Snakes in the Plains! - Atlas Obscura

Golden, Colorado

Snakes in the Plains!

Learn about the dangerous snakes native to Colorado and experience some (safe ones) up close.

One of the most successful animals on Earth, snakes have found a way to survive on this planet since the Jurassic. These intrepid reptiles share our land, with over 30 species in Colorado alone, but the slithering serpents are still largely misunderstood.

Join Atlas Obscura for an interactive presentation from snake expert Mary Ann Bonnell debunking myths and superstitions about rattlesnakes, followed by a live, hands-on experience with several non-venomous snakes brought in by expert handler Bryce Jackman. Hear from the experts about the three types of venomous rattlers that call Colorado home, the local snake species that exhibit cannibalism, and the differences between poison and venom. For the grand finale, get cozy with a king snake, feel the length of a western hognose, and perhaps even work up the courage to hold a rare albino python.

Mary Ann Bonnell, visitor services manager for Jefferson County Open Space, has more than 25 years of expertise as a park ranger. Bryce Jackman, a Colorado native, is a life-long reptile enthusiast.


  • This event will be held indoors at the Jefferson County Open Space offices in Golden, Colorado.
  • The entire afternoon is family-friendly.
  • This event is ADA accessible.
  • Free parking is available on site. 
  • A portion of the proceeds for this event will be donated to the Jefferson County Outdoors Foundation. 


Email Alyce Olson at 

Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.