[For Child] How Do Snakes Climb Walls and Stairs

Snakes are reptiles without limbs. Are you wondering if they can climb? The answer is yes!  Some species of snakes are excellent climbers.

How do they do this? Well, it’s merely by having something to hold on to, and then they try to push their body up. 

I bet you want to know how these snakes do it. Find out by reading this article.  You will see how these exotic reptiles without limbs get on top of your yard wall!

Cute Reptiles as Pets x
Cute Reptiles as Pets

How Do Snakes Climb Walls

How Do Snakes Climb Walls
How Do Snakes Climb Walls

You should see snakes as a creative reptile. Even without legs they still go up to buildings and trees.

Just like the rattlesnakes, they use their scales as support. Their body muscles and scales bind their forces together to push the snake’s body upwards.


Studies have proved that snakes use their muscular body to push itself to the surface of the wall.  While they do this  they dig into the wall surface. They could use a force ten times their body weight.

Rough Surface

The surface a snake is trying to climb must be rough in order to help them grip easily.  When the wall surface is rough, they have a good grip.

Scale trick

Most snakes like Corn snakes will be able to push their scales to an angle. This angle t would make it much better when they dig into the surface. This pushes the snake up and enables them to stay comfortable as they crawl on the wall surface.

Am sure you noticed that generally, all snakes don’t climb how you think they would.  It does not have any type of grip to be able to climb except with the help of its scales.

They simply wedge themselves with the aid of their scales into crevices and wall gaps.

Now, not only do these reptiles go over walls. They climb stairs too!

How do snake Climb Stairs

How Do Snake Climb Stairs
How Do Snake Climb Stairs

A snake is not like other crawling reptiles such as lizards when talking of their ability to grip.

Yet they are good stair climbers with the unique way they do it. If you are living in a story building or an apartment as long as it’s friendly to snakes they may often come around.

Many people wonder how they move from one step to the other when they don’t have limbs to assist them.  Have you noticed or watched a snake slither along the ground in the attic or garden?

Then you will know that snakes move by its body contraction. The body contracts as it extends its length backward or forward depending on its direction. This very easy method   allows them to move about.

This method applies when they climb stairs. But, instead of crawling, their muscles allow them to move their body upwards and push its body forward to the next step.  Well, here’s the thing;

When a snake climbs, it lifts the first third of its body from one step to the next. As it does that, it uses the lower part of its body as the base. Once the upper part of the snake’s body is up, it pulls the rest of its body up.

This process continues until the snake reaches its end. Longer snakes, such as king cobras and pythons are fast climbers. They can take on many steps at a time.

They do this by just stretching the upper front part of their long body. You’d be surprised that they would take several steps almost at the same time. It doesn’t even seem like they are climbing, it’s like they are crawling over the stairs. 

How do they manage this, it’s interesting to know how right? Snakes use their unique reptile muscles to move across these stairs. These muscles enable them to move quickly right over each step. 

You should note that the ability of a snake to climb stairs faster than the others depends on its length. If a snake is long, it will be able to move over steps quickly. Let’s say the distance between 2 steps is 12 inches, and the body length of the snake is 14 inches.

You can tell that the snake body length is not sufficient to climb these stairs quickly. The snake will not be able to push and maintain its body on the other step.

It has to rest the upper body on the next step to help push the lower body. However, for comfortable climbing, a snake needs to have twice the distance between the stairs. 

Rattle Snakes

Talking about the climbing capacity of a reptile without limbs may sound absurd. The fact remains that most species of snakes are amazing wall climbers. These snakes can climb almost any wall.

Rattle Snakes Are Good Climbers
Rattle Snakes Are Good Climbers

Rattlesnakes are good wall climbers. They climb trees and small shrubs, but they don’t do this often. Rattlesnakes enjoy climbing rocky surfaces. Your yard brick wall texture will be ideal for them. 

These rattlesnakes climb if they want to shed their skin or find a mate. They can also climb a wall if they’re going to hunt down their prey.

But how do they climb these walls? Let’s see it;

How Do Rattle Snakes Climb Walls

If you’re thinking about these snakes moving, you should have an S-shaped imagination.  A rattlesnake would comfortably climb a horizontal wall or vertical one. 

Their movement works perfectly on horizontal ground. Don’t forget; it’s because of the S-shape. 

As the rattlesnake moves, it twists and extends its trunk. While doing so, the snake pushes the upper segment of its body to the vertical surface. Then, it stretches out its shape, and the back body ends up.

As it’s climbing, the rattlesnake’s belly scales will help lift the snake to the surface. The belly scales serve as its support.

