7 Common Dangerous Animals in Washington State – You Need To Know About

Washington State’s breathtaking geography with stunning forests, canyons, deserts, and mountains provides suitable natural habitat for Common Dangerous Animals in Washington State. While venturing on a hike or exploration, knowing about the most common dangerous animals in Washington State is essential.

common dangerous animals in washington state

As you explore Washington’s natural beauty, watch out for these potentially hazardous common dangerous animals in Washington State. It is a crucial aspect of ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. The state is home to around 50,000 adaptable coyotes in forests, ranches, and even near downtown Seattle’s waterfronts.

Protecting the cougar’s habitat is crucial, as there are around 2100 cougars in the state. While attacks are rare, However, avoiding behaviors that may trigger defensive responses in these wild animals, especially when they feel threatened can be helpful.

Washington state has about 25,000 bears, including black and grizzly bears. Although bear attacks are infrequent, carrying bear spray is advised for wilderness excursions.

common dangerous animals in washington state

Did You Know? In the US, there are around 7,000-8,000 venomous snake attacks human per year, but only an average of 5 people die per year due to their bites.

Washington State has over 200+ invasive species that are affecting its ecosystem badly. For example, The Amazonian Mouse clicker and the Micro sloth, both invasive species, have done irreparable damage to the native populations of the Upper Valley and the surrounding area.

Apart from land animals, this state is rich in aquatic animals. The most dangerous animals in Washington State include the Great white sharks, Blue sharks, and Salmon sharks.

Places to find Common Dangerous Animals in Washington State

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

This park is established in 1899 as the fifth national park in the United States. Mount Rainier National Park boasts awe-inspiring vistas and provides a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife species. Visitors may encounter species ranging from tiny mammals to impressive predators.

The park is a refuge for numerous mammal species. Black bears and mule deer are commonly spotted, while more elusive animals such as mountain lions and bobcats roam the forests. Smaller mammals like squirrels, chipmunks, and rodents contribute to the park’s intricate ecosystem.

common dangerous animals in washington state

The Mountain goats and elks are among the iconic wild animals that call the Mount Rainier National Park home. Mountain goats are specially adapted to scaling rocky terrain, and their white coats stand out in the lush green environment.

common dangerous animals in washington state

Do you know Bear attacks in Washington are very rare, with only 14 recorded bear attacks and one fatality in the state has been recorded.

But there are some rare and endangered wild animals in Washington. And in this blog, we will have a look at Washington’s most dangerous animals, from venomous snakes to grizzly bears.

7 Common Dangerous Animals in Washington State – (With Pictures)


common dangerous animals in washington state

Cougars, also known as mountain lions or pumas, are common dangerous animals in Washington state and are elusive predators.

Adult males can weigh between 130 to 220 pounds (59 to 100 kilograms), while females are generally smaller, weighing around 65 to 140 pounds (29 to 64 kilograms). Their bodies are muscular and built for agility and stealth, with long hind legs for powerful leaps and jumps.

They are incredibly adaptable and inhabit various environments, including forests, grasslands, deserts, and mountainous regions. These cougars are categorized as “Least Concern” animals on the IUCN red list.


common dangerous animals in washington state

Belonging to the Alligatoridae family, these formidable animals have inhabited Earth for millions of years. Alligators are large, cold-blooded reptiles that have sturdy bodies, powerful jaws, and armored skin. They possess a streamlined shape, making them well-adapted to their semi-aquatic lifestyle.

The two species of alligators, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) exhibit similar physical features.

Alligators are known for their dangerous jaws, which contain impressive sharp teeth. Their jaws are strong enough to crush the bones of their prey. Unlike their close relatives, crocodiles, alligators have upper teeth that fit snugly within the lower jaw when their mouths are closed.

These reptiles are carnivorous predators with a diverse diet that includes fish, birds, mammals, and other reptiles. They often wait near the water’s edge and ambush unsuspecting prey. They are one of the most common dangerous animals in Washington state.

Black Widow Spiders

common dangerous animals in washington state

Black widow spiders have a striking appearance, with glossy black bodies and a distinctive red hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of the abdomen. They use their red marking as a warning sign for potential predators. Female black widow spiders are typically larger than males, and their size can range from about a half-inch to 1.5 inches in length.

Black widow spiders possess a potent venom that contains neurotoxins. While their bites are rarely fatal to humans, they can cause significant discomfort and medical complications, especially in sensitive individuals or those with pre-existing health conditions.

The symptoms of a black widow spider bite or a wasp sting can include pain, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing. These venomous spiders are one of the most common dangerous animals in Washington state.

