Colorado is a popular tourist destination in America and if you are planning an outdoor excursion in the state then you should be wary of the snakes that move around the state. They are often determined by the prevailing climatic and weather conditions. The forests, deserts, rivers, and snowy mountain peaks are some of the unique places where you will find a wide array of snakes in Colorado. 

While many people think of mountains as being covered by shrubland and ice – there are snake species known to thrive in these areas as well. The common rattlesnakes are synonymous in the state. Here are some of the snakes that you will find in the state of Colorado.

Yellow-bellied Racer

The yellow-bellied racer is one of the legendary snakes that you are going to encounter in the state of Colorado. This is a snake that is most common in the central, southern, and northern United States. 

You will find these snakes in different areas such as shrubland, meadows, and the mountain areas of Colorado. They usually like areas with plenty of sunshine and water because this is where their prey are often located. These snakes are usually very easy to identify because they have brown or blue-green bodies with iconic yellow belly that gives them unique names.

They consume a wide array of creatures such as small animals, birds, amphibians, insects, turtles, lizards, and even other snakes. It is therefore essential that you make your time to avoid the different areas where these snakes thrive because they can attack you whenever they are feeling threatened. 

Learn more: Dangerous animals in Colorado

While they are nonvenomous snakes, they are often carriers of large amounts of bacteria that could otherwise cause dangerous infections in your body. They are known for their speed and agility therefore when moving they attack very fast and move with impeccable precision. The yellow-bellied racers grow up to 55 inches in length and they are often equipped with exceptional vision.

Speckled kingsnake

The speckled kingsnake is another snake species that you are going to find in different parts of the state of Colorado. They can grow up to 72 inches long and they are nonvenomous snakes. These snakes are usually characterized by yellow, black, and white patterns on their body especially on the dorsal scales.

They are known to thrive in wetlands therefore you will find them near rivers, bogs, and swamps. They are docile snakes therefore they will not attack unless you have interfered with their habitat. They are mimics and they will copy the rattlesnakes to defend themselves by hissing and shaking their tails.

Massasauga Rattlesnake

There are two types of massasauga snakes in Colorado and this is the desert massasauga and the western massasauga snake. These two snakes are very similar and you should watch out for them during your trip to Colorado. The most common massasauga snake that you are going to find in this state is the Western variety.

These snakes are less spread in the prairies across the state and they usually like the dry areas in the southeastern parts of Colorado. They prefer the dry grasslands and the sandy parts of the state. The massasauga snakes are usually smaller than the prairie rattlesnake and even though they might be smaller in size they are capable of killing with their venom

They are usually only two feet long and they can be challenging to spot them, however, they are very dangerous and can attack at any moment. Since they have unique colorations which blend in with the environment then you should be careful when exploring different parts of the state.


The bullsnakes are some of the legendary snakes that you are going to find in the state of Colorado. These snakes are very large in width and length as well and there is a high chance that you are likely to encounter them during your trip to the state of Colorado.

They usually grow up to 6 feet long and they have been cases where they have grown up to 90 inches in circumference. It is important to note that this is a nonvenomous snake therefore you have nothing to worry about. These snakes consume smaller animals such as rodents, insects, smaller snakes, rabbits, and mice

Learn more: Bullsnakes in Colorado

They are found in a variety of areas and during your exploration of the state you are likely to find them in the meadows, prairies as well as the open grasslands across the state. Since they like areas with grass and adequate sunshine then there is a likelihood that you will find them in open areas.

They might confuse you as the rattlesnake. If you are exploring the area, know that these snakes are not aggressive to people therefore if you do not interfere with them then they are not going to attack you. 

Texas blind snake

The Texas blind snake is a tiny snake that is often confused with worms because of its size. They grow up to 30 centimeters long and you can confuse them for worms because they do not have eyes.

These snakes are blind and they are not venomous. These snakes usually move from one place to another rapidly.  The blind snakes come in different colors such as brown, red, and even grey coloration. 

They usually prefer to thrive in grasslands, along deserts, and under logs or rocks where they can hide and spend their time peacefully. You will encounter them on the hillsides and even in the grassland areas.

Prairie Rattlesnake

The prairie rattlesnake is another species that you should watch out for during your travel to the state of Colorado. These snakes are known to grow up to 4 feet in length and it is the largest rattlesnake that you will find in Colorado.

They are very common and you will find them in different counties across the state. The prairie rattlesnake is known to inhabit the shrublands and grasslands and they like the cover that themselves whenever they are feeling attacked by the predators. There are different places you can find them: from the Colorado River, eastern grasslands, and the foothills in different parts of this state.

They are larger in size and often will prefer rodents as their main diet, unlike other snakes around the state. While these snakes are very venomous, you should always stay far away from the areas that they inhabit because they can cause dangerous infections or even fatalities.

Nevertheless, they are known not to attack people, therefore you can move from one location to another without the worry of these creatures attacking you unless you interfere with their habitat first.

Midget Faded Rattlesnake

Just as the name indicates this is another snake that you are going to find in the state of Colorado. They are small snakes and grow to 20 to 30 inches long and even though they are smaller in size, it is important to note that they are venomous and will attack you at any moment when you explore their habitat.

They can feel threatened and this will lead them to be very defensive thereby attacking you. The midget rattlesnake is difficult to spot because of their smaller size and the blending of the different environments where they like to thrive. They are also excellent climbers, therefore you should watch out for them. They are found in different areas, especially in the grasslands and even in the forested areas

The midget rattlesnake is one of the unique snakes that you are going to find in Colorado and they have been reported to be less in numbers. The snakes can move from one location to another. 

They are not aggressive in nature, therefore if you are trying to explore different areas and you do not interfere with them then they are less likely to attack you.

Western milksnake

The western milksnake is another snake that you are likely to encounter during your trip to the state of Colorado. These snakes usually grow up to 60 centimeters long and they are not venomous.

They are very colorful snakes. They have nice shiny and smooth bodies which come in different colors such as white, red, black, and yellow. You might confuse them with coral snakes.

However, these are unique species and they are very important to the ecosystems. These snakes often prefer to thrive in the forested parts of the state as well as that of the open prairies and the rocky slopes. The snakes are nocturnal and they often blend with their surroundings therefore allowing them to hide and be elusive.

Blackneck Garter Snake

These snakes are nonvenomous and they won’t attack humans unless provoked. In the state of Colorado, the most common garter snake is the blackneck garter snake and the terrestrial version is often identified by the yellow-orange stripe on the body.

This snake is known to thrive in areas closer to water bodies. You will find the black garter snake in different parts of the state ranging from the southwest to the northern part. They have a black stripe collar on the body and they have three stripes on the back with two white ones on the sides and a yellow or orange as well.

These snakes are semiaquatic therefore you will find them closer to rivers and lakes. They prey on lizards, small fish, and tadpoles


Coachwhip are slender snakes that are found in some parts of Colorado. They can grow up to 8 feet in length and they have distinct colors which move from the head to the tail. 

These snakes are black on their head while the rest of the body is tan and a white coloration at the tip of the tail. They usually prefer open lands with sandy soils and you can also find them in the prairies, coastal dunes, pine forests, and other areas.

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.