Warming temperatures and sunny days have woken up Leavenworth’s reptilian populations, bringing snakes out of their dens and on the hunt for bugs and rodents. Fine weather also brings out hikers and climbers, sometimes leading to animal encounters of the scaly (and sometimes scary) kind. North Central Washington has several species of snakes including the Gopher Snake.


Tastes like fear.

This gopher snake resembles a Western diamondback rattlesnake at first glance, but a closer inspection will show that the gopher does NOT have rattles and a angular narrower head. If the entire snake is not visible, look for the distinctive black stripe under the eye. Nonvenomous, the gopher still can pack a punch if provoked. Curling up into a striking vipers coil, the gopher will strike with a closed mouth, head butting potential attackers. We left this 36″ adult alone after snapping it’s portrait.  Respect our snake friends personal space and they will (usually) leave you alone.  You can learn more about Washington State’s snakes here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/snakes.html#wasnakes


The gopher snake is easily mistaken for a rattlesnake at first glance.