|San Diego Gopher Snake|
"Ooh, cool. A snake!" Brown and black with no red or yellow--not a Garter Snake. Not rings of black and white, so not a California King Snake. Okay, skinny tail and blunt head. No worries. This is not a Rattle Snake. This must be the common and widespread Gopher Snake (various subspecies also known as Pine Snake and Bull Snake). It is, in fact, the San Diego Gopher Snake.
The San Diego Gopher Snake (Pituophis melanoleucus annectens) is 31-51 inches long as an adult, the female longer. I estimate that the snake I saw was about 48 inches, so likely a female.
It wasn't moving as fast as I like, so I reached out and picked up the tail a bit to see if it would scoot off my path. Nope; it coiled up in a defensive fashion.
I found another way down the hill.