Big “Yellow Phase” Timber Rattlesnake "Crotalus horridus" on the Art Loeb Hiking Trail passing through a rocky outcrop near the summit of Black Balsam Knob in the Shining Rock Wilderness in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina at nearly 6 thousand feet elevation. We were tipped off by a passing hiker that the snake was up ahead – that's good trail etiquette - and so were prepared. I can't say for sure if we would have seen the snake and not stumbled upon it – this is how most snake bites on the trail occur – but I think we would have seen it. Timber Rattlers do have some of the strongest venom of all the rattlers and their bites can be fatal! Note that I resisted the temptation to bother or otherwise molest the snake to get better video action – this video shows their normal behavior when encountering people – they are not aggressive or dangerous and would much rather run – or freeze - than fight!
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