In search of the Sasquatch near Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on April 24th, 2015

The utility vehicle judders to a halt, and the soft sounds of the forest emerge in the sudden hush. My sister and I clamber out of the vehicle, brushing tent caterpillars out of our hair. The view from this ridge is a stunner. Harrison Lake spreads out below us, bright blue and glittering in the sunshine. Beyond the lake are the snowcapped peaks of Mount Breakenridge.

Our guide, Thomas Steenburg, is rummaging in the back of the vehicle. Suddenly, we hear rustling in the trees behind us. Steenburg whips around to look up at the hillside.

“What’s that up there?” he asks. “Did you see movement?”

The sun blazes and the air is thick as we stare up at the cluster of trees. I glance sideways at my sister. Our eyes meet, and we exchange tiny smiles.

Then the spell is broken. Steenburg shrugs, sticks the stem of his pipe between his teeth, and starts hauling enormous footprint castings out of a rubber bin in the back of the ATV. But of course: what would an adventure in Sasquatch country be without plaster paw prints?

There’s surely no better place in the world for us to be running our fingers over these giant plaster toe casts than in the park named for the legendary cryptid. Sasquatch Provincial Park lies a couple of hours northeast of Vancouver, just past Harrison Hot Springs. The park is home to a number of pocket lakes and a few basic campgrounds—and possibly something more unusual. For 150 years there have been reports of a huge, hairy, bipedal creature roaming the woods here.

The word Sasquatch, in fact, was coined here. As he unpacks notes and a book of photographs from the ATV, Steenburg tells us about J. W. Burns, a teacher and government Indian agent who wrote an article for Maclean’s in 1929 about a strange creature said by the people of the Sts’ailes Band (formerly the Chehalis Indian Band) to wander the woods near Harrison Lake. Burns’s mispronunciation of the Sts’ailes word Sa:sq’ets, meaning “wild man”, stuck. The park, originally called Green Point, was renamed Sasquatch in 1968. The Americans came up with their own name, Bigfoot, in the 1950s, after numerous sightings of a similar creature south of the border.

Searching for the Sasquatch has been Steenburg’s lifelong passion. He’s written three books on the subject and coauthored two more. He relocated to the Harrison area from Ontario to pursue his research into the creature.

“There’s two things I always loved growing up: one was the outdoors and one was a mystery, so the two just went together hand in hand,” he tells us.

Access: Sasquatch Provincial Park is located 140 kilometres northeast of Vancouver; see the B.C. Parks website for info. Sasquatch Country Adventures offers two-hour tours starting at $115, with extended tours and group bookings on request. The annual Sasquatch Days festival takes place in Harrison Hot Springs June 27 and 28 this year; see website.

Read the rest of the article here.

See also:

The Sasquatch Files: Does Bigfoot Hibernate?
The Sasquatch Files: Are Stick Structures Signs of Bigfoot Activity?
Tree Twists = Sasquatch?
The Sasquatch Files: Does Bigfoot Hunt Big Game?
Big Foot Exists: An interview with Thomas Steenburg
B.C.’s Sasquatch investigator Steenburg investigated Nordegg reports

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

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