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Exploring Guadalupe Mountains National Park: 10 Animals We Saw On The Trail!

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, there’s no better place than the Guadalupe Mountains National Park! It’s filled with beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife. 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas and New Mexico. The park is home to a variety of plants and animals, including several endangered species. It’s also great for hikers, offering plenty of trails with stunning views.

It was an incredible experience to witness these creatures in their natural habitat. We learned a lot about their behavior and lifestyle throughout our journey. We hope you’ll take the time to visit this unique national park and discover its incredible wildlife for yourself! Here are 10 animals we saw during our trip:

Elk 

Elk are one of the most popular animals in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  While hiking, we saw several elk grazing and running around. They are a beautiful sight to see! 

We also heard their bugling, which is an echoey sound they make during mating season. We were lucky to witness this amazing experience while hiking in the park.

We stayed well away from the elk and gave them plenty of space as we hiked. We even spotted some of their tracks, which were very interesting to see. It was a great reminder that this park is home to many different animals, including elk!

Black bear 

We were so excited to see a black bear while hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park! We quickly took out our cameras and started snapping away. The bear didn’t seem to mind us and we were able to get some great photos.

We made sure to keep our distance and not get too close. We also made sure to watch our surroundings and be aware of any potential danger. We kept an eye on the bear, making sure he moved away from us and didn’t come too close.

Once we were satisfied with our photos, we slowly backed away and continued on our hike. Seeing a black bear in its natural habitat was definitely a highlight of our trip!

Gray foxes 

Gray foxes are one of the many animals you may encounter while hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. These small to medium-sized canids are easily distinguished from other foxes by their gray fur, which is darker on the back and lighter on the belly. They also have a black stripe down their back and black markings on their legs and face.

Gray foxes are most active at dawn and dusk, but they can also be seen during the day. They are generally shy around humans, but if you’re lucky enough to spot one, be sure to enjoy the moment!

Striped and hog-nosed skunks

There are two types of skunks in Guadalupe Mountains National Park: the striped skunk and the hog-nosed skunk. Both are nocturnal animals, so you’re more likely to see them at night.

The striped skunk is the most common type of skunk in North America. They’re black with a white stripe down their backs, and they weigh between 6 and 10 pounds. These skunks are known for their strong smell, which they use to spray predators and intruders.

Hog-nosed skunks are slightly larger than striped skunks, weighing up to 15 pounds. They have the same black and white coloration, but their stripes are wider and they have a broader noses. These skunks don’t spray as often as striped skunks, but when they do, the smell is even stronger!

Porcupines

Porcupines are one of the most interesting animals in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. They are often seen while hiking, and their quills can be a hazard if you’re not careful! Here are some things to know about porcupines in the park:

-Porcupines are nocturnal animals, so they are most active at night.

-They are proficient climbers, and can often be seen in trees.

-Porcupines have a diet that consists mostly of plants and bark.

-Their quills are actually modified hairs that are very sharp. Porcupines use their quills as a defense mechanism, and they can detach from the body if they feel threatened.

If you see a porcupine while hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, be sure to give it plenty of space!

Mule deer 

Mule deer are a common sight in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. They are often seen near the trailheads and along the trails, especially early in the morning or late in the evening. If you see a mule deer while hiking, be sure to give them plenty of space and do not approach them.

When hiking, keep your distance and watch for signs that deer may be nearby, such as tracks or droppings along the trail. If you do encounter a mule deer, remain still and quiet until it moves away. It is essential to respect their space and not disturb them in any way.

Mountain Lions (very rare)

Mountain lions are very rare in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. However, there have been a few sightings of them in the park. If you do see a mountain lion while hiking, do not approach it. Instead, make yourself appear as large as possible and make loud noises.

It is also important to remember that mountain lions are most active at night and dawn, so it is best to avoid hiking alone during these times. If possible, stay in groups of three or more people while out on the trails.

They are beautiful animals, but it is important to remember that they are wild and should be respected from a distance.

Javelinas

If you’re hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, be on the lookout for javelinas! These furry creatures are actually members of the pig family, and they’re common in the park. We saw several while we were hiking and they were definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

Since javelinas are wild animals, it’s important to remember to give them plenty of space and not approach them or try to feed them. It’s also a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and watch for signs that javelinas may be nearby, such as tracks or scat. Finally, if you see javelina, stay back and enjoy the view from a distance!

Badgers

If you’re hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, there’s a good chance you’ll see a badger or two! These little guys are actually quite common in the park, and they’re not shy about coming up to humans for a quick snack.

Badgers are small mammals with short legs and long bodies. They have thick fur that is usually brown or black and a white stripe running down their backs. Badgers are very shy animals, but they will approach humans if they think they might have food.

If you see a badger while hiking, it’s best to just leave it alone. These animals can be aggressive if they feel threatened, and they have sharp claws that can cause serious injury. If you must take a picture of a badger, do so from a distance and never try to touch one!

Mountain short-horned lizards

Mountain short-horned lizards are one of the many animals that you might see while hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. These lizards are small, with adults reaching a maximum length of about 4 inches. They are brown or gray in color, with dark stripes running down their backs. 

Mountain short-horned lizards are found in rocky areas and can often be seen basking in the sun on rocks or logs. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these lizards while hiking, be sure to give it plenty of space and don’t disturb its habitat.

Hiking trails

The Guadalupe Mountains offer plenty of amazing hiking trails for visitors to explore. We saw plenty of animals while we were out on the trails, including deer, lizards, snakes, and birds. The views from the trails are incredible, and we even got to see some of the park’s famous rock formations up close.

Hiking trails in the Guadalupe Mountains include the 8.2-mile loop Guadalupe Peak Trail, the 7.5-mile McKittrick Canyon Trail, and the 5-mile Tejas Trail. Other trails in the park include the 6.6-mile El Capitan Trail, the 2.8-mile Smith Spring Loop, and the 4.3-mile Pine Springs Canyon Trail.

Conclusion

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a stunning and diverse landscape, home to an incredible array of wildlife. We hope this article has inspired you to explore the park for yourself, and given you some ideas on what animals to look out for.

There’s nothing quite like standing in the great outdoors and being able to observe nature up close; so why not take a trip down to Guadalupe Mountains National Park today?

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