorful buildings. This is well showcased on Miner Street. Here, you can take your pick from multiple restaurants and gift shops. The intersecting Main Street has plenty of aptly named lodging options as well, such as Miners Inn and Convention.