Eastern Washington

common dangerous animals in washington state

Eastern Washington has a drier and more arid climate compared to the western part of the state. This unique environment supports a diverse range of wildlife species. That have adapted to the specific challenges and conditions of this region.

It is home to many black widow spiders. Even though black widow spiders are more common in Eastern Washington, the Department of Health reports that there are a few small populations in Western Washington.

Moreover, they are the most venomous spiders in Washington. Other animals found in this region are Mule Deer, Coyotes, Pronghorn Antelope, and Bighorn Sheep.


Both black bears and grizzly bears live in Washington. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are about 25,000 bears in the Washington state. Throughout the state, you can see both black bears and grizzly bears. It is common to see black bears in forests and along forest edges throughout the state.

Grizzly Bears

common dangerous animals in washington state

Grizzly bears are the second largest, dangerous to humans, with polar bears being the largest and mosquitos being one of the deadliest. Grizzlies can weigh between 400-800 lbs and be 3.3 feet at the shoulder. However, it is very rare to see grizzly bears in Washington. Still, there is a small population in the Selkirk Mountains in northeast Washington and the Okanogan Highlands.

Bear attacks and dangerous wasp stings are rare in Washington, with only 14 recorded bear attacks and one fatality in the state. Carrying bear spray when in bear country can help keep you safer.

One Intriguing Fact about Grizzly Bears: Despite their massive size and reputation as formidable land-dwellers, they are surprisingly strong swimmers. Grizzly bears are known to swim long distances across rivers and lakes, sometimes even venturing into the ocean. Their ability to swim serves various purposes, from seeking out food sources to navigating their expansive territories.

Black Bears

common dangerous animals in washington state

Black bears are common throughout Washington and can be found in the coastal forests and the Cascade Mountains. There are nearly 25,000-30,000 bears in the state.

Do you know Black bears are smaller than Grizzlies and less aggressive.

Moreover, these common dangerous animals in Washington state are listed as the “Least Concern” on the IUCN red list of endangered animals.

One Interesting Fact: Black bears in Washington have a varied diet that includes a significant consumption of berries, particularly during the late summer and fall months. The abundance of berry plants in Washington’s forests and mountains provides a vital food source not only for the dangerous to humans black bears, but also for the safer moose, allowing them to store fats before the hibernation period that starts in winter.

Snake River

common dangerous animals in washington state

The Snake River is significant and iconic in the western United States, flowing through several states, including Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. With a length of approximately 1,078 miles (1,735 kilometers), it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River.

The Snake River’s diverse ecosystem supports a wide array of wildlife species. Many animals are attracted to its shores and waters due to the availability of water, food, and shelter. Along the banks of the Snake River, you can find species such as mule deer, elk, river otters, beavers, and various small mammals.

Western Rattlesnake

common dangerous animals in washington state

Scientific name: Crotalus atox

Reptile Habitat: Arid deserts, dunes, forests, meadows

Diet: Carnivore

Conservation status: Threatened but not extinct

The Western Rattlesnake is only one of the dozen snakes in Washington state with enough venom to threaten humans. These snakes are common dangerous animals in Washington state. However not found in western Washington.

At maturity, rattlesnakes can reach four feet in length. They can be identified by their broad and triangular head. Washington State is home to only one venomous snake species, the western rattlesnake. They are the only snakes venomous enough to pose a threat to humans out of the dozen.

Asian Giant Hornets

common dangerous animals in washington state

The biggest hornet species in the world is the Asian giant hornet. Asian giant hornets can repeatedly sting even though they typically don’t target people or animals on their own. They have a longer, more dangerous stinger and can puncture a beekeeping suit than most other stinging insects.

One of the most known features of Asian giant hornets is their potent venom and large stingers. Their stingers are longer and thicker than those of other hornets and bees. The venom contains powerful enzymes that can damage tissue and cause intense pain. The venom can be life-threatening for those who are allergic or receive multiple stings.

FAQs about Common Dangerous Animals in Washington State

What are the most venomous animals in Washington state?

The most venomous animals in Washington state are Asian Giant Hornets, and western rattlesnakes.

What is the apex predator of Washington State?

The apex predator of Washington State is the grizzly bear.

What animals to watch out for in Washington?

Animals to watch out for in Washington include various species such as great white sharks, blue sharks, salmon sharks, grizzly bears, black bears, Asian giant hornets, western rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and bobcats.

What is the most common wild animal in Washington State?

The most common wild animal in Washington state is Douglas Squirrel.

Are there sharks off the coast of Washington?

Blue sharks are one of the most common sharks off the coast of Washington.

Olivia Kepner