Beaver Ponds Loop Trail

EASY 91 reviews
#16 of 206 trails in

Beaver Ponds Loop Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

5.5 miles
764 feet

kid friendly


cross country skiing


horseback riding

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


washed out

no dogs

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.

23 days ago

Surprisingly good hike. We have avoided this hike because it was so close to town. We found it adequately challenging and quite pretty. Good spot for picnic at about 2.75 miles and another at 3. We saw a large Elk, rabbit and squirrels. Several ponds along way and a bonus was discovering Old Gardiner Stagecoach Road to drive on way out of YNP. That was worth the drive.

1 month ago

Way more than the posted 5 miles
Not a great trail

1 month ago

This was one of the best Yellowstone trails so far!!! If you have the time and want to see some wildlife do this trail. Bonus...the wild flowers were beautiful!!

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! From certian areas on this trail, you see parts of Yellowstone National Park that you would not otherwise see. We started at the trailhead by the hot springs and ended up behind Mammoth Spings Hotel. There is an initial increase in elevation the fist half mile of the hike, maybe 400 feet or so, then the trail levels off for a a couple of miles. Toward the end, there is a lot more up and down unitl you reach a breaktaking meadow, perfect place for a picnic! We saw Elk, and various birds, the wild flowers were an amazing display of spring colors! NO beavers in the ponds, but worth the hike!!!

2 months ago

Love this hike! I did it alone, thinking I would see many others, but only saw two other groups the whole way. No wildlife the day I went, but evidence of elk, deer, bison and bear. Also, no Beaver dams or beavers at beaver Ponds. No matter, the views were incredible! I’d do this hike again.

2 months ago

nice hike !

2 months ago

We hiked this in late May and found it to be a great little trail. You go through a variety of scenery including pine forest, birch grove, woodland meadows and streams, small lakes and ponds, and open sage brush. There were lots of animals and birds about including elk, deer, bear sign, and a badger. Ducks, grouse, and a variety of song birds were abundant. The hike has a steep beginning but the majority of the hike has little or gradual elevation change. No mosquitos!

Not a lot of “majestic” views, but lots of variety and wildlife. Recommended for kids!

2 months ago

Incredible!!! No beavers but was our favorite part of our 3 day stay in Yellowstone.

2 months ago

Nice hike with a steep climb at the start then leveling out through thick trees. Saw elk, deer, chipmunks and ground squirrels for days. Beaver pond had a couple of abandoned beaver dams but no beavers. Great views of the canyon.

10 months ago

Stunning hike through a combination of different landscapes. Not too difficult but it was long, kid friendly as long as they are used to being outdoors. Saw wolves but no bears. Other hikers said they saw a bear though.

10 months ago

Absolutely stunning hike with gorgeous panoramic views of the mountains. The incline is pretty gradual, and there is a great chance of viewing wildlife, especially elk in this area. The beaver ponds are excellent for photography with the mountains reflecting in them. This is one of our favorite shorter Yellowstone hikes!

10 months ago

An enjoyable hike that helped get me acclimated to the higher altitude. Great scenery and relatively easy hike.

10 months ago

My husband and I went on this trail on the last day of August 2017. We had a great time. We found it challenging but not too difficult. We are from sea level so some trails proved a little more difficult for us. From the trail we saw a hawk, one snake, some ruffed grouse, elk hanging out by mammoth hotel and two beautiful mule deer. This trail does a great job of taking you away from crowds. One of our favorites from the trip.

11 months ago

Nothing special but nice wildlife (sandhill cranes with chick, some elk, blue winged teals and a family of Cooper's hawk). The pond itself is much smaller and less impressive then it looks on the pictures.

Be aware of elk that you see in the sage, we saw a female standing 2 meters of the trail, as we saw later, her calf was hidden in the sage and if we wouldn't avoid it, she could charge.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Waste of time. Trying to figure how this trail received so many positive reviews.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Those two rather large snakes were still there today, in the middle of the trail. The hike itself is beautiful, rolling over meadows filled with wildflowers. Saw a few elk but that was it. Trail is easy to moderate in difficulty. Saw families with younger children.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

We were pressed for time so only did a portion of this hike starting from near mammoth hot springs. Within 20 minutes we passed two snakes at different areas near the trail - both about 5ft long.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great hike to see wildlife in the Mamoth area. we started the hike on the hot springs terrace side. The first two miles are covered so watch out for bears. Two groups ahead of us spotted a black bear but we didn't see it. Lot of wildlife sighting including a fox, deer, a lost deer calf :( and plenty of birds (geese, ducks, crows, osprey, robins and woodpeckers). No beavers though. Definetely worth the 2h.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Easy. We thought it was neat how the trail goes through multiple climate zones (thick trees, valleys, open plains). Walked through a herd of elk.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

This trail was very nice. Even though we were quite early in the season, it was basically free of snow. We also saw tons of wildlife along the trail...elks, a moose, a beaver, and other animals.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Awesome! Just watch for the bears hanging around the terrace side of the trail!

Monday, May 08, 2017

Great easy trail with a little bit of everything.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

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.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Saw a mule deer at the top towards the lake area

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Made the loop, deer and bear present

Monday, July 25, 2016

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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

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.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

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.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

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.

Friday, August 07, 2015

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

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