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Jacksonville, Oregon

The Bigfoot Trap

Sasqu(w)atch out!  

Nestled in the woods of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest lies a Bigfoot trap, the only one of its kind in the United States. It was built in 1974 by the (now-defunct) North American Wildlife Research Team, after a local miner claimed to see 18-inch footprints similar in shape to human feet. 

Sightings of Bigfoot in Oregon go back as far as the late 19th century. The big-limbed cryptid is generally described as being a large human-like creature covered in dark brown hair with humongous feet. Though many declare it a hoax, the Sasquatch became an urban legend surrounded by famous sightings and stories.

The trap is a 10 x 10-foot square, built using thick slabs of wood held together with metal bands and secured to the earth with a telephone pole. For six long years, the research team refilled the trap with carcasses of dead animals hoping to discover the monster and forever go down in history. However, when the trap was set off it was usually by an angered bear or, in one instance, a confused hunter. (In 1980, the hatch was locked open as the trap was becoming a safety hazard.) 

The odd contraption is located on the Collings Mountain Trail, named for two brothers who mined in that area. Along the trail there is also a fallen mining cabin once used as a Sasquatch lookout. Hoping to prevent the Bigfoot trap from sharing the shame fate, the U.S. Forest Service repaired the wooden trap in 2006. It stands today as a physical testament to the idea that there is still mystery in the world.

Know Before You Go

The trap is located on the Collings Mountain Trail No. 943 near the Hart-Tish Park entrance. Visitors can see the trap about 3/4 of a mile in.