Willow Creek sits along the Trinity River. Residents of this small mountain town are commonly referred to as "Willow Creekers". It is the Bigfoot capital of the world, and holds an annual festival in honor of the creature. Willow Creek is described as a “rugged mountain community nestled in the heart of the Six Rivers National Forest.” This area of California is located in the Trinity/Shasta/Cascade Region, near the Oregon border, and is easily reached via State Routes 96 and 299. The upper Trinity River offers a classic Class III run with moderate rapids, followed by the Burnt Ranch Gorge, which is one of the toughest runs in the entire state.
The region is the location of the Willow Creek American Viticultural Area. Organic gardens and vineries abound and welcome travelers to try their wares.
Willow Creek was served for many decades by the weekly Kourier newspaper, which closed in 2006 and was quickly replaced by the Bigfoot Valley News also based in Willow Creek.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 204.5 square miles (529.7 km²), of which, 204.4 square miles (529.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (0.07%) is water.
Willow Creek's first non-indigenous settlers were Chinese laborers from the mining and lumber camps, which earned the town the name China Flat. The China Flat post office opened in 1878, and changed its name to Willow Creek in 1915.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,743 people, 772 households, and 481 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 8.5 people per square mile (3.3/km²). There were 1,099 housing units at an average density of 5.4/sq mi (2.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 81.81% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 9.52% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.34% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 5.79% from two or more races. 5.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 772 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 21.8% from 25 to 44, 30.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 101.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.4 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $27,276, and the median income for a family was $35,720. Males had a median income of $33,375 versus $27,955 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,664. About 10.3% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.8% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Willow Creek is located in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Pat Wiggins, and in the 1st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Patty Berg. Federally, Willow Creek is located in California's 1st congressional district.