360 mile hike exploring ecological diverse regions of Northern Californa & Southern Oregon
Join the Bigfoot Trail Alliance
Michael Kauffmann fired up the Bigfoot Trail’s first Kickstarter to help fund the humble beginnings of this trail alliance & the creation of a new map set. There are some great incentives for contributing to the Bigfoot Kickstarter, including stickers, a wall map of the trail, and downloads of the new map set. Listen to this Jefferson Public Radio interview to learn all about the Bigfoot Trail, the Kickstarter campaign, and the trail alliance.
At the heart of the Bigfoot Trail is education.
The Bigfoot Trail travels through an incredibly ecologically diverse region of California & Southern Oregon. The guidebook is structured as a scavenger hunt for trees, which act as an entry point for noticing the natural world you will walk through on the BFT. On the Bigfoot Trail, FKT’s are not the goal. Slowest Known Times & visiting all 31 tree species along the way are the commendable feats. This trail’s culture captures that John Muir spirit of outrageous enthusiasm for the natural world.
Establishing a trail alliance will help the Bigfoot Trail grow with direction and purpose.
With the PCT feeling crowded these days, and other trails in the Sierras reaching their permit quotas months ahead of time, hikers are in need of new places to roam. The Bigfoot Trail is hidden in a quiet and often ignored part of Norther California. The landscape and rugged nature of the BFT eases my fears of seeing this new trail become overrun and crowded. In Northern California there are some unique land use issues (illegal growing) that could be alleviated by increased foot traffic. It would be wonderful to see the Bigfoot Trail land on lists of classic thru-hikes.
To read about my time on the […]
On the 28th of July I found myself suddenly out of the sunny mountains and walking into a fog enshrouded tsunami hazard zone. My hike ended when my feet left pavement and sunk into the sand of the beach in Crescent City, and soon there after were dipped into the icy Pacific Ocean. There was something magical about ending a hike at the edge of the Pacific!
The last day of the Bigfoot Trail revealed four final tree species, Redwoods, Red Cedar, Grand Fir, and Sitka Spruce within the last 15 miles. The morning walk through the Little Bald Hills was a review of many of the conifers I had met throughout the hike: Knobcone Pine, Jeffery Pine, Douglas Fir, Common Juniper, and Port Ortford Cedar to name a few. Day 20 turned out to be a fantastic grand finale to a wonderful thru-hike.
My time on the Bigfoot Trail was mostly bliss tinged with moments of misery in just the right amount to make it a solid adventure. Thru-hiking is never a cake walk, and I probably wouldn’t love it so much if there weren’t challenges like getting lost on overgrown trail or dealing with my ever present sole pain (sore & bruised feet). I loved the rugged, remote, and awe inspiring terrain of this route. There was never a dull moment, even the roadwalks were entertaining with their unique emerald triangle road trash and spectacular scenery.
Swimming was possible almost daily, and some of the swimming holes were in the top 10 pools of my life (check out the Stewart Fork of the Trinity and the North Fork of the Salmon!!). Discovering trees at each new mountain range helped ease the pain of the many […]
Adam hugged me goodbye at the Ides Cove trailhead and I walked north towards Mt. Linn and the adventure of the Bigfoot Trail. Butterflies sucked nectar from flowers in the dry creeks along the path, as well as fluttering in my stomach- I was nervous about the unknowns of this trail. I was nervous about being alone in a very wild place, nervous about how my out of shape body would adjust to this rugged path, nervous about how the water sources on this drought stricken trail would hold up in the July heat… My list of worries fueled those stomach butterflies, but the jitters soon eased as I left the trail for some cross country scramble up to the summit of Mt. Linn and the stand of gnarled foxtail pines on her saddle. From the summit I could see across the Yolla Bolly mountains towards my home town of Willits, I could see the Central Valley and Lassen to the east, Snow Mountain Wilderness to the south, and the land of Bigfoot to the north. I realized this place is vast and wild, but I belong here. The Foxtail Pines were the first big tree species of the 32 conifers types along the route that I stopped and admired. I’d seen these beautiful ancient trees in the Sierra, but never before in my home range of the Yolla Bolly. Standing in the fragrant shade of their bristly branches I wondered what they had seen pass by over their thousand plus years of living in the Yolla Bolly. Later the afternoon of day one I came to D camp spring, labeled as cool clear water in the guidebook I was saddened to find […]