His footprint is huge. His cultural footprint is bigger.
Whether or not you believe Bigfoot is plodding around the forests near Mount Hood, there's no denying the mythic cryptid's presence in Portland and the surrounding areas. Its famous silhouette—hunched, arms swaying, primitive gait—adorns company logos, 2020 campaign stickers and countless dad tees.
WW compiled some of the more notable places to find the big guy in and around the Rose City. That way, when he finally comes down from the hills, you'll know where to take him to get some clothes, take some photos and grab a beer.
The Freakybuttrue Pecularium and Museum
2234 NW Thurman St., peculiarium.com
Though this Ripley's Believe or Not! sendup in Northwest Portland is filled with oddities like fake worm cookies, old-timey portraits of bugmen and an enlarged eyeball topped with a fez, its mascot is the 9-foot-tall homemade Bigfoot statue towering over the entrance. Owner Mike Wellins, a former Laika animator, crafted the Sasquatch with metal framing, lots of fabric and stuffing, and two cement blocks for feet. The Peculiarium also sells many Bigfoot-inspired prints, also created by Wellins, depicting him gazing at a cabin holding a gas can and a torch, flipping the bird, and wreaking havoc on Mount Hood with a hunting knife and machine gun, Rambo-style.
Southwest 136th Avenue and Division Street
Bigfoot's larger-than-life stature is put on full, colorful display under the footbridge at the intersection of 136th and Division. Late last year, artist Rodolfo Redstone Serna painted the two-story mural with the help of nearby Bridger School, David Douglas High School and Portland passersby who were encouraged to grab a brush and paint a stroke. In this depiction, he's got a chiseled, purple body and blue and orange fur, a medallion around his neck and a Native American man on his shoulder. He's rightfully the centerpiece in a mural that also features unicorns, pyramids and rainbows.
Camp 18 Restaurant
42362 Highway 26, Elsie, Ore.
This log cabin restaurant, located about 60 miles northwest of Portland on Highway 26, looks like a place a 'squatch would dine on slow Sunday afternoons. He's well-represented there: two giant, chain saw-carved wooden statues stand outside, one looking mean, the other a friendly, Harry and the Hendersons type. In the gift shop, there are Sasquatch-themed shirts, mugs, and stuffed animals, plus small vials of "Bigfoot hair." And if that sparks your taste buds for whatever reason, you can purchase a small mound of chocolate, dubbed "Bigfoot Poop," to indulge in.
Sasquatch Brewing Co.
2531 NW 30th Ave., 6440 SW Capitol Highway, sasquatchbrewery.com
Surprisingly, you won't find any depiction of Sasquatch beside a footprint or two at either of the taprooms bearing his name. That's because Tom Sims, owner of the brewery, doesn't concern himself with pointless realisms—Bigfoot is better celebrated as an idea suspended between fantasy and reality. He likens the concept of Sasquatch to Portland itself: stowed away in the woods, doing its own thing, charmingly weird and mystical. What would Bigfoot want to drink if he walked into the taproom from nearby Forest Park? "He'd probably ask for some royalties," Sims says.
Little Bay Root
The spirit of the Pacific Northwest runs through this Portland-based company's line of apparel, glassware, tote bags and more, with Bigfoot showing up among its top sellers. Its Squatch Out line—researcher jargon for when expeditioners notice something that could lead them to the man-ape—is what the company is known for, but that's just the tip of the hairy iceberg. It has a line of Bigfoot air fresheners, but instead of a musty, wet-hair smell, it's a pine scent reminiscent of the aroma of vast Oregon forests. Also flying off the shelf is a 2020 Bigfoot campaign sticker and T-shirt. "Amidst all of the political news that you see on a daily basis now," says assistant art director Brenden Debozy, "whether it be negative or anything, it's refreshing."
At community markets around Portland, artist Rebecca Schnabel asks you to look deeper. All of her Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge landscape photos include one of them pesky 'squatches somewhere behind the swell of damp trees. Her version of Where's Waldo? is made using digital trickery and superimposition—but she keeps the details a secret. It's the beholder's search for Bigfoot in her photos that motivates her art, and her closeness with God. "I feel like [the search] is how my faith is represented," Schnabel says. "And I use Bigfoot as kind of my analogy for my faith." She also sells "Even Sasquatch Needs His Coffee" T-shirts, so there you go.
Unfortunately, Bigfoot Lacrosse is just the name of this Tualatin athletic gear retailer, so you won't find any hairy ape-men on its helmets, gloves, shafts or heads. But its heart is in the right place, especially considering the tale its website offers to explain the namesake of the company—it involves magic mushrooms and spiritual Sasquatch telepathy. If anything, Bigfoot Lacrosse is steeped in Oregon pride, and that's enough to justify appropriating the name of our true state animal.
Oregon State Fire Marshal's Believe in Fire Safety Campaign
Only you can prevent forest fires—but if Smokey Bear can't convince you, maybe his much bigger, hairier friend will. The Oregon Fire Marshal is invoking the image of Bigfoot on posters and billboards, showing our woodland friend safely putting out bonfires, hiking near Mount Hood, doing some fly fishing, even riding an ATV—stay on designated paths, people. The agency also has printable coloring pages and connect-the-dots puzzles on its website. Bigfoot is kind of a spiritual liaison between wildlife and humans, and as any 'squatch enthusiast will tell you, caring for Bigfoot is caring for the environment.
A Leading Sasquatch Researcher Is Opening Oregon's First Bigfoot Museum. We Got a Sneak Peek.
Bob Filbey Has Spent 30 Years Logging Bigfoot Sightings Up and Down the West Coast. Here's What He's Learned.
We Went Searching For Sasquatch Along the Banks of the Columbia on the Portland Spirit's New Bigfoot-Themed Jet Boat Tour
I Camped Out Along Oregon's Bigfoot Highway, Hoping to See Something I Wasn't Sure Was There