Non-Urban Legends & Exploring the Bigfoot Legend in Yosemite
The other week I had a revelation, I realized why the leave no trace mascot is bigfoot! Admittedly it should not have taken me this long, but in my defense I took the logo at face value without even thinking about the bigfoot legend. Or maybe Trails had mentioned it once, but sometimes when hiking my brain chooses to think about cliffbars instead of retaining cool facts. Anyhow, now that I am thinking about it, it being a very large man-like creature living in the woods that no one has found a provable trace of for decades, that is some pretty stellar leave no trace ethics. Kudos to you bigfoot.
Of course after contemplating bigfoot for a bit I did what any child of the internet would do, I searched to find any nearby sightings. Googling “Sierra Nevada Bigfoot” will lead you to a multitude of links to some tasty beer, then if you search deep enough a small trove of bigfoot sightings located on dated 90s-esqe websites. I decided I needed to breath new life into these and other Sierra supernatural occurrences as part of a new blog series about non-urban legends. Even if we choose to not believe, they do make for some good campfire stories. So, without further explanation, here is the first Sierra Supernatural hike:
Big Foot in Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Area – Miguel Meadows
“…a worker up there was camping in the Tuolumne meadows, somewhere near a lake. He mentioned ‘Miguel Meadows’ near Lake Vernon, in Yosemite, as a hot spot for weird and unusual happenings. He was in his tent ready to go to sleep, and he heard something come running down a hill toward his tent. …He got out of the tent and let out the loudest scream he could. Which was returned just about in his face by a much louder scream… It was dark and the guy described what he saw as something tall, with black fur, and it looked to weigh about 600 pounds, It was standing up like a human.”
Abbreviated report from Cindy Cherold in 2004, who heard it from her son, who heard it from a CCC worker. Read the full account at BigfootEncounters.com
Miguel Meadow is accessible through from day hiking by either a 11 mile out and back hike from the Hetch Hetchy dam trailhead or an 8-ish(?) mile out and back from the lake Eleanor trailhead. Currently this area is a mess of problems, due to the Rim fire burning right through here and then a rockfall near Wampa Falls, so no promises that this will be possible/safe/enjoyable. Nor any promises that bigfoot is happy and healthy after the wildfire, should he really have been there in the first place ;)
I am just throwing it out there that after this area regenerates from the fire a bit and the rockfall is dealt with backpacking trip out to Tilltil Valley, Lake Vernon, then Miguel Meadow would be a pretty sweet 3 night trip. Northern Yosemite wilderness is supposed to be amazing, although I personally have not spent that much time up there.
Who knows, it could be an enjoyable trip even if you didn’t catch a bigfoot sighting?