DescriptionSituated along the Trinity River, Willow Creek is at the junction of two scenic byways, SR 299 and SR 96. The town's former name, China Flat, is a reference to Chinese laborers who once worked in mines and lumber mills. Outdoor recreation rules today; surrounded by the rugged wilderness of Six Rivers National Forest, this area offers numerous opportunities for backpacking, mountain biking, fishing and white-water rafting.
The primeval wilderness setting surrounding Willow Creek has been the scene of many alleged “Bigfoot” sightings. Also known as Sasquatch, Bigfoot—most often described as a large, hairy, apelike humanoid—is thought by some to inhabit forests in the Pacific Northwest, although the great majority of scientists attribute documented incidents to a combination of folklore, mistaken identification and hoax.
One of the most publicized sightings occurred back in 1967, when Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin used a hand-held 16 mm Kodak camera to film a large hominid walking across a sandbar on Bluff Creek, about 25 miles north of Willow Creek. Argosy, a men's adventure magazine, published an article that included photo stills; many years later, however, an acquaintance of the two Bigfoot investigators claimed he had donned a gorilla suit for the making of the film. It's no wonder, then, that Willow Creek bills itself the “Bigfoot Capital of the World” with tongue planted somewhat firmly in cheek.
Things to SeeWillow Creek-China Flat Museum
White-water RaftingBigfoot Rafting Co.