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Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Abominable Snowman
Tracks, Footprints, Trail, Cryptozoology
Colorado Rocky Mountain Investigation

The following photos and article are a Cryptozoology study of tracks discovered recently in Colorado Rocky Mountain winter snow. I'm not going to say for sure what we have here, but it certainly seems to lean toward some interesting conclusions; an extremely tall snowshoe walker, a running grizzly bear, a prankster, leaping lynx, or...a genuine North American ape, Bigfoot, Sasquatch.

While driving a fairly remote county road on the way to a friend's house, I spied very large impressions off to the right in the snow. The first and most logical thing my mind computed was that I just saw a trail of recreational snowshoe tracks. Another 1/4 mile of gravel passed beneath the wheels when suddenly, the light turned on. Those tracks were really far apart! My foot floored the brake and the Toyota RAV4 skidded to a halt. The shifter got slammed into reverse in the blink of an eye, and in a moment I was back at the tracks. From the RAV, the tracks looked as if a very tall person made Olympic style leaps without removing their cumbersome snowshoes. This was certainly enough information to warrant further investigation.

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Tracks, Footprints, Trail, Trackway
Figure 1 - ? Bigfoot Tracks, Footprints

To better understand the scale and stride of the "Bigfoot" track way, I decided to walk along it myself. Without snowshoes, I was able to take reasonable, if even slightly exaggerated, steps in the snow beside. At just under 6 feet tall, I'm a pretty average height humanoid, and figured my tracks would make a good comparison. The snow depth was roughly to my knee, with an icy crust easily penetrated by hiking boots, soaking shoes, socks, and Levi's in the process. After walking a section of tracks and stopping just before a creek and subsequent hillside, I discovered that it took on average two of my strides to equal a single stride left by the previous traveler (Figures 2 and 3).


Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Tracks, Footprints, Trail, Trackway
Figure 2 - ? Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Tracks

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Tracks, Footprints, Trail, Trackway
Figure 3 - ? Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Footprints

Maybe someone had done this as a joke? Though.. it would be pretty hard to space fake tracks like that without standing next to them, or directly in them. On the hillside I discovered what appeared to be a smaller and more densely packed track parallel to the large footprints. If similar occurred below the hillside, they were lost under subsequent snowfall and drifting. Was this a previous investigation, somebody following the big guy like myself? Was I seeing the tracks of a Bigfoot faking culprit, walking to the side while stamping down a giant wooden foot or snowshoe? Do mule deer like to follow Bigfoot? Anything is possible considering the condition the trail was in. I couldn't tell what the upper thin track was for certain. Theoretically a person could have connected with that section from a different starting point, maybe further down the creek. I'd considered investigating further, but a bright red "No Trespassing" sign spoke loudly to me from its broken barbed wire perch. The words "Squeal Like a Pig!" from the movie "Deliverance" rattled through my head. That was enough to leave the upper hillside alone.

One difficulty in assessing the true nature of my Bigfoot trail is how old the footprints were coupled with the weather and elevation. You can see evidence of melting, refreezing, and subsequent filling snowfall in the closeup photo (Figure 2). Based on this particularly cold and precipitous Colorado winter (2006-2007), the big furry could have mashed the snow in December. It's now past Valentine's Day. The tracks most likely occur somewhere near 9,000 ft in elevation. Unfortunately the Magellan Explorist GPS with altimeter wasn't in the RAV for this trip, so I don't have an exact figure. I do know that my end destination 2.2 miles further up the road sits at precisely 10,200 feet. The point is that it's been consistently cold and snowy up there. My track placement time estimate could be off by weeks, or even months.

After thoroughly investigating the potholes alone, I proceeded to my original destination, Jason's house. After not seeing my buddy for 6 months, all he got was "Hey dude, you gotta see this!" as I rushed him out the door and into the Yota. Figured he'd make a great scale object while I gave him the paparazzi treatment. Jason had better boots anyway! In Figure 4, you can see the "Yeti" stride is greater than his 6-foot stance. Jason commented that it was simply mule deer leaping, with melting and refreezing accounting for the large impression size. However in looking at the trail vertically, it really does appear to be oriented a lot like human bipedal locomotion (Figure 1).

