June 1987-88, Noon
Nearest City, Jasper, Jasper National Park
Closest water: Smokey River or Twin Tree Lake
I didn’t see a creature but some very clear tracks that obliquely crossed the mud of the North Boundary Trail in Jasper National Park. I was on a solo-backpacking trip into the North Boundary Country in 1987 or 1988 and I had been hiking for about a week and had not seen anyone in this time except mule deer, grizzly bears, wapiti, and many small animals.
It was very early in the season and I was likely the first person be on the trail that year as I had seen no sign of people previous to me not even any evidence of anyone through nearly five feet of snow on the Snake Indian Pass.
Anyway, I think this was just a few kilometres past Twin Tree Lake (I’m not exactly sure of the location) and I was coming out of some heavy bush and going on a slight downward slope toward a boggy area when I came across several large human footprints crossing the trail and going into the bush on the other side heading toward the boggy area.
It was probably near mid-day and the weather was warm and sunny and I was a little weary from the heavy hiking; the prints were very fresh (the ridges between the toes being still damp compared to the wetness of the rest of the prints); there was no debris in the prints despite the breeze and debris on other parts of the trail; the prints had probably been made within the previous 45 minutes.
They were very human looking footprints considerably larger than my own with five clearly defined toes and evidence of toe movement and what appeared to be dermal ridges and cracks in the skin of the foot: they were hourglass shaped and very much larger than even the grizzly bear paw prints that had been planted over my own fresh boot prints a couple of days before.
I took no pictures of these human-like footprints (due to my incredible stupidity). For some reason all I could think of was, “Stupid Park Wardens! Walking around without boots in this kind of country!”
It wasn’t until I had walked about another kilometer or two that it occurred to me how immensely silly my assessment of the prints actually were and that I had probably been looking at very fresh sasquatch footprints.
That knowledge certainly put a spring in my step to put as much distance between myself and the area that I’d seen the prints as possible. I saw nothing else unusual or uncanny during the rest of the trip.
The terrain was heavy bush breaking up into a boggy area. There were mountains all around. I have told very few people and request anonymity.