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Sierra Rattlesnakes

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Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby Ozark Flip » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:01 pm

I would like to know what is the highest elevation you have encountered a rattlesnake in the Sierras. And please indicate exactly where it was and any other story behind the encounter.

Thanks,

Flip



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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:55 pm

Approx at 8000 ft coming down the Sphinx Trail(SEKI) when I heard some rattling near some
rocks and sure enough it was a rattlesnake.
I avoided getting to close and left after 5 min's of checking it out.
The most rattlers I tend to run into is in Echo Valley(7000 ft) in Yosemite(rattler central).
Usually every year that I pass through this area I see 1-2 and sometimes 3 rattlers in a
1/2 mile area.
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby markskor » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:08 pm

Echo Valley...yup, seen a few there too.
Highest though was just coming off the summit block, south side of Clouds Rest, right below that jumble of steep, short, rock, switch-backs...over 9,500 feet, I reckon.
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby hikerduane » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:51 pm

Saw a small one, in the trail around Hetch Hetchy a couple summers ago, in June. Later that summer, on my Rae Lakes Loop trip, I saw two the second day out. One after you leave Junction Meadow or the last junction, headed west towards Road End and another on the switch backs heading down. Don't have my map handy, so I can't give the elevation.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby Snow Nymph » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:53 am

Kennedy Meadows. SnowDude just finished telling me he had never seen a rattlesnake, and the next boulder over, it started rattling. There was second rattler before we got off the trail that day. Not sure what the elevation was.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby Ozark Flip » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:55 am

Woah! Mavrick and Markskor, those are some high elevations to witness a rattler. I have never seen one above 7000' for sure. And Hikerduane, Rae Lakes is up there in elevation (I don't have a map handy either but I'm guessing Rae Lakes at least flirts with 10K'). But Junction Meadow is lower....still higher than the typical 5-6K' where I see them. Rattlers are indeed all over Hetch Hetchy. I usually see them in the deep canyons, Tehipite, Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, canyons of both the Mokelumne and NF Stanislaus Rivers. I guess I shouldn't let my guard down so much once I am above 7000' huh?

Thanks,

Flip
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby gdurkee » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:16 am

The highest I've ever heard of was almost 11,000 on Mt. Dana. Tiny little down jacket; no need for mittens... .

It's not unusual to see snakes on the switchbacks above Junction Meadow on the Rae loop -- hot & brushy, with a west exposure (about 8,500 +).

Started seeing a lot of lizards in Evolution Valley. Don't remember them in as high numbers years ago. Very likely getting warm enough for them to be active for long periods (10,500). Rattlesnakes probably not far behind.

g.
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:22 am

gdurkee wrote:The highest I've ever heard of was almost 11,000 on Mt. Dana. Tiny little down jacket; no need for mittens... .


:lol: :lol:
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby Strider » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:20 am

Saw a big one by Florence Lake dam at Jackass Medows, elevation 7200.
'Hike long and perspire'
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:37 am

The highest I can recall encountering one was at Columns of the Giants downstream from Kennedy Meadows (the Hwy 108 Kennedy Meadows); this was on a hike in 1968. I think that's below 7k but I don't have a map with me. Poor sonofagun. Someone coming hiking just after us (me and my dad) shot the poor thing in the head. The biggest rattler I ever saw (at any elevation) was at Edyth Lake in NW Yosemite, elev 6200. Big and fat and curled up just where I wanted to pitch my tent. I haven't run into too many rattlers while doing recreational hiking, whereas I've run into a fair number at lower elevations (Coast Ranges, Sierra foothills) doing geologic field work.

George, interesting observations on global warming and an increase in the rattlesnake "ceiling".
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby copeg » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:30 pm

About 7000 feet, along the Bubbs Creek trail between Charlotte Creek and the Sphinx Trail Junction. Scared the heck out of me as I was coming down the trail half asleep.
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Re: Sierra Rattlesnakes

Postby AldeFarte » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:58 pm

Went and checked my topo's and all of my Sierra encounters seem to be in the 6000 to 8000 foot range. Interesting observation, George. Boots on the ground anecdotal information.jls
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