However, the tendency of rattlesnakes to climb walls depends on the surface of the wall. It’s easier for them to climb walls with very rough surfaces. If a rattlesnake manages to grip a wall, it will not expend the energy to climb a wall. Walls are quite tricky to rise compared to trees. 

What Type of Surfaces Do Rattlesnakes Climb

Rattlesnakes would prefer to climb a rough or well-edged surface. It will help them grip comfortably and stretch out. If the surface is smooth, it would be able to climb.

Solid wall surfaces such as metal or glass surfaces are slippery.  

 Therefore it’s difficult for rattlesnakes to climb. Any surface that feels smooth to the belly scales of the rattlesnake won’t be stable for it.

Rattlesnakes would go for wall surfaces with very rough edges and surfaces. Such as concrete blocks and bricks. These uneven surfaces would serve as sides for rattlesnakes to place their body.

We just discussed how rattlesnakes climb walls and the type of surfaces they prefer climbing and why they do. Take a look at other snakes that are good climbers too;

Milk snakes

Milk snakes are non-venomous species, and they’re of the king snake family. These snakes are harmless and loved for their unique colors. They feed on reptiles, frogs, small birds, and other small mammals and amphibians.

Milk snakes are climbers, but they don't do this often
Milk snakes are climbers, but they don’t do this often

They spend most of their hiding in dark and heat-free habitats. Milk snakes hide during the day and go in search of their prey during the night time.

Milk snakes are climbers, but they don’t do this often. Did you find a milk snake on your barn wall or garage? Well, that’s because they are out looking for those rodents around. Milk snakes are good rodents hunters!

Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are also good hiding snakes. They are active and love to explore. If you have a corn snake as a pet snake, ensure you provide hiding places. These hiding places make them feel safe from predators.

You should also try to put fake trees for your corn snakes they love to climb! They are always looking for the tiniest holes or gaps to escape, and they fall out quickly as well.

Black racers

Black racers are known to be excellent climbers. They are faster than other snakes when it comes to hiding and hunting. They climb when they feel attacked or when you approach them.

Although they are terrestrial reptiles, they climb tree barks and reach the top to invade bird nests.  Black racers feed on bird eggs! So don’t blame them when you find them up there. They are hunting. 

The black racers don’t usually climb. They only occasionally do and are typically observed sleeping in grasses and shrubs at night.

Black rat snakes

Black rat snakes are known as non- venomous constrictors. They feed mainly on rodents, lizards, frogs, and eggs. They are excellent wall climbers, and they go on building tops. Yes, they are hiding or looking for prey- lizards.

 Rat Snakes are quite common and found in the U.S. They are also able to climb things like a  tree trunk, telephone pole, and metal surfaces, etc.easily.

The above snake species listed are the popular snakes that are known to climb. This list does not mean other snakes do not climb. Most snakes climb trees and walls they above are known and commonly listed.

 Other snake species may be poorly adapted for climbing.  These snakes may not have developed scales to climb walls. If even the surface texture is fair enough for the other snakes, they won’t still be able to grip. 

Why do these crawling reptile climb walls?

There are some reasons why any snake will suddenly want to go climbing;


If a snake noticed their mate-pair, they would want to trace them. Snakes, discharge pheromones that can be detected by their right mates.

It is enough reason for any snake to climb. Once it perceives that familiar scent, the snake goes up to find and mate.


Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles, which make them depend on external heat from any source. So, a snake will climb a wall if it finds warmth on the other end.

They do this during cold and unfriendly weather conditions.

Escape from predators

Many wild animals love to have snakes as a meal. Snakes would want to feel safe and far away from predators, such as weasels. 

To do this, they climb ways and hind in between wall gaps. With this, they can escape from their predators.

Chasing prey

When a snake perceives the scent of the prey, they are likely to go after them. However, that is why you can find snakes in your yard or garage.  

Barns and gardens often seem infested with rodents such as rats, birds, and mice.  However, if a snake notices it pery, it goes after them.

Can Snake Climb High walls

Snakes can climb any wall as long as its shorter body length. A 5 foot wall snake can climb over a 5 foot wall.

However, regardless of the wall texture, it would crawl up the wall and lift itself. The higher the wall, the more difficult the snake would go up.  The snakes can only be lucky and gravity can aid them as well.

If the wall length is too high, the snake might lose its grip and fall off.


Do say snakes won’t climb!  Because they actually do. Snakes  climb brick walls, but they are not able to go over smooth surfaces.  

Most of these snakes will do this because they are hunting prey. Their scales are strong enough to grip them and push them up to the surface.

However, not all snakes can climb. Some snakes grow too big and will find it challenging to push their body  upwards or to even grip a brick wall.

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