Bigfoots Only in the Pacific Northwest?

Pacific Northwest Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash
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There are a lot of arguments among those that call themselves “Bigfoot Believers”. Like, a LOT. Some arguments are about species type, or average height, or dietary preferences of the big ones. Some of the arguments are even about the terrestrial and biological nature of these creatures versus their origins being paranormal or alien. But the debate I am drawn to lately is one of distribution. So I am asking the question:

Do Sasquatches (if they exist) only live in the Pacific Northwest of North America?

Argument for Yes

Grizzly Bear Photo by John Thomas on Unsplash
Photo by John Thomas on Unsplash

I used to lean hard toward the answer to this question being yes. After all, most sightings come from the PNW.

The largest continuous areas of unexplored and/or rarely visited wilderness exist in the PNW. Most Native American traditions of Bigfoot-like creatures come from this area as well. We know that the largest land mammals we have on the continent live in this area, and tend to become more populous and wide-ranging when getting into places like British Columbia. For example, the largest bear species – the grizzly – lives here and only here.

So with there being so much wilderness it stands to reason that if Bigfoots can hide anywhere, it would be here. It is also possible that like the grizzly, Bigfoots have had their historic range reduced by human population growth. Grizzlies had a much larger range at one time and settlement pushed them northward and isolated them. It was only 1924 when the last grizzly was seen in California (LA Almanac) so it’s possible that early sightings of Bigfoots in other areas were true, but they have been squeezed into a smaller area today.

Argument for No

I am not as much on the side of “PNW only” as I once was. While I definitely think that the PNW is the area that has the most of them if they exist, It isn’t necessarily the only area.

The state of Ohio has an unusually large number of sightings when compared with the rest of the eastern United States. So many, that it cannot be ignored. The are also a great number of sightings in the Appalachians, all the way from north to south. And then you have Florida – arguably the most eco-diverse state that we have.

Black Bear Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash
Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash

If you take my earlier point about human population pushing the Bigfoots further north and west, it makes sense. But it is possible that small pockets of populations remained in deeply forested areas. We certainly see this with the black bear. The most remote and generally mountainous areas still have populations of black bears, even when the range is cutoff within a 200 mile or so radius. And black bears used to be everywhere on the continent except the desert more or less.

Also, if you want to talk about unexplored/rarely touched habitat – go no further than the Everglades. We already know Florida supports a crazy amount of diverse and not always native wildlife. Florida is the only place on the planet where there are both crocodiles and alligators. Populations of Rhesus monkeys live and thrive in Florida, as well as other introduced monkey species. And the Everglades are so forbidding that only seasoned swampers go into the deepest parts. So why couldn’t there be a “skunk ape” sub-species of Sasquatch there?


I don’t know. It’s as simple as that. I cannot discount the hundreds of eyewitness accounts that place Bigfoots across this continent. While I still believe the most likely place for an encounter is the PNW, there could very well be Bigfoots hiding out in small populations all over North America. If they are real, that is.

Chad Gatlin

I have been a Firefighter, a Radio Personality, a Writer, and an Insurance Agent. Now I am adding Author to that list! I have had a long interest in the weird and unexplained, and love to discuss and debate these subjects.

One thought on “Bigfoots Only in the Pacific Northwest?

  1. Thanks for another thoughtful article.

    This is an interesting question for bigfoot. It’s reported in every state of the US, often in rural and suburban areas that can’t be described as wilderness. So the bigfoot phenomenon isn’t limited to wild and unexplored places.

    So – do we accept the eyewitness reports from these places as genuine, and find an explanation for the lack of evidence we’d expect if bigfoot was truly US-wide?

    Or do we only accept reports from the PNW (and maybe one or two other real wilderness areas) but then have to explain why some reports are treated as valid and yet other similar reports are rejected based on geography alone.

    Either way it’s a challenge. Well done for being willing to ask the hard questions!

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