Snakes on the Trail
Rattlesnakes in our area are the Great Basin rattlesnake (Utah Conservation Data Center) , a subspecies of the western rattlesnake.
If you encounter a rattlesnake (Utah Division of WIldlife Resources) while hiking:
- Remain calm. Do not panic.
- Stay at least five feet from the snake. Give the rattlesnake plenty of space.
- Do not try to kill the snake. Doing so is illegal and greatly increases the chance the snake will bite you. Most venomous bites happen when untrained people try to kill or harass a snake. Usually, the snake is simply moving through the area, sunning itself or looking for a place to hide. If you leave the snake alone, it will leave you alone.
- Alert people to the snake's location. Advise them to use caution and to respect the snake. Keep children and pets away
One should ALWAYS seek medical attention if bitten, but the danger of rattlesnake bite is actually quite low.
- Few people actually are bitten by snakes - the risk of getting bitten in Utah is about 1 in 50,000
- If bitten in the U.S., the overall risk of dying is less than 1/10 of 1%
- Rattlesnakes may inject only a little venom, or none, when they bite
- Most snakebite victims were handling or harrassing the snake
For more information:
- A snake in the grass: Rattler bites rare in Northern Utah, but hikers should still be aware (Logan Herald Journal)
- The Truth About Snakebite (Life is short but snakes are long)
- Dispelling the Snakebite Myth (Wilderness, UT)
- Treat a snakebite (Backpacker)
- Snakebites: First aid (Mayo Clinic)
Rattlesnake on the Crimson Trail (Cache Hikers video)
Gopher snakes resemble rattlesnakes. Although harmless, gopher snakes may agressivley hiss or vibrate their tail when threatened.
The docile rubber boa (Wikipedia), a small member of the boa family, may be found along our trails.
Rubber boa along the Crimson Trail