Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Beaver Ponds Loop Trail

MODERATE 198 reviews
#22 of 228 trails in

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.

Distance: 6.0 miles Elevation Gain: 764 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
17 days ago

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.

hiking
muddy
21 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike lots of elk

hiking
1 month ago

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!

hiking
1 month ago

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!

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

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.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

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.

hiking
bugs
over grown
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

very nice hike easy enough but beware: it's 10 km and not 5.5

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

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

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

beautiful simple hike with helks and the meeting at 50m of a brown bear with her cub. to do clockwise to see wildlife more quickly.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

We hiked this today (06/17/2019) and I was a little bit worried because of the latest review with the grizzly. The trail is magic, lots of flowers and lovely singing birds and other wildlife. We saw 2 mule

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this trail on June 10th. Enjoyed a beautiful climb along the ravine...until I had my first red alert encounter with a grizzly sow and her cubs .75 miles into the hike. She climbed out of the ravine and made eye contact with me less than 10 yards away. The noise we made to scare her off had no effect. In fact, she reared up on her hind legs and didnt stop staring at us, which got us briskly walking backwards with bear spray in hand. She then climbed onto the path and turned toward as one cub got in front of her and curiously watched us. By far the most harrowing about face I ever had. Quickly reported the incident to Park Rangers, who immediately shut the trail down. Shortly after my encounter, that same grizzly reportedly worked its way down the trail attacked an elk in the ravine. Would have liked to have seen the rest of the trail, but I chose to live instead. Subtracted a star from my review for almost getting eaten by a bear.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a very easy trail with some good views. I would recommend it to anyone even people that really don’t hike. I only liked it because my friends wanted to hike it as it’s rated “easy” otherwise I would have never done it. When we got to the trailhead they bailed and went to the hotel bar for drinks. I did see some wildlife but unfortunately not a bear. I did however find a $1 on the ground so I basically made $.18 per mile.

hiking
4 months ago

worth the hike out here. easy loop, did encounter a brown bear on the way out just about 0.5 miles from the start, a little too close for comfort. Had the bear spray out but didn't need to use. Saw plenty of wildlife along the trail whom didn't seem to mind us. Would recommend travelling earlier in the day. We went late afternoon. some trail markers were not obvious and faded

4 months ago

beautiful spring hike. I recommend visiting Yellowstone off season. This trail has so much and was easy with my wife and 11 year old daughter. Saw some great wildlife too. The red fox and the grouse were the highlights. such great scenery along the way with dramatic changes from Forest to swamp to deserts.

4 months ago

Done on 29 May between 15:30 and 18:00. The last 2km were terribly long because you just walk accross a loong meadow with no shadow at all and