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Beaver Ponds Loop Trail is a 6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Gardiner, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 6.0 mi Elevation gain 764 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Cross country skiing

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

Washed out

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

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.

Parking in both places can be tight in the busy summer season, but possible.

Yellowstone National Park PO Box 168 Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168 307-344-7381 (recorded information and an option to speak with someone) Additional info: http://www.nps.gov/yell/contacts.htm

Go to Mammoth Hot Springs. Trailhead #1: Park near the Liberty Cap. On the side of the terraces closer to the Mammoth General Store you'll find a trailhead near Hymen Spring. Trailhead #2: Park your vehicle near the Justice Center at Mammoth. Behind the buildings is an old road and a trail next to the old road. Take the trail (the road goes somewhere else).

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (229)
Photos (202)
Recordings (166)
Completed (429)
Brett Becker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingGreat!

Hiked this in the PM. Follow signs leading up to plateau and then loop all the way around. There are 3 stages of this hike. First you have the switchbacks and bridge crossing; second is the forest and brush; third is the sage and meadow aspect. We ended up see a brown bear and 5 elk (1 bulk) approx 30 feet from the trails so bring the spray (bug and bear) and enjoy the nice fairly flat trail.

Kathy & Jon Boegl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingGreat!

If you take the clockwise route, the trail out of Sepulchur makes its way along streams through wild-flower meadows, with beautiful vistas and a lot of shade. We found poles to be especially helpful during the initial climb in elevation. We saw a doe, two Sandhill cranes and a large herd of elk. The Beaver ponds are beautiful, but not very interesting. (We didn't see Mr. & Mrs. Beaver.) The last two miles back to Mammoth (ending in Old Gardner Rd.) traverses open scrub land with no shade from the sun. Bring plenty of water on warm days.

John Stock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Well maintained. Went clockwise starting at the parking lot near Mamouth Springs. Initial hike up was a great work-out. Saw a black bear about 1 mile up, glad to have bear spray handy. However, he quickly ran up a hill after seeing us and hearing our voices. Not very many people on the trail, bring Bear spray just in case. Saw lots of elk, no beavers. Beautiful wildflowers and great vista. Not a lot of bugs, but wore long pants, better with some of the long grass.

Reb Milla
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 17 2020
Hiking

Beautiful. We were bear anxious at first because it’s secluded and full of meadows but soon others joined the trail and we felt better. It rained yesterday and was muddy this morning so maybe bring a walking stick.

Steve Leen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 05 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Lots of changing scenery. Seen lots of elk, couple deer, plenty of birds and a grizzly from far away. We did the trail counter clockwise which is more gradual incline for a lot of the trail. The trail starts behind the ranger station. If you go clockwise you have a constant incline about the first mile but then mostly downhill after that then. Not much shade though.

View Steve's Recording
Chelsea Fuller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 26 2019
HikingMuddy

I took the clockwise route, but both have a decent incline to start and gain/lose elevation throughout. So alltrails is inaccurate for the el. I was glad to go clockwise because the last mile and a half are open and it was super windy today, but it was at my back so it made it ok. Super muddy by the largest pond. Poles were helpful, didn't need my microspikes. Saw some birds, 2 ducks, and a herd of elk.

View Chelsea 's Recording
Kathy B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Oct 14 2019
Hiking

we hiked it in early Oct so the traffic was light

Jerad Bales
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Sep 26 2019
Hiking

The trail is 5.8 miles from the visitor center. Elevation gain is 1,453 feet. The summary information is wrong on AllTrails. Nevertheless it is a nice hike . I recommend traveling in a clockwise direction as much of the elevation gain comes early. No wildlife life on this very windy late September day.

View Jerad's Recording
Caprice Wright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 22 2019
HikingMuddy
View Caprice's Recording
Mark Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 20 2019
Hiking

Great hike lots of elk

View Mark's Recording
Whitney Maxwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 02 2019
Hiking

Decent hike on 8/28/19. Not too difficult but better if done in the early morning or evening, as your chances of seeing wildlife are much higher! Be sure to take your binoculars!

Cher Marcks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 31 2019
Hiking

nice trail per say I agree with another review horrible signage! we started going off trail and realized we were not right. thankfully I was able to google map the trail so we knew where to go. we didn't see any animals just our luck. and it's way longer then 5.5 miles!

Susan K Sheats
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Aug 23 2019
Hiking

The trail was longer than stated. My app measured 6.4 miles from parking area above start of trail and back. We did see a black bear eating berries, which was the highlight of the trail. There were some open vistas looking out to Gardiner and down to the river that were nice. The view toward the Mammoth terraces at the end was really nice. I probably would choose another trail next time. Not enough bang for the buck, so to speak, but lots of good exercise.

View Susan K's Recording
Tim W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 09 2019
Hiking

We started the trail near the hot springs, so had to do the incline. best bet might be to start near Juniper st. and go counterclockwise on the trail. great views, peaceful.

