Are you a fan of Forteana? Strange phenomena, unusual events and unexplained flying objects are certainly fun to talk about around a campfire, but did you know you can actually go camping in or near the hot spots of these anomalies? Pack up your good camera and maybe a proton pack and let’s head out.
1. Bigfoot, Willow Creek, California
According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, three out of 10 Americans believe that the large hairy humanoid is real. He (or she) is said to roam everywhere from Pennsylvania to Florida. However, the best place to see the creature might be where the tallest trees grow. Willow Creek, California, near Redwood National Park and the famous Avenue of the Giants has had a multitude of Bigfoot sightings over the decades. The town even has a celebration of the beast; the Bigfoot Jamboree is held every Labor Day weekend.
Bring your protective RV to the Boise Creek Campground, run by the USFS. Sites cost only $10 a night and the campground includes amenities like the nearby Trinity River, water and toilets. You are limited to camping from May to October, but you do need to give the big beast some breathing room the rest of the year.
2. UFOs, Rachel, Nevada
Most people know that UFOs tend to congregate in the American Southwest. The main base of operation for these flying saucers seems to be Area 51 of the Edwards Air Force Base in southern Nevada. The 23×25 mile area of restricted airspace does not allow outside visitors, but you can go camping in the nearby town of Rachel.
Rachel has become famous on its own by embracing UFO lovers and even has a hotel and restaurant named the Little A’Le’Inn. Essentially located in the middle of nowhere, Rachel has few amenities and no gas station. However, you can camp at the inn’s RV park with full hookups. If you don’t see any strange lights in the sky, the inn does provide a limited tour of Area 51 along the Extraterrestrial Highway.
3. Mothman, Point Pleasant, West Virginia
A man-sized black creature with large wings and red eyes is said to periodically visit the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Named the Mothman by residents and by John Keel in his book, The Mothman Prophecies, the creature is said to foretell supernatural events.
The pretty town of Point Pleasant holds an annual Mothman Festival every September and it even sports the Mothman Museum and Research Center. The town’s Old Town Campground is open from April to October and has 53 sites, many with cement pads and patios. Bring your fishing pole for the local pond and your night vision goggles for sightings of the Mothman.
4. Windigo, Lake Superior, Minnesota
Many legends exist of the man-eating Windigo (also Wendigo) feared by the Algonquin people of the Great Lakes. It’s said to have been a human who resorted to cannibalism and turned into a large, thin creature with glowing eyes and long fangs. Another legend says that it’s a native warrior who made a deal with the Devil. No matter where it came from, legends of the creature are rich around Isle Royale of Lake Superior.
You can’t bring your RV to Isle Royale National Park, but you can camp at various campgrounds in Wisconsin or Minnesota and take a boat out to the island. A beautiful campground nearby is the Judge C.R. Magney State Park near Grand Marais in Minnesota. The campground has 27 sites, a waterfall and the day use area is actually open year round—whether or not the Windigo is around.
5. Skinwalker Ranch, Ballard, Utah
RVers who delve deeply into the unexplained are certain to be familiar with Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. The ranch has had visits from everything from Navaho skinwalkers, UFOs and glowing orbs to massive wolves and cryptids.
The ranchers have even reported cattle mutilations and disembodied voices. The land is privately owned by Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace, but you can camp nearby at several campgrounds. One of the nicest is Whiterocks Campground. Located at 7,500 feet in elevation, the campground has 21 sites that only cost $8 per night per site. While at the campfire, keep your eye out for those glowing orbs.