Red Rock Canyon A to Z

R: Rattlesnakes

Although commonly talked about and feared, the odds of visitors seeing a rattlesnake at Red Rock Canyon are fairly low. Three species of rattlesnakes can be found here: Northern Mohave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus), Panamint rattlesnake (Crotalus stephensi), and Mohave Desert sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cerastes). Rattlesnakes in Red Rock Canyon blend in very well with the environment under shrubs, within rock cracks, and along sandy soils. These snakes are venomous and can deliver a painful bite; if you do spot one, keep yourself at least 10 feet away and do not attempt to touch or provoke the snake. Northern Mohave rattlesnakes and Panamint rattlesnakes can get up to four feet in length, while the Mohave Desert sidewinder may only reach 18 inches in length. From spring through fall, these rattlesnakes will hunt mice, ground squirrels, small birds, and small reptiles. Coyotes, roadrunners, kingsnakes, and larger birds will prey on rattlesnakes. During the colder winter season, rattlesnakes will go underground, coil together, and remain dormant.

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