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Rattlesnake Activity In Yosemite Area

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avatar Rattlesnake Activity In Yosemite Area
May 20, 2019 11:55AM
There appears to be an increase in Rattlesnake activity around El Portal and Yosemite Valley this spring. Please use extra caution while recreating or working outside.
  • Be alert. Like all reptiles, rattlesnakes are sensitive to the ambient temperature and will adjust their behavior accordingly. After a cold or cool night, they will attempt to raise their body temperature by basking in the sun midmorning. To prevent overheating during hot days of spring and summer, they will become more active at dawn, dusk or night.
  • Wear sturdy boots and loose-fitting long pants. Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through brushy, wild areas. Startled rattlesnakes may not rattle before striking defensively.
  • When hiking, stick to well-used trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
  • Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see. Step on logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
  • Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.
  • Be careful when stepping over doorsteps as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
  • Hike with a friend or co-worker. Have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
  • Do not handle a freshly killed snake, as it can still inject venom.
  • Leash your dog when hiking in snake country. Dogs are at increased risk of being bitten due to holding their nose to the ground while investigating the outdoors. Speak to your veterinarian about canine rattlesnake vaccines and what to do if your pet is bitten.
avatar Re: Rattlesnake Activity In Yosemite Area
May 20, 2019 09:38PM
Re: Rattlesnake Activity In Yosemite Area
May 20, 2019 11:03PM
Thanks for the reminder. I totally forgot that I almost ran into one at Hetch Hetchy 2 weeks back as it was probably basking in the sun in the middle of the trail around 11:30am.
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