One of the best attributes of living in Eastern Washington is all the beautiful trails to hike, including Candy Mountain and Badger Mountain. Of course, we always hear about rattlesnakes and black widows. One of my biggest fears is being bit by a rattlesnake.

Are there venomous snakes in Eastern Washington?

Yes, however, Eastern Washington isn't known for a high variety of deadly snakes. Washington is home to only one venomous snake species.

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The Western rattlesnake (crotalus oreganus) is venomous and found in Washington.

The Western rattlesnake or northern Pacific rattlesnake is capable of inflicting a venomous bite, which it rarely does. A snake may bite if disturbed or threatened. Its venom can cause severe pain, tissue damage, and even death.

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WA Department of Fish & Wildlife
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Where does the western rattlesnake live?

Northern Pacific rattlesnakes have been observed in central and Eastern Washington, near the Columbia River gorge, Ellensburg, and Tri-Cities. These snakes thrive in areas around the Columbia River and Snake River. The rattlesnakes are known to leave their dens in April and May and return in the fall.

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What should you do when encountering a snake?

While rattlesnakes appear threatening, they'll often stay quiet when humans walk by to avoid being discovered. Should you spot a snake, leave it alone. Most rattlesnake bites occur when people try to move, scare, or kill them. Their rattles are a warning sign when they feel threatened. Most snakes are non-venomous and have an important role in the ecosystem. They take care of rodents.

Which of These 10 Washington State Snakes Are Dangerous?

Study these snakes to make sure you know which ones to leave alone.

Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster

 

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