A friend posted some pictures to Facebook the other day with the exclamation “I’m done hiking Badger Mountain this season!” Because she ran into 3 snakes along the trail.
I totally get the fear and fright associated with snakes. I was thinking about this and how so many people have the same, reasonable reaction. I wanted anyone who has this fear to be able to continue hiking, even though the snakes are now out and enjoying our warm, sunny days.
I was on a new hike and the thought popped into my head, as I was walking along surrounded by butterflies (really, see the post here!), I realized this hike would be great for anyone who gets squeemish or just plain freaked out at the sight of a slithery snake.
There are several hikes where snakes simply aren’t a worry and you can feel perfectly safe enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. These are hikes with wide trails or, they are even graveled roads which are mainly only used by hikers. These wide trails, like Johnson Butte, Jump-off Joe or Zintel Canyon (see more suggestions below), make it easy to recognize if a snake may be in your pathway way before it has a chance to frighten you or even present any potential for danger!
See additional tips for safe hiking during snake season below
Now, there are many trails that would not provide this level of safety and you should probably avoid if you have ophidiophobia (fear of snakes). The trails on Badger Mountain, White Bluffs, McBee Hill, Red Mountain, or Candy Mountain are all fairly narrow and give snakes a chance to be hidden in the brush.
Free Guide on Overcoming “Snake-a-phobia”
As I was researching for this blog post, I found a web site which might be helpful if you have snake anxiety. While your fear of snakes may be a good thing as it can help keep you safe from these critters, you don’t want to be crippledand homebound because the warm weather is here. You can find this helpful web site by clicking here. I have no affiliation with this site or financial interest in you clicking on this link, I just thought it would be helpful. there is even a free guide you can download.
Hiking Safe During Snake Season
There are several safety tips I suggest whether you are ophidiophobic or not. These are prudent measures which can help keep you safe from snakes which can be dangerous and even deadly like this rattlesnake I nearly stepped on near Rattlesnake Mountain.
Hike during the cooler parts of the day. Snakes like to warm their bodies in the sunshine. Hiking in the evening or early in the morning helps you avoid their favorite part of the day.
Wear appropriate clothing, especially hiking boots with a higher top (there are even snake chaps if you really want to put on some armor but I think they are overkill!)
Hike with a hiking pole or staff. This can be handy to redirect snakes if you happen to come across one suddenly.
Stay on established trails. For the simple reason that you are more likely to see snakes with plenty of time to avoid them. If you go cross-country, you could step on a snake that is obscured by brush.
Carry a cell phone to call for help if someone isn’t hiking as snake savvy as you are and you happen to come across a mishap.