does alaska have snakes

Does Alaska Have Snakes?

Alaska is well known for its wildlife, including mammals such as bears and moose. Despite the cold climate, many people wonder if Alaska is also home to any type of snake.

What Types of Snakes Live in Alaska?

There are three types of snakes native to Alaska, all of which are species of garter snakes:

  • St. Lawrence Island Garter Snake – This snake is found only on St. Lawrence Island, which is located west of mainland Alaska in the Bering Sea.
  • Arctic Garter Snake – This species can be found in Alaska and northern Canada, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Common Garter Snake – This type of garter snake is found in eastern and southeastern Alaska.

All of these species of snakes are harmless, nonvenomous, and prefer habitats near water. They typically eat small amphibians and fish.

Are There Any Nonnative Snakes in Alaska?

There have been reports of nonnative species of snakes being found in Alaska, but this is rare. These reports are usually related to pet owners releasing their snakes into the wild. Common nonnative pet species in Alaska include ball pythons, corn snakes, and rat snakes. These snakes typically don’t survive long in the Alaska climate, but if they do, they can be a threat to the native species.


Yes, there are snakes in Alaska, but they are all native species of garter snakes. These snakes are harmless and prefer habitats near water, where they can find their prey. There are occasional sightings of nonnative snakes in Alaska, but they are rare and typically don’t survive long in the cold climate.

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