Most Common Venomous Snakes You'll Find in California

With different national Temecula parks that surrounds the state of California; it is no longer surprising why this place is the preferred destination of outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. Just like the other popular destinations, this place also comes with certain risks. It is the home of 6 venomous snakes wherein all of them are species of rattlesnakes. It is important that you remain careful and calm when you encounter these snakes in California.

Identifying the Venomous Snakes in California

In this article, we will discuss the different rattlesnakes that you will encounter in California. We will also discuss the different features of the snake that will help you identify them.

Western Rattlesnake

This is the most common type of venomous snake in California. They can be found in different parts of the US excluding the southern deserts. The size of this rattlesnake will vary widely. It may grow from 3 ft and can extend up to 5ft. They may have a pale-yellow, dark gray, dark brown, and olive-brown body. They have lateral blotches that are bigger compared to their dorsal blotches. 

Western Diamondback 

Usually found in the southeastern portion of California, the Western Diamondback is known to be the most lethal snakes in the state due to its aggressive nature. They are being blamed for most of the death from snake bite on Northern Mexico. The average size of the western diamondback is around 4ft, but it is normal for them to exceed the 6ft mark. 

Panamint Rattlesnake

This venomous Temecula snake is common in the southern portion of the US. It is a medium-sized snake that has an average length of 3ft. The color of this snake can differ and will highly be dictated by their natural habitat. For instance, those that are found close to the lava bed will have a dark color. The tail ring of the Panamint Rattlesnake will contrast the color of its body.


The sidewinder will be found in the desert of Southern California. It is consists of two subspecies; the Colorado Desert and the Mohave-Desert Sidewinder. They belong in the family of pit vipers and can easily be identified when they are on the move due to their unique locomotion. They are small species of snake that may range from 17-31 inches in terms of length. 

Red Diamond Rattlesnake

Encounter with this snake can be possible if you are in the Moronga Valley or at Baja California. Compared to the other rattlesnakes in this list, the red diamond will have the least potent venom. However, since they will be producing the venom in higher volume, it is also known to be deadly. The length of this snake will be beyond 3ft. The males can sometimes exceed 5ft. They can have a brick-red, pink, red-brown, or red-tan color. 

In case you encountered a rattlesnake in California, avoid going near them. This snake is known for avoiding human but will still attack in case they are being threatened. If it is impossible for you to alter your route, stomping your feet from a distant can create vibration that will encourage them to leave.

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