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Caution: Rattlesnakes in the Area. The Reality of Arizona Hiking and What to do 

Posted on March 16, 2017 at 12:35 AM

Caution: Rattlesnakes in the Area. The Reality of Arizona Hiking and What to do 



Rattlesnakes in the area is a common reality for anyone hiking or backpacking through Arizona, but most don’t consider while rattlesnakes are common and likely seen at some point while in the mountains, Arizona Rattlesnakes do not hunt humans. You should have higher concern for the carnivorous wildlife. Especially those that out rank us in weight and size. 


When you talk to hikers and backpackers on the trails of Arizona the answers vary. Some have seen many snakes and others after a couple of years of hiking have yet to see one. Spring is always a prevalent time in Central Arizona for snake sightings. They seek the sun and enjoy the new warmer temps after the cold winter. We find these are the months where those that haven’t seen many will find their first. The important factor to remember is, rattlesnakes want nothing to do with you. Nothing at all. 

 What Do I Do If I Ever See A Rattlesnake?


If you ever see a rattlesnake, on the trail, or anywhere else it's definitely not because they wanted to meet you. Snakes often find crevices and boulders to curl up with. They use their camouflage color to blend with the surroundings, and understand their environment by the vibrations of the ground. It is always best to avoid the snake completely. Find a different route and slowly pass.


IMPORTANT 

  • Stay on trail, walk the center of a trail with tall grass. 
  • Always watch where you place your hands and feet.
  • Never poke, hook, or approach a rattlesnake.
  • If spotted - Stop immediately. Slowly back away to find a clear route. 
  • A rattlesnake will alert you with its rattle the moment is feels threatened and if allowed the opportunity it will create a clear and purposeful warning before ever striking.
  • *70% of Rattlesnake bites occur when a human attempts to capture the venomous snake.
  • Common courtesy is to alert anyone you may see further down the trail that you have spotted a snake and the approximate location. 

 


When taking kids on the trail: Talk to your kids about the reality, but remember Arizona Rattlesnakes do not hunt humans.  Watch a YouTube video and have everyone listen to the sound of a live rattlesnake as it rattles. We find this is the best approach so ultimately everyone is very aware. Lastly, remember to always be alert to where you place your hands and feet. Check your resting spot before getting too comfortable. 

Editor’s Note: If you travel backcountry trails we always suggest you travel with an emergency beacon and a trekking pole. If you have an emergency, including snake bite both will offer significant life saving help. After any venomous snake bite receiving immediate medical treatment is imperative.

 


Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Categories: Hiking, Travel

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7 Comments

Reply Nicole Anderson
5:28 PM on March 15, 2017 
This is fantastic advice and put into great context. You don't need to be freaked out as a hiker because rattlesnakes are not out to 'get you'. However, exercising some caution in the way you have outlined so well, is definitely the way to go.
Reply Natasha
11:46 PM on March 15, 2017 
I can't imagine me being calm when I would come across a rattlesnake. I hiked all over the desert in Utah and have yet to see the rattlesnake. Great post!
Reply Allison Rutley
7:21 AM on March 16, 2017 
Great tips. I grew up in rattlesnake country but never started hiking till I was older and had moved away.
Reply Mountain Matron
10:22 PM on March 23, 2017 
We hope it helps!


Nicole Anderson says...
This is fantastic advice and put into great context. You don't need to be freaked out as a hiker because rattlesnakes are not out to 'get you'. However, exercising some caution in the way you have outlined so well, is definitely the way to go.
Reply Mountain Matron
10:24 PM on March 23, 2017 
Thank you!


Natasha says...
I can't imagine me being calm when I would come across a rattlesnake. I hiked all over the desert in Utah and have yet to see the rattlesnake. Great post!
Reply Mountain Matron
10:26 PM on March 23, 2017 
Thank you :)

Allison Rutley says...
Great tips. I grew up in rattlesnake country but never started hiking till I was older and had moved away.
Reply Rachel Freer
11:13 PM on May 19, 2017 
Our favorite activities are hiking, biking and playing at the beach.