Where do you see rattlesnakes?

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big_load
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Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by big_load » Apr 14 2005 9:27 pm

Over the last few years I've read everything about posted on this forum about rattlesnakes, and most of what I could find in the library, but I still feel deficient in knowledge of their behavior. OK, so here's the question:

Where do you see rattlesnakes?

I have most often seen them basking in open sunny spots on the trail, laying in gravel, rockpiles, or leaf trash on the side of the trail, and of course in the road.

Where else do you see them? If I made a living ambushing rodents, I would hang out in those places where bushes (creosote, mesquite, scrub oak, willow) have overgrown the sides of the trail and there's little footprints in the dust. I always make plenty of noise entering these areas, and lead with my poles, and though I've never seen a snake in one of these areas, I get really nervous about pushing my way through overgrown trails. Am I nuts?

By the way, I live about a mile from a major timber rattlesnake and copperhead den. I see two or three live ones every year, and half a dozen flat ones. My AZ hiking is mostly in cooler weather, but I have had a few close encounters.

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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert » Mar 18 2007 4:12 pm

I haven't seen one yet this year. I was really expecting to yesterday though, up on the back side of four peaks caching water for a hike later this week. We were off trail and there were lizards out and about everywhere, never did come across one though.

I've seen a ton out in the superstitions. I even came across a green mojave in la barge once. I've been buzzed at more times than I can count. I've even been struck at a couple times (moving too fast, too quietly and snuck up on the poor little guys). I know that a lot of people like the snake-proof gaiters but I think they're uncesscesary, considering how many snakes I've encountered and not been bit by, I have to figure that they are overkill, even off-trail.
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chumley
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by chumley » Jun 04 2007 2:54 pm

Most of the comments here focus on desert locales. I'd like to add to the question and ask how far north (high elevations) in Arizona people have encountered rattlers. I once happened upon one on the Horton Creek Trail (5500 ft) in some tall grass near the creek. Was a beautiful AZ Black Rattlesnake making plenty of noise (which my yellow lab was not particularly fond of). Anybody seen them above the Rim, Flagstaff, Pinetop, White Mtns? If so, where and what time of year/times of day?
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by PaleoRob » Jun 04 2007 11:23 pm

I've only seen one here in Marble Canyon (alive, in the wild, in person), but I know they're found both on top of the Paria Plateau (~5000 feet or so), as well as in Snake Gulch on the Kaibab.
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by Hoffmaster » Jun 05 2007 7:12 am

I bunny-hopped a rattlesnake on my mtn bike in Gallup, NM over the Memorial Day weekend. That sucker is lucky, cause I was cruising! I got off my bike and got a sweet pic of him coiled up under a bush. If someone could tell me how to include a pic in my post, I'll put the pic up. Thanks.
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by joebartels » Jun 05 2007 7:38 am

While composing a new post...
Below the "Save-Preview-Submit" buttons are two tabs, click "Upload attachment"
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by Hoffmaster » Jun 05 2007 6:22 pm

Cool! Thanks Joe!
Here's that snake.
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domromer
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by domromer » Jun 21 2007 6:51 am

I once saw 3 on the hike down to Fossil Springs. All three were very aggressive and took ages to move off the trail. It made for a nervous hike back up. I just moved up to Oregon and Rattlers are about the only thing I don't misss about AZ.
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by PrestonSands » Jun 06 2008 11:57 pm

Falling into this might ruin your day (a rattlesnake den near Oracle (not my pics))
rattlesnake den01.jpg
rattlesnake den02.jpg
rattlesnake den03.jpg
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by Dschur » Jun 07 2008 8:11 am

That is one scary picture! :o
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Re:

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Jun 07 2008 8:17 am

davis2001r6 wrote:Got buzzed by a black western rattlesnake by the creek going into Haunted Canyon yesterday. he gave me plenty of warning.
For those of us that are a little bit older than most HAZ members, listening for the buzz of the rattlesnake often doesn't do us much good as we can't hear it. Once I was standing within one foot of a rather large rattler and not only did not hear him but did not see him. My fellow hikers all began shouting which got my attention to the situation. The rattler was coiled and I quickly put my rather large hiking stick into the middle of the coil and swung him high and hopefully over the creek I was standing next to. But he was so heavy that he landed in the water and swam right back to me. I picked him up again and threw him once more but still he landed in the water. When he swam back to me this time I really put all my muscle into it and this time he landed on the other side of the stream onto wet hard sand. That knocked the wind out of him and apparently he decided that he had had enough and did not return. My hiking partners were in shock that I would attempt to throw him as I did and especially three times but I wanted as much distance between myself and that viper as possible. And it was amazing how fast he could swim! :o
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Jim_H
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by Jim_H » Jun 07 2008 8:47 am

