This snake is endemic to the US and Baja California. In California, they may be found from the Ventura County, south into Monterey, and the mountains west and south of the San Francisco Bay.
These snakes have a very diverse selection of habitats that include redwood and coniferous forests, oak-pine or riparian woodlands, and coastal sage scrubs. They can be found in wooded areas with streams and surfaces exposed to sunlight. They spend most of their time underground, and under terrain objects, or sheltering inside rock crevices. Breeding season is in spring and the eggs are laid in June-July then hatch about two months later. The kingsnake feeds on lizards, small mammals, birds, eggs, amphibians and other snakes even their species.
Adult coast mountain kingsnakes usually fall in the range of 22-30 inches in length. It is a medium-sized, slender snake with a moderate-sized head and smooth glossy scales. It has a conspicuous color pattern of black, red, and white or greyish-white bands that cover the body. The red bands are larger than the white and the white bands are slightly wider than the black. In some specimens, the black band may widen and cross over the red bands on the back. The bands continue around the belly, however, the coloring is paler and the bands assume a more irregular shape. It has a black nose splotched with red.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians