Few sounds in nature elicit fear like a rattlesnake's shake. But hikers don't always have the benefit of forewarning when a snake is close by.

A 79-year-old hiker was bit by a rattlesnake on Mount Tamalpais Sunday, according to California Highway Patrol. Marin County fire responded found the hiker with multiple snake bites. A CHP helicopter was dispatched around 2:15 p.m. to transport the hiker to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

The hiker's condition was later updated to stable, according to the helicopter unit.

It's not clear how the hiker came into contact with the rattlesnake. CHP warns hikers to watch closely for snakes on local trails as warmer weather settles into the Bay Area.

On rare occasions, rattlesnake bites can cause severe injuries or death. Wildlife experts say these snakes will generally retreat if they are given space, and are not deliberately mistreated or threatened.