Are There Snakes at Joshua Tree?

Yes, there are snakes at Joshua Tree, and the venomous creatures you may encounter in Joshua Tree National Park include rattlesnakes, scorpions, and black widow spiders. In fact, there are seven types of rattlesnakes and 26 different types of snakes that can be found in or near the park.

As you gear up to go camping, glamping, #vanlife exploring, or RVing near Joshua Tree or inside the park itself, this is something to be aware of, as you could very well run into a snake during your stay. Don’t worry, though, we have some tips to help keep you — and your canine friends — safe from snakebites.

If you’re camping during the winter months (November to March), you might be in luck — the rattlesnakes of Joshua Tree are generally in a state of dormancy (similar to hibernation) during that time. However, if you’re camping in Joshua Tree between May and October, keep an eye out. During these sunny months, the reptiles come out to explore!

Types of venomous snakes found at Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is home to seven varieties of rattlesnakes:

  • Mojave Desert sidewinder
  • Colorado Desert sidewinder
  • Mojave green rattlesnake
  • Southern Pacific diamondback
  • Western diamondback
  • Speckled rattlesnake
  • Red diamond rattlesnakes

How to avoid a snakebite at Joshua Tree

While there are rattlesnakes who call Joshua Tree their home, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from bites. By following basic snake safety guidelines, you should be able to avoid any unforeseen surprise trips to an emergency room. As with any wildlife, it’s safe to assume that the snakes of Joshua Tree can be dangerous if approached. Yes, they are beautiful creatures, but these beauties should only be admired from a distance. Will you be traveling with toddlers or young kids? Let them know that chasing wildlife or picking up any animals is a big no-no.

As you hike through the park, be aware of your surroundings and where you place your hands and feet. If you can’t see the place you’re about to reach or step into, it might be best to avoid it altogether.

Remember, these slithery creatures are just as afraid of us as we are of them. So try to keep your distance, and don’t poke around or provoke the animal in any way. Once you notice a snake, start backing away slowly. Slow movements aren’t usually perceived as a threat by snakes and will make them less likely to strike.

Keeping your dogs safe from snake bites

If you’re camping in Joshua Tree with your dog, be extra cautious when hiking with your four-legged friend. While on the trail, it’s best to keep dogs on a leash at all times to avoid them poking around. If you’re an avid camper, consider having your pup undergo rattlesnake aversion training. In the event of a bite, it’s important to know that there is a vaccine available for pets.

Snakes or no snakes, Joshua Tree National Park is one for the bucket list. Ready to plan your trip? Here are some of the best camping and glamping options near Joshua Tree National Park. Enjoy your stay, and keep your distance from those pesky, beautiful rattlers.

Find out more about Joshua Tree

Book your next Joshua Tree camping or glamping trip now

Now’s a great time to find the perfect spot in Joshua Tree for your next camping, glamping or RV adventure. #FindYourselfOutside (TIP: Get $10 off your first booking when you create a new account here and use the referral code JOURNAL)

Ada Ciuca is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor enamored with creating lifestyle content. You're probably saying her name wrong.

Recent Posts

Top Hosting Tips for This 4th of July Weekend

The 4th of July—stars and stripes, good eats, and hopefully, a fully booked campground! This is one of the year’s…

3 weeks ago

Support Local Makers: Shop Goods Made by Hipcamp Hosts

Hipcamp Hosts take pride in their land, caring for it and sharing it with the Hipcamp community. But beyond their…

1 month ago

Hipcamp Host COVID-19 Safety Standards

The health and safety of our community is our top priority during the novel coronavirus pandemic. With that, we’ve created…

2 months ago

How to Recreate Responsibly During COVID-19

The health and safety of our community is our top priority during the novel coronavirus pandemic. With that, we’ve created…

2 months ago

10 Ways to #LeaveItBetter in Honor of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

Now more than ever, it’s important to appreciate the time we get to spend outdoors and care for our environment.…

3 months ago

A Note From Alyssa: Supporting Our Community During COVID-19

Dear Hipcamp community,  We, like many of you, are paying close and serious attention to COVID-19 and its widespread impact…

3 months ago