Lan Wei
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 31 2019
Hiking

Bring bear spray and be bear aware, we saw a mother bear and cub!! (30 July - late afternoon). A lovely walk through meadows and forest. Not too strenuous.

Heidi Tweed Pinckney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 26 2019
HikingBugs

Nice hike lots of up hill and a pretty steep grade coming down. bugs were a plenty. I didnt see any wildlife but there was fresh evidence of their presence. My tracker was working correctly but tyis seemed longer than 5.5 miles.

Zoe F.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 25 2019
HikingBugs

great trail! beautiful walking through the fields of flowers. saw plenty of elk and deer, and a couple walking the other way said they saw a coyote and a badger. not much shade in parts and loads of bugs by the lake, but the views and flowers make it worth it.

Melissa Nedjoika
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 24 2019
HikingBugsOver grown
View Melissa's Recording
Chris Van Egmond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 23 2019
Hiking

Nice hike, tougher than we expected, moderate would be the right rating. Lot of beautiful places to see wildlife, however we did not see anything which was disappointing. Would still recommend.

Francis Garnier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 20 2019
Hiking

très belle randonnée assez facile mais attention : c'est 10 km et pas 5.5

Erin N.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 19 2019
Hiking

Beautiful trail, but not easy! I’d say moderate. We went the way that was mostly uphill with a steep descent at the end.

Laura Bradley Myers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 19 2019
HikingBugsOver grownRockyScramble

Many lovely things to say about this hike but in no way does “easy” provide an accurate factual description, and I hike a lot. I would rate it moderate. Not strenuous moderate like Mount Washburn, just plain moderate, and I hike alot. There are multiple extended climbing inclines, not just the initial switchbacks, and there are also many extended relatively flat sections. Absolutely resplendent wildflowers, just beautiful and almost surreal in their glory. We were welcomed to the trail by a herd of elk and their babies...that was awesome. Saw ground squirrels and beautiful black tail deer; saw two coyotes near the end of the trail....Mostly saw LOTS and lots of bugs...I didn’t use facial netting near the short boggy section of the hike, the woods, or the lakes and wished I had; me, my husband, and twin boys stuck w Deep Woods Off instead; and all of us got bit by black flies on our faces, arms and legs. My main problem with this hike, and the reason I subtracted two stars, is that there is a DANGEROUS LACK OF SIGNAGE at the almost exact halfway point where you start back from the last lake to start closing up the loop and heading back to Mammoth. At the last lake, the worn trail path passes along a narrow stream. No sign exists to tell you that you are supposed to turn off the trail and cross a short single plank bridge over to continue the trail, and we never saw it. Instead, we kept walking on what appeared to be the exact same path we had been on. The path began to cross a large ravine, sideways, with basically a tilted rocky path over the deep ravine. We figured it out fairly quickly, thanks in no small part to the very odd placement of a cell tower on this hike that let me see where we were, and that we had inadvertently gone off the trail, but not before it scared me to death; the titled incline trail was very dangerous and looked like the continuation of the trail we were on......ADVICE: when you start to leave the last lake keep LOOKING TO YOUR RIGHT FOR A SINGLE WOODEN FOOTBOARD crossing the stream...then the trail is easy to spot and the whole way back there is no question that you are on the right trail. If you think oh no I’d not miss the bridge....there were 12 other hikers off trail and scared with us at the same time we were, and we directed another four we saw about to go off trail.. Obviously we figured it out courtesy the odd luxury of having cell service throughout this hike, but all that’s needed is a simple sign.. would still recommend as quintessential Yellowstone hike

Gilles Arnal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 18 2019
HikingBugs

magnifique randonnée simple avec des helks et la rencontre à 50m d'une ourse brune avec son petit. a faire dans le sens des aiguilles d'une montre pour voir la faune plus rapidement.

Lamar Jeffries
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 08 2019
Hiking

Beautiful trail with abundant wildflowers all along the way. Not sure I would rate this as easy, as the ascent is very steep, even with the switchbacks. Saw lots of birds, even a very large bull snake. The overlook and the abundance of wildflowers made the hike worthwhile.

S D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 25 2019
Hiking

This was our last hike before heading back home. We saw reviews about bears in the area, took our bear spray, crossed fingers to see one from afar. Trail was ok, after hiking in Grand Tetons, the scenery was less than fantastic. What did make the trail fun were wildlife sightings. We saw a black bear (could’ve been grizzly) and her cub 150 yards off the trail. She didn’t seem bothered by us or other hikers so a few gathered and watched her play with her cub for 30 minutes or so, that made our day! We also saw a Dusky Grouse performing his mating ritual..interesting, and saw some elk. We heard there was a moose but we didn’t see it. Hiked 6/24.

mitch hankinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 23 2019
Hiking

FYI..... no view of actual beaver ponds

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