On the way down from Gunsight Rock last Sunday I came quite close to stepping on a large rattlesnake. The rattler was stretched across the trail and had I taken another step or two I would have certainly been bitten. According to Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes are the only species that reside in Northern California. This deadly pit viper likes to burrow in caves and rock crevices, sometimes with other snake species. The Goodspeed trail to Gunsight rock is one of the most beautiful and rugged hikes in the county. We were lucky to have excellent visibility with views of San Francisco, Mt. Tam and the lovely Sonoma Valley.

A Northern Pacific Rattlesnake courtesy of californiaherps.com.