Rattlesnakes preparing to hibernate force closure of Cottonwood Canyon Trail

KUSA - JeffCo Open Space officials have closed the Cottonwood Canyon Trail Friday due to a large group of rattlesnakes preparing to hibernate.

The 'hibernaculum,' or a place where a cluster of snakes (or other animals) have gone to hibernate, is near the trail, prompting officials to close the trail in North Table Mountain Park to make sure people do not disturb it and are kept safe.

Park officials say they'll notify the public when the trail has reopened.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, rattlesnakes usually hibernate from October 20 to March 20. A report compiled on rattlesnake management and control from the organization says there are several ways they'll hibernate.

While many people may be surprised to hear about a trail closure due to a few snakes, it's important to note that rattlesnakes prepare for hibernation in massive numbers. 

Rattlesnakes don't usually hibernate alone either, as other types of snakes will join the coil - which is good for the hibernaculum.

You can read more about these 'buzz tails' and ways the state is working to control their numbers at this link.

Here's the location of the trail inside the North Table Mountain Park:

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