I met this Gopher Snake on my hike this afternoon.
Gopher Snakes are one of the most commonly seen snakes in California. Primarily active during the day, they are also active after sundown on hot days. They are often observed crawling across trails and roads, especially in the morning and evenings when daytime temperatures are high. They are frequently seen around human dwellings, including suburban backyards, attracted to the rodents which thrive in such areas. Unfortunately, this harmless and beneficial species is very often killed out of fear that it is dangerous or that it is a rattlesnake.