DO’S AND DON’TS OF HIKING IN RATTLESNAKE TERRITORY

DO:  KNOW YOUR AREA.  WHERE DO SNAKES LIVE, AND ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

In the area where we live, there is only one venomous snake, the prairie rattlesnake. I’ve learned which parks tend to be their favorites and save the particularly snakey spots for hikes in the colder months. I also avoid hiking with young children or toddlers in the areas that are most heavily loaded with snakes that can’t easily be spotted. Fortunately, in Colorado, rattlesnakes don’t get above around 9,000 feet, so I can pretty much avoid them by heading up high during the warmer months.

DO:  CHOOSE WIDE, POPULAR TRAILS IN AREAS WHERE SNAKES ARE A CONCERN

During snake season, particularly if I am hiking with my kids, I try to choose wider trails where we can more easily spot a rattlesnake. They are also less likely to be on crowded trails, so picking a busier place also lowers the chance of a close snake encounter. They want to avoid us!! I also try to stay away from rocky areas where I might not be able to see where I’m putting my hands or feet.

Black-tailed RattlesnakeBlack-tailed Rattlesnake

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