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Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Clallam County > Report # 28739
Report # 28739  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Saturday, January 22, 2011.
Hikers find large barefoot prints on the Elwha River Trail
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YEAR: 2011

SEASON: Winter

MONTH: January

DATE: 16

STATE: Washington

COUNTY: Clallam County

LOCATION DETAILS: About a mile and a half into the Elwha River Trail.

NEAREST TOWN: Port Angeles, WA

NEAREST ROAD: Whiskey Bend Rd.

OBSERVED: My three friends and fellow soldiers recently spent a three day camping trip into Olympic National Forest Elwha River Trail. We had to return to cell coverage, so myself and my buddy headed out of the forest and north on the main trailhead.

The night before was a heavy thunder storm so the trail was very muddy. I was a leading us out and stumbled upon a very clear muddy print of a left foot. I wear a size 11 mens boot and to me this was clearly a size 14-15. The print seemed recent and had clearly defined toes and arch. We only had a cellphone to take the picture with and regrettably only took the one. The tracks, that seemed to be from the same source (none as clearly defined), went on heading north on the trail an additional 25-30 feet.

That night we decided it was in our best interest with the horrible weather to make camp at one of the historical cabins on the trail. We retrofitted a poncho in one of the open windows to shelter us from the rain and wind. We secured it by weighing the bottom half down with a 2x2 piece of wood. During the heaviest gusts of wind it seemed to hold up.

At approx 0100 hrs the tarp was opened and something knocked the piece of wood onto one of my fellow campers. Being woken up by this, I saw the tarp movement with no wind source being observed. These events could have easily been a bear... I do note, however, that the large garbage bag that was littered with foodstuff was untouched throughout the night. I include these occurrences to make sure and give you a thorough recording of events substantial or not.

ALSO NOTICED: *See above incident report

OTHER WITNESSES: One other witness.

OTHER STORIES: None from a direct witness source.

ENVIRONMENT: Forest with heavy rainfall last 24 hrs.

Click this link to view a photograph of the footprint.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:

The witness was contacted on 1/23/11. He was very cooperative, and was happy to send me the photograph of the footprint.

The witness noted that at this time, the road that led to the Elwha River Trail was closed, making the journey from the ranger station to the trailhead a four or five mile walk. The prints were found another one and a half miles down the trail.

Taking into consideration the location and the weather conditions, it is unlikely that a person was going barefoot on that trail. The witness told me that the only people he saw on the entire trip were walking in as he was walking out on the road after the weather had cleared a bit.

The quality of the footprint photograph isn't great, but it isn't bad either. To avoid confusion with the larger impression, I have outlined the footprint. Click the link above to see the print.

Using the witness' 12 inch boot as scale (the witness measured it for me while we were on the phone), the footprint is approximately 13 inches long.

About BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music (Guitar) -- Cal. State Long Beach
  • Professional educator with more than a decade of experience.
  • Attended many public BFRO expeditions since 2005 (Redwoods, Sierras, Arizona, Southern California, Vancouver Island, Mendocino).
  • Attended and/or led numerous non-public BFRO expeditions (CA: Bluff Creek, Blue Creek, Stanislaus NF; WA: Stevens Pass, Olympic Peninsula, Gifford Pinchot Nat'l Forest; Ohio: Beaver Creek; Florida: Green Swamp)
  • Led the 2007 and 2008 California Sierra Nevadas Expedition (public), and the Oregon Expedition (public) in June 2008
  • Can be reached at

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