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Tracks, Footprints, Human Scale Comparison
Figure 4 - ? Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Tracks,
Human Scale Comparison

At that point the adjoining hillside got the CSI treatment, as good as one can do without the rubber gloves and science kit anyway. To my amusement, the uphill stride was also far beyond my exaggerated steps, 3 Yeti to 9 human.

After this exciting confirmation, it was time to look for "hairy hominid hair!" Try saying that fast 3 times..

There were small trees close enough to the upper tracks, it was a possibility not to be ignored. I'd certainly like to be the first kid on the block with a baggie chock full of unidentifiable DNA! Unfortunately, a major windstorm wreaked havoc the previous week, so my guess was that it'd be a fruitless endeavor. After scoping and scanning all the twigs at, below, and above eye level with nary a hair in sight, it was time to call it quits and go for soda.

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Tracks, Footprints, Trail, Trackway
? - Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Tracks, Footprints

Once back home and facing the bookshelf, it was time to research what known wildlife could have made the tracks. A great book on animal tracks is the Falcon Guide Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains published by The Globe Pequot Press. The first big critter in question was moose since they'd been seen in the area the previous summer. According to the guide, adult moose have a stride up to 70 inches. With this figure one moose flank would come close-ish to the track spacing; however, being a quadruped, there would be an impression midway between from a leg on the other side. That cuts the spacing between moose feet down to three feet on average. Not only that, but the large tracks more closely match the size of a snowshoe or Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti sized feet! Two more animals were considered, bison and grizzly bear. Bison, while occurring in Colorado, would never be in the middle of the forest that high up, and their stride is even shorter than moose at 50 inches. Grizzly bears are not supposed to exist in Colorado at this point in time, and even if it were one, the track timing was midwinter during hibernation. More importantly, if it was a grizzly leaving the tracks, their walking stride is 50-60 inches. Divide that in two for the other side foot, and again you have less than three feet between tracks.





Another idea put forth by a couple of friends after showing them the photos is that the tracks were made by a leaping cat. Here in Colorado there are 3 possibilities; Canadian Lynx, Bobcat, and Cougar. I'm going to rule out the Mountain lion because there were no impressions from a long tail, and the impression size was too small for that cat's body and too big for its feet. Lynx, and especially Bobcat, would be possibilities. Bobcat have been seen in the area. If a Bobcat or Lynx sank down in snow to their body, I think you'd have more of a splotch than footprints. Maybe that matches the impressions. A good question is whether 8 feet is a reasonable leap for a Bobcat in snow? According to wikipedia.org their running leap is between 4-8 feet, so barely within the range, but in knee deep snow? One thing I wish I'd done was to dig into the tracks and feel around for the shape and how far down they went. The latter being an indicator of impression maker weight. Oddly enough, I'd decided to preserve what was still there vs. digging into it. So was it a Bobcat or Lynx running leap? It's possible, but I think a stretch, both literal and figurative.
Based on the field investigation and book work at home, my conclusion is that the tracks can be narrowed down to the following; snowshoe tracks by the tallest human in existence, an Olympic jumper wearing snowshoes, a Bigfoot track faker, a leaping cat of some kind, or the most interesting option, legitimate Bigfoot tracks!

In light of the more detailed, rigorous, and scientific Bigfoot investigations out there, the creature does seem to be a legitimate presence in the forest. Native American tribes had a name for the beast hundreds of years before the Weekly World News did. Whether these tracks were made by a Sasquatch, or not, you can decide. I'll be out hugging the trees with camera, camo, and science kit in hand! Am I on the receiving end of a prank? Could be. Regardless, it's still more fun than watching 400 channels of cable!

Andrew Williams / CritterZone.com
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