Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
Forum rules
  • This is a mountaineering forum, so please keep your posts on-topic. Posts do not all have to be related to the 14ers but should at least be mountaineering-related.
  • Personal attacks and confrontational behavior will result in removal from the forum at the discretion of the administrators.
  • Do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website.
  • Posts will be removed at the discretion of the site administrator or moderator(s), including: Troll posts, posts pushing political views or religious beliefs, and posts with the purpose of instigating conflict within the forum.
For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
Posts: 547
Joined: 8/30/2016
Trip Reports (0)

Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by ker0uac »

New dog owner here, so for the first time actually paying attention to rattlesnakes. I have never had an encounter with one, so wondering if anyone knows of 14er trails where rattlesnake danger is above normal?
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
User avatar
Posts: 2471
Joined: 5/20/2013
Trip Reports (0)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by SkaredShtles »

Posts: 7
Joined: 9/6/2018
Trip Reports (0)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by ahogling »

Research by a Colorado naturalist who advises a hiking safety course at CMC indicates rattlesnakes are not found above 9000 feet. Your dog should be fine.
User avatar
Posts: 1441
Joined: 7/30/2007
14ers: 58  8 
13ers: 271 35
Trip Reports (12)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by Tornadoman »

I know that rattlesnakes have been encountered by people bushwhacking to get to the lower portions of the SW ridge of Little Bear, as well as on lower portions of Lake Como Road. I have never heard of them being seen on any other 14er trails/approaches.
Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 9484
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 58  16 
13ers: 50 13
Trip Reports (16)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by Scott P »

Some people report seeing them on the Barr Trail. That's the only time I have heard of them on a 14er route (at least before this thread mentioning SW Ridge Little Bear/Lake Como Road).
I'm old, slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
Posts: 785
Joined: 4/23/2012
14ers: 58  4 
13ers: 91
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by Dan_Suitor »

I once came across a Bull Snake higher up, but never a rattler. Bull snakes look and act a lot like rattle snakes but are not venomous. Colorado does have plenty of rattlers though so be careful with your dog if you are hiking in one of the areas where they are known to live.
Century Bound, eventually.
Posts: 28
Joined: 4/26/2015
Trip Reports (0)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by Harmit »

An initial vaccination, booster in 2 weeks then yearly...Should cost 20 to 40 per vaccine at most clinics (more in Denver perhaps?). The more vaccines under your belt, the better circulating antibody levels.
User avatar
Posts: 252
Joined: 2/4/2016
14ers: 58  38  18 
13ers: 183 43 14
Trip Reports (0)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by pfiore1 »

CaptCO wrote: Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:25 pm
Interesting, any idea what the shelf life is? Assuming it’s not very cheap
My girls received rattlesnake vaccine for several years while living and hiking in a rattlesnake dense area. The vaccine shelf life is only pertinent to the veterinarian administering it, so it doesn't matter to the dog owner. The first shot requires a booster shot two weeks later, then just one shot a year. It is not a vaccine like a virus vaccine, it doesn't always work and it doesn't cover all rattlesnake venoms. The best it can do is slightly reduce the reaction and lengthen the time one has to get their bitten dog to a vet to receive anti-venom. The vaccine does not cover all the rattlesnake species present in Colorado, you'll have to check with your vet to find out which species it is for.

I can't remember exactly the cost, but I think it was $30 per dog once a year for a 60 pound dog. There are training courses for dogs/owners to help avoid rattlesnake bites which is probably more valuable than the vaccine. Although, the vaccine plus training is the best option if hiking in rattlesnake country is unavoidable.
Dissent Is Patriotic

Support your local Search and Rescue agency. Be safe and respect your wilderness.

Custer County Search and Rescue, Inc... https://www.custersar.org

Custer County SAR Facebook... https://www.facebook.com/CusterSAR/?fref=photo

Colorado Search and Rescue... https://coloradosar.org

CORSAR Fund... https://cdola.colorado.gov/funding-prog ... escue-fund
Posts: 442
Joined: 7/3/2015
14ers: 9 
Trip Reports (0)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by AndrewLyonsGeibel »

I have seen a couple on the lower portion, maybe first two miles, of Barr Trail and one by the 2wd trailhead going up toward South Colony Lakes. Not 14ers, but I’ve also seen one kinda near the flatirons in boulder and several at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
User avatar
Posts: 4483
Joined: 8/28/2010
14ers: 58  8 
13ers: 138
Trip Reports (40)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by justiner »

They're all over the place near the Flatirons/Eldo. But that's certainly not 14er territory.
Long May You Range! Purveyors of fine bespoke adventures
User avatar
Posts: 1511
Joined: 6/16/2010
Trip Reports (0)

Re: Rattlesnake on 14ers?

Post by mtree »

Although its possible to find the occasional rattler in a microclimate above 7000 feet or so, they're extremely rare. I live around 8000 feet and have NEVER seen one on my property!

I wouldn't worry about it. Your chances of seeing one above 9000 feet is close to zero. The only trailheads that come to mind with climates that might support a rattler is the lower parts of Lake Como road and the lower section of Barr Trail due to its elevation. Can't think of any others I'd worry about.

Last thought, although the San Luis trailhead LOOKS like a good climate to support rattlesnakes I think its too high and too cold. Same with the Willow Creek trailhead area.
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
Post Reply