Rattlesnake on 14ers?

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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by CORed »

Rattlesnakes are quite common in the lower foothills. The higher you get, the rarer they get. I've heard enough stories of them having been seen at 9,000 or even 10,000 feet to think that there may be a few that high, but I suspect on most 14er routes, you have a much higher chance of being struck by lightning, or even being gored by a mountain goat, than you do of being bitten by a rattlesnake.
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by Monster5 »

The only encounter I've had on a 13er/14er jaunt was near the Horn Peak TH on the east side of the Sangres. Those 2WD THs are often just under 9K.

-Green Mountain, Dakota, and Matthews Winters; frequently where the trails are near the gulches May - Sept.
-Apex, Chimney Gulch, Falcon, White Ranch, Galbraith; frequently on the sunnier front sides within a mile of the TH. Never up in the forests.
-NTM/STM; everywhere May - Oct. Luckily, most trails are wide open and it is easy to spot them so not a big deal.
-Clear Creek Canyon; everywhere June - Sept
-Boulder; frequently by the NCAR mesa and watertank. Rarely elsewhere.
-Morrison; frequently May - Nov. I avoid this during the hot months except early AM or after storms.

They've never been a problem for me, but I do avoid racing or taking my dog on some trails in summer.
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by wineguy »

I've hiked many times in the Davis Mountains and Guadalupe's of TX in the shoulder season, March, April, November, and December. I think both could be rattlesnake country. When off-trail I've often worn Crocodile gaiters to protect thorny underbrush from tearing up my pants. Any opinions about whether a rattlesnake could bite through these gaiters? (I've never seen a rattler in the wild though have hiked hundreds of miles in NM, AZ, and TX)
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by bluegrassclimber »

Rattlesnakes are also pretty common in Douglas Co and El Paso Co, for those asking about non-14er hikes. My 10yr old came across this juvenile in October at Castlewood Canyon.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2hhmf70xig0r ... M.jpg?dl=0

As others have said, very very unlikely above 9000ft.
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by XterraRob »

Is it considered disrespectful to others hikers if you hike with your pet Rattlesnake (off leash) ?
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by timisimaginary »

XterraRob wrote: Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:10 am Is it considered disrespectful to others hikers if you hike with your pet Rattlesnake (off leash) ?
no, you should always keep your snake on a leash. better yet, use the snake as a leash for your dog.
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by ker0uac »

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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by cougar »

carrying a 6 foot snake is good for measuring and keeping distancing

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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by Vincopotamus »

I'm surprised no one has reported sightings of the all too ubiquitous Cornback Rattler. Especially common along popular 14er routes without an outhouse at the TH.
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by 719BR »

it's important to remember, it doesn't matter if it's a 14er, a 13er, a 12er, or whatever, it's the trailhead elevation that matters. the lower the trailhead, the more likely to see a rattlesnake, no matter how unlikley the overall chance is of running into one. so don't fool yourself into a false sense of security by thinking "oh it's a 14er, i'm good," because you wouldn't run into them on the summit, it would be much lower.
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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by jibler »

Climate Change may someday change this dynamic.

Changing ocean levels, climate zones etc.

Oh you'll be dodging snakes all the way up people.

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Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by E_A_Marcus_949 »

Generally lower elevations, as stated earlier, have more chance for rattlers. Foothills for sure - Morrison, ElDo, Boulder even, Golden for sure. Sunny and warm spots... even be weary of grassy areas and areas covered in sticks - they blend in well. Watch between rocks, don't go sticking your hands in places or letting dogs sniff around a lot where you can't see. Be alert. There are rattlesnake/snake training courses for dogs that may be useful. I've heard good things in general but don't know specific places.

On another note... Someone mentioned finding and keeping one as a pet ... it's a wild animal. Leave it where it is and don't take it out of it's habitat please.
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