North Dakota ranks towards the bottom on the United States when it comes to snake diversity.  THANK GOD!  I'm not a fan of snakes and never have been.  Growing up in eastern North Dakota, I really only had a couple of encounters with garter snakes and that's about it.

My lake cabin in northeast South Dakota also has garter snakes and that's about it.  It does freak me out sometimes when I see them swimming in the water, and I wonder if they're going to try to crawl in?  I've heard about several encounters people have had with Rattlesnakes on the Missouri River, where a snake will be swimming and will try to take up residency inside the boat.  Experts say you should keep your oar on hand in case of such an encounter.

Getting back to North Dakota snakes.  We only have 8 different species of snakes in North Dakota and only one of them is venomous.   The Prairie Rattlesnake, which is the most common rattlesnake in the United States.  It's also the only venomous snake in Canada.  Bullsnakes, a non venomous snake in North Dakota is often mistaken for the Prairie Rattlesnakes.  Both the Bull and Prairie Rattlesnake have a primary range of west of the Missouri River, however they can and do swim across the river at times.  A Bullsnake was run over by a vehicle last summer near my house south of Lincoln.  So, it wouldn't be unheard of to run into a rattlesnake on the Bismarck side of the river.

Here are the 8 different species of snakes in North Dakota.  Try not to get to creeped out.

8 Snakes You Could Encounter In North Dakota


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