Beaver Ponds Loop Trail

EASY 20 reviews
#15 of 168 trails in

Beaver Ponds Loop Trail is a 5.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, WY that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

5.6 miles 864 feet Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

washed out

This is a popular loop hike with two trailheads in Mammoth Hot Springs. This is a great hike for those who want to see wildlife. One trailhead is near the Hymen Spring at Mammoth Hot Springs. The other trailhead is behind the Justice Center. The trail loops through an open area on the side of a mountain, were a great view of Gardner Canyon can be seen. The hike's climax is at the Beaver Ponds which are actually on the Montana side of the Park. There are two beaver dams there, and reports of many kinds of wildlife. Much of the trail is also on the edge of a forest. The trail goes up and down regularly, but the trail doesn't seem to be too steep at any point.

2 months ago

2 months ago

It's fairly steep the first mile (taking the loop clockwise) but after that it's easy. I had 4g up there so I could tell right where I was on the trail which was pretty cool.

3 months ago

Saw a mule deer at the top towards the lake area

hiking
4 months ago

Made the loop, deer and bear present

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful loop trail. Saw lots of wildlife including bear, and elk.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

First a warning about this beautiful trail. At the last quarter mile if hiking the loop counter clockwise, there is NO SIGN OR MARKER for a u-turn or switchback going down to reach the end. Instead, the trail continues straight and dead ends at a ridge or hill, looking down at Manmoth hotel. To make matters more confusing, there is a faded trail 30 feet back that goes up a hill and leads nowhere. DONT GO THAT WAY. We got caught in a rain storm and lost the trail up there and had trouble finding our way back. We could have died as we were unprepared for the weather (our fault) and it was dark. We had symptoms of hypothermia and briefly panicked. This faded false trail was a major cause (as well as no marker sign) and is no doubt created by other lost hikers who miss the unmarked switchback and wander up the hill looking for the actual trail. Watch for this fork and if you miss it, retrace to find it. Otherwise it was a beautiful day beforehand and the hike and ponds were just beautiful. When you reach the large pond or lake you'll know it because it's stunningly beautiful. The lush forest surrounding it create an awesome green reflection and you engulfed in a spectacular emerald bowl. And a great viewpoint from the little log bridge. Sit there for a while and soak it in. I would hike this trip again in a minute now that I know the trail. Also, it may seem or actually be longer than 5.6 miles so start early.

hiking
10 months ago

A lesser-traveled trail in Yellowstone National Park that has its trailheads in the Mammoth Hot Springs area. It features opportunities to see wildlife (beaver, waterfowl, deer, elk, and even the occasional moose). It offers views of the eponymous beaver ponds as well as views of the hot springs. Only saw one other group on the trail, so this is a good opportunity to escape the crowds.

hiking
1 year ago

This loop trail has two entry points. One is located at the base of Mammoth Hot Springs, within sight of the Devil's Thumb and Liberty Cap. The other is at the base of the old Yellowstone road to Gardiner (a one-way dirt road you can take from Mammoth to Gardiner). There is plenty of wildlife along the trail. We say deer and elk, and we saw MANY animal tracks and game trails.

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

A great easy 1:45 minute hike taken in the snows of early April.

hiking
1 year ago

Great hike. Fairly short, but rewarding. It's a loop so you don't have to see the same stuff twice. Ask anybody you see coming the other way if they saw any wildlife. We did that and it lead to a black bear sighting. A passer by told us a specific location to look over a ridge on the side of the trail and sure enough, there was a black bear relaxing on the hillside over the ridge when we got there about an hour after he told us about it. We never would have seen it if we did not ask because it was out of view from the trail. We also saw several elk and some interesting birds.

hiking
2 years ago

Easy, scenic hike - lots of wildflowers in late spring/early summer. Not much wildlife, but that's okay as hikers are warned grizzlies are common in the area. Nice hike to acclimate to elevation and get the legs working.

hiking
2 years ago

This was an unbelievably wonderful hike. The views were spectacular and the ponds were beautiful. I will say this: I am SO, SO glad that we started the loop at the trailhead right next to the boardwalk for Mammoth Hot Springs (as compared to the trailhead behind the Mammoth Inn building). It was a sharp uphill climb for a lot of the first 0.7 miles, but once we got past that it was really nice and mellow - most of it was a gentle downhill. If we had started from behind the Inn, I feel we would have had a lot more uphill to worry about. (Also, a superficial thing, we saw the biggest and prettiest pond last by going this way. Made it a beautiful end before looping back down to our car.)

We saw mule-deer and pheasants, but no bears or elk. The elk were all chilling down at the buildings at Mammoth Hot Springs.

hiking
3 years ago

I started the trail near the hot springs. It was perfect weather outside. I saw grouse, sandhill cranes, an American coot, lesser scaups, elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, and other animals. I started the trail about 5:30 pm, so there were a lot of animals near the water getting their evening drink. I only saw one couple on the trail (which is unusual because it's a high traffic area). There was a downed tree that diverted a stream into the trail. You have to walk around a small marshy area to get past it. Other than that, the trail was in good condition.

hiking
4 years ago

This was my second favourite hike at Yellowstone this year (the first being the south rim of the canyon up to Sublime Summit) Signs at the trailhead said a bear had been sighted in the area, but we didn't see any wildlife other than chipmunks and uinta ground squirrels. The views are incredible and you get a little bit of everything.

hiking
5 years ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Yellowstone. The three plus ponds that make up Beaver Ponds are so amazingly pretty and there are tons of animals along the trails (be bear aware - we saw lots of grizzly prints so bring bear spray and make noise). There are some steep elevation climbs and it really seems longer than 5 miles (I said that more than once along the trail) but the views are so worth it. We were there during the changing of the leaves and that Aspen grooves gave a yellow hue to everything around them. We did not see one other person the entire time on the trail. It was like the entire area was just ours! A must do for anyone staying close to the Mammoth entrance. Also check out the Boiling River after for a much needed soak!

hiking
5 years ago

Short loop with lots of scenery, wildlife, and wilderness.