After 10 hours of hard hiking and searching in the June heat, I found my target: the Arizona Black Rattlesnake, Crotalus cerberus. This is only the third I’ve ever seen, and the darkest coloration of my experience with them.
Here it is as it was found, sleeping in a rock cut
I left to search further into the canyon, but found nothing. On the way out, as the sun had just gone over the edge of the mountains, I found the same snake in a different location, about 100 feet from the original hideout. It was sleeping in the middle of the wash. I was able to once again sneak a few photos without disturbing the animal, and left without it even knowing I had found it both times.