Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore is closed until further notice to ensure the safety of residents, visitors, and sensitive habitat.

Stay Alert for Snakes as the Temperature Heats Up

Apr 24, 2024 | MSHCP, Recreational, Species

San Bernardino Mountain Kingsnake

Our wintery weather is finally over! Southern Californians are not used to being cooped up in our houses every weekend while it rains. Thankfully, the skies are clearing, the weather is heating up, and we can return to our normal routines, like hiking the beautiful open spaces in western Riverside County. From the hill-heavy Sycamore Canyon Park in Riverside to Bogart Regional Park in Beaumont, countless trails await hikers ready to explore the sun drenched outdoors.

But beware, with rising temperatures comes… snakes! Slithering across the ground in a serpentine pattern, the cold-blooded reptiles also wander out from their caves to bask in the sun on the warmth of summer days. Sometimes snakes like to bask on heated trails, creating the potential for close encounters with hikers and their pets. To avoid getting bit by a snake, especially a poisonous rattlesnake, here are six tips to keep yourself (and the snakes) safe:

  • Stay on the trail.
  • Stay away from bushes and scrub, where snakes often live, to avoid being detected.
  • If you see a snake or hear the rattle of one, back away slowly. Snakes will react if they feel threatened.
  • Watch your step! Snakes blend in with their environment, and it is possible to overlook them. Be careful not to step on a hidden snake because it will strike if you do.
  • Avoid picking up rocks and logs or looking into holes in the ground, as doing so could alarm a snake.
  • If you see a snake lying in the middle of a trail, steer clear, even if you believe it is dead. Certain species of snakes are rare and should be left alone.

By following these simple tips, you can significantly reduce the chance of an encounter to keep yourself, your pets, and our snakes safe! Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, keep your eyes and ears peeled, and watch your step. Happy hiking!