ESTACADA, OR (KPTV) - A startling discovery for hikers along the Clackamas River Trail: A sizable snake in a tree.

A group of hikers came across the rubber boa in the Estacada area. Turns out, rubber boa snakes are native to Oregon. 

“Another couple who were hiking ahead of us had stopped to look at something, and I just stopped to say, ‘What are you looking at?’” said hiker Karen Meier. “… They said, ‘Oh there’s a rubber boa in the tree here,’ and I look up and there’s a snake in the tree right here.”

Meier was hiking with friends along the Clackamas River Trail on Thursday afternoon. They were between Fish Camp and Indian Henry, for those familiar with the area, and had just passed the Pup Creek Waterfall when they saw the boa.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed to FOX 12 on Friday that the snake was a rubber boa, a constrictor that eats small prey like mice.

The snakes are not dangerous to humans, according to ODFW biologists, and can be found in a variety of habitats, especially in forest clearings along the coast range.

It’s not clear how often they are seen in Clackamas County, but the habitat along the trail is right for the species.

ODFW isn’t getting involved regarding this snake, saying, “It’s just a snake doing its thing.”

Meier added that the snake encounter won’t change her hiking habits.

“I studied wildlife, so I’m into this stuff. I think it’s really cool to see different wildlife,” she said. “Other people weren’t so sure they liked snakes.”

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(2) comments


In no place in this report, did I see an estimate of the size of this snake. The pics make it appear to be huge, when in reality, it was probably under two feet long. I have lived on a ranch in Klickitat county since 1963, and have seen, caught, and handled many of these snakes in my life. Most were in the range of 12 to 14 inches long. They are really neat snakes, and I am always excited to come across one. This story makes it sound like we have huge constrictors living in the NW, a complete falsehood. Don't freak out, people! And, please KPTV, complete your report with some facts from ODFW or other sources on the species (it CAN get up to about 33 inches, but I have never seen one that large, and is nonvenomous and relatively slow moving). If one has a phobia, I guess it would be a shock to see one, but nothing like the snakes I saw, living at Ft. Benning, GA!


Hardly news worthy.

Is the value of this story to inform other non-native Oregonians to not be alarmed by true natives?

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