The Wenatchee World

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Out for a hike? Here’s how to deal with rattlesnakes

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It’s been cool snake weather around Central Washington and the Wenatchee Valley this spring, so rattlesnake encounters have been uncommon thus far. The rattler in the picture to the right was found sunning itself on warm rocks in Swakane Canyon in early May. Recently WenatcheeOutdoors has received a few rattlesnake reports from hikers visiting our foothills trails in the Sage Hills and around the Horse Lake Reserve.

While there is widespread (often irrational) fear of rattlesnakes, snake bites from rattlers are uncommon. The western rattlesnakes we have here in Central Washington (crotalus viridis) are not aggressive and won’t strike you if left alone. They will leave you be if you don’t accidentally step on (or directly beside) them, or if you don’t accidentally put your hand beside them while scrambling.

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