In Jefferson County, two dogs were bitten recently by a rattlesnake while hikers were scared half out of their wits by a pit viper, coiled and ready to strike on a hiking trail.

What sorts of snakes do we have in Western Colorado? Are they poisonous? Let's take a look at the list of snakes in Western Colorado.

Rattlesnakes

Yes, we do have rattlesnakes here in Western Colorado. Several varieties, actually. From the prairie rattlesnake, which grows to nearly five feet in length, to the Midget Faded and Massasauga, which grow to around 30 inches in length. Watch for them on trails, as they are usually around areas where small animals are.

Great Basin Gopher Snake

You will find this snake in a variety of habitats on the Western Slope. Gopher snakes grow to around 4 1/2 feet in length and are not harmful to humans. They are excellent climbers and swimmers, however. If they are fearful of an attack they will bloat up their bodies and mimic the sound of a rattler.

Bullsnake

The bullsnake has been reported growing as long as 88 inches and is the largest snake in Western Colorado. The Bullsnake is a constrictor, meaning it squeezes its prey to death. While not aggressive towards humans, it's still a good idea to leave them be.

You will find a number of other snakes in the state as well, most not harmful to humans and pets. Snakes such as the Western Hognose and coachwhip are plentiful and are usually on the hunt for small prey.

But for reasons of safety, it's always best to just leave them alone and keep moving.