Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Providence Canyon

Providence Canyon, Utah, 2011

This report was given to me by a childhood friend who had his own encounter. He was with his sister, father and brother on a fire-wood gathering trip nearly 30 years ago.

I do not remember that he told me this story when we were children. I would have wanted to believe him, but I probably would not have. By then my fascination with Bigfoot was cemented clearly in my mind, and I would have remember ed the conversation clearly. Upon hearing his description a few years ago, and getting the location, I photographed there last winter. I will return this fall now that I have a better idea of how I want to portray this location. On to the story...

"It has been an interesting feeling reliving this incident after 30 years. I have only talked about it once or twice since it happened because it seems that Bigfoot encounters are not something to be discussed in polite company or amongst people that you want to keep as friends.

I cannot remember the exact year that that my encounter occurred, but I believe it was in 1979, when I was 10 years old. It was early on a cold fall morning in October or November. My father, older brother, younger sister and I bundled up in warm clothes to head up Providence Canyon to cut firewood for the wood-burning stove we kept in our basement.

At the top of the road up Providence Canyon is a large rock quarry. We drove along the road and as we arrived at the edge of the quarry we turned off the road to the right and drove cross-country for a couple of minutes until we were deep in a stand of trees that we were permitted to cut for firewood.

My dad used his chainsaw the cut the trees down and into sections. Once the sections were cut, my brother, sister, and I would take the cut pieces and stack them into the back of the truck as we had been shown how to do. Me, being around 10 years old, and my sister, being around 8 years old, quickly grew bored with the tedious and difficult (at least to us at that time) work.

We asked our dad if we could go play. Rather than having us around under foot and in the way, he gave us permission to play. He warned us not to go out of earshot so that we wouldn’t get lost on the mountain. We said that we were going to play in the quarry, and our dad told us not to climb the giant piles of gravel, because it could cause a slide and trap us.

After promising not to do anything dangerous, my sister and I walked the one or two hundred yards to the quarry. As we walked, we listened to the birds in the trees and talked and played games. When we arrived at the edge of the quarry, things began to change.

The first thing we noticed was how absolutely dead quiet it had become. The birds were no longer singing and nothing was moving. As we walked out of the edge of the tree line to the edge of the quarry, there was a small embankment of gravel, dirt, and small rocks leading up to a flat open area of knee-high grass and dirt. The sloping embankment was approximately 15 feet high.

My sister and I approached the embankment to climb up. We both immediately noticed that there were two fresh relatively evenly-spaced marks in the gravel and dirt diagonally up the embankment, which would make the impressions roughly 5 feet apart. We walked the last few steps to the embankment and began trudging up the embankment. We were curious about what could have made the marks. We assumed it was some sort of animal, but didn’t know exactly what.

When we got up to the first mark, it was immediately clear to us that that mark was an enormous footprint and that the footprint was pointing uphill. That seemed very strange because it would have to have been someone very huge to make such big prints and take such large strides.

Our curiosity led us to climb the remainder of the way to the top of the embankment. Our curiosity ended immediately upon reaching the top. Three things struck me instantly. One thing was a very strong, sour smell. Another thing was that there was a very large patch of grass and weeds that had been smashed down to look very much like a bed or nest. The final thing that struck me was a feeling of “wrongness.” I don’t know of any other way to describe the feeling other than it just felt “wrong” and like I had to get out of there.

My sister was also visibly frightened. Although I did not see anything, my sister said that she saw something brown run into the trees across the clearing (She later described it as a very large chestnut brown thing running on two legs). I had heard of bigfoot before that, but did not think about bigfoot at that time until my sister said that she saw something run into the trees. That is when I began to think of bigfoot.

I shouted “run,” and we ran down the embankment and back to my father and brother as fast as possible. I was shouting, and my sister was crying. I ran up to dad and shouted , “Dad! Dad! We saw something I think was bigfoot!” I tried to explain exactly what happened, but he was not particularly interested in what I was ranting about and dismissed it outright. We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon sitting in the cab of the pickup truck, not wanting to go outside and just wanting to go home.

We tried talking to mom and a few other people about it later, but no one would seriously listen to us. Thus, we have kept the story between us for the past 30 years, but we know what we saw that day."


The location is the gravel pit up Providence Canyon in Cache Valley, Utah. An easy drive in the summer, a super huge pain in the winter when it's snowing. Ask me how I know...


  1. You have outdone yourself with this image. Good story, great image.

  2. wow! felt like I was there all over again! thanks for telling our story. I am no longer ashamed to let our experience be heard.

  3. Dawn, Yeah. It took Mike about a year of prodding and pushing before I finally gave him the full story in writring.... I still find it interesting that I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning or where I parked, but we can remember something so clearly that happened over 30 years ago. I was telling Mike the other day that I have never been back to that gravel pit (or anywhere up Providence Canyon, for that matter) since that day, and I really don't want to, either.