Let me start by saying this is not meant to frighten anyone. I truly hope you will still get outdoors and be active even though snakes are out. Please read this article I wrote on hiking safer even in snake country.
I was on a mountain bike ride this morning, almost at the end. I started by climbing up the Skyline Trail from the Dallas Road trailhead. I climbed the steep trail to the top, stopped for a picture, and then went down the Sagebrush trail to meet the new Langdon trail and took Langdon back to the Dallas Road trailhead. I was only a couple hundred yards from the parking lot when a snake slithered across the trail in front of me. I quickly applied the brakes and dismounted. I kept my bike between me and the critter. I wasn’t sure what type of snake I was dealing with but it became clear as I got closer and heard the rythmic sound of a diamondback rattlesnake shaking its rattle. I knew I shouldn’t succumb to the manly nature of poking the snake with a stick but I did get a few pictures.
It was a fairly good sized snake, about 5 feet long with 10 or so rattles. The critter had the classic diamondback markings and the triangular shaped head. It backed into a coiled position and stayed still under a trailside sagebrush.
Once I got the pictures, I looked around for other hikers or bikers to provide warning. I placed a large rock on the trail to mark the spot so I could warn people I might see. I found one hiker getting ready to head up the trail and he appreciated the warning.
I know some people just don’t do snakes but I plan on being back on that trail tomorrow, I’ll just be watching carefully as I advise everyone to do. This is only the second rattlesnake I’ve ever seen on Badger Mountain. If you have a fear of snakes, don’t let that keep you from getting outdoors. Here is an article I wrote on how to be safer when hiking in snake country.