It must be that I live and hike in areas that are too cold for them thar snakes, because I never see them. In fact, I haven't seen one in 5 years. The last time was in the Ocala National Forest in Florida. It must have been at least 6 feet long and very fat. I have never seen anything other than small reptiles in the Flagstaff area. I've been out in areas that you would expect to see them, like rocky habitats on Woody Ridge, but I never did see any. I see plenty of Elk, Mule Dear, and recently, even Pronghorn. Yet, for some reason I never see snakes. I would think its just too cold up here, it was 33 for the low two nights ago, and the earth is still pretty cold.
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by cathymocha » Jun 07 2008 9:21 am

Falling into this might ruin your day (a rattlesnake den near Oracle (not my pics))
These pics have been all over the internet and have been attributed to many places. Apparently the most believeable is that these photos were taken in Rider, Wyoming.

Wherever these viper pits are I don't want anything to do with them. :scared:

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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by joebartels » Jun 07 2008 9:34 am

Grand, Rachelle won't be tagging along anywhere between Wyoming and Oracle now! :lol:

There was two at Squaw right on trail on Thursday a half hour before sunset. Yesterday saw three chuckwallas just after ten am which seems to be optimal for them. One was huge. Almost looked like baby godzilla climbing a wall. The movements were flop chunky as seen in early 1900's cinema.
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by big_load » Jun 08 2008 8:04 am

The place I saw that attributed to was near Morenci. I did see one with the same coloration on the Safford-Morenci Trail pretty high up in late November. He was in the shade of a bush, only a foot off the trail and didn't buzz until I was practically on top of him.

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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by Tortoise_Hiker » Aug 15 2008 1:59 pm

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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by wallyfrack » Aug 15 2008 3:21 pm

I don't see rattlesnakes, I hear them after I almost step on them. :-s
That usually happens in the Superstitions.

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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by domromer » Sep 28 2008 12:50 pm

I just moved back to the desert and I see them almost every hike. Last weeks I'm walking down the tail and it get real narrow and the sides some up to about chest high. I mention to my wife I would not like to see a rattler here as it would the perfect height to get struck on the face. Not a second after the last word comes out of my mouth a loud buzzing starts I look all around and can't see the snake anywhere on the ridge next to us. Then I look down and see there is a hole in the cliff face at knee height about 10" away. The snake is in the hole buzzing away. Why the snaked buzzed my when it was snug in an overhang totally unseen I do not know.

That same hike we got a little lost and ended up a couple miles from the trail head after dark. I happened to bring a petzel and but the batteries were nearly dead. So were hauling ass with a super weak light trying to get off the trail before the batteries die. We come flying around a corner and nearly step on a huge western diamondback right in the middle of the trail. I didn't want to wait for him to move off trail and I wasn't about to go bush wacking, so I threw a couple rocks at his tail he slowly slithered off the trail and he was HUGE easily as thick as my wrist. We finally get back to the trailhead and hop on our bikes and begin the loop back to the park entrance. On the 4 mile ride we came across 4 snakes and all were rattlers.

I don't know what it is but I must attract rattlers. I'd say on all our hikes 90% of the snakes we see are rattlers. I can't stand the things. I'd be perfectly happy never to see one again. Every time we come across one in the road my wife wants to jump out and take pics. I don't even want to get out of the car. I don't even like driving near them. I think there going to jump up into the car and bite me when I get out at my house.

I like all other snakes but rattlers. I'd never hurt one but I just would rather not see them.
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by JoelHazelton » Sep 28 2008 2:59 pm

Domromer- on what trail did you see the 4? I basically expect to see them when I hike in low elevations this time of year and I get surprised when I don't.
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by nonot » Sep 28 2008 3:19 pm

I'm starting to notice more snakes. Only one has ever rattled at me in over 600 miles of trails and such and it was near a stream after I upset a big rock. I wonder how many I have walked within feet of that I never saw. I'm guessing my unusual stride or pole use make my feet or hiking poles vibrate the ground in an manner to give them extra warning to scram?? Or else I'm so quiet I never disturb them in the first place to upset them :-s ?
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Re: Where do you see rattlesnakes?

Post by domromer » Sep 28 2008 8:17 pm

azpride wrote:Domromer- on what trail did you see the 4? I basically expect to see them when I hike in low elevations this time of year and I get surprised when I don't.
I only actually saw 2 on trail, which was the Loma Verde loop at Saguaro National Park. The 4 rattlers were seen on the road that loops through the park.
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