Be Prepared for Snakes and Scorpions in the Grand Canyon

We don't want to scare you, but the Grand Canyon, as part of the desert southwest,  is home to snakes and scorpions. Knowing what to do if you get bitten can help save your life.

Rattlesnake Bites

Rattlesnake in the desert of Arizona.

What do you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake? According to the Mayo Clinic, here are the steps to take while waiting for medical help:

  • Remain calm and move beyond the snake’s striking distance.
  • Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell.
  • Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
  • Clean the wound, but don’t flush it with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.

Caution from the Mayo Clinic

  • Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice.
  • Don’t cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.

Scorpion Stings

Arizona Scorpion
Arizona Scorpion

Scorpions don’t bite, but they can sting and when they do it can hurt.  Some scorpions can be deadly. In the United States, the bark scorpion, found mainly in the desert Southwest, is the only scorpion species with venom potent enough to cause severe symptoms. Young children and older adults are particularly at risk for more serious complications. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, get immediate medical care for a child stung by a scorpion. Call your local poison control center for advice if you’re concerned about a scorpion sting. To reach a poison control center in the United States, call Poison Help at 800-222-1222. Seek prompt medical care if you’ve been stung by a scorpion and begin to experience widespread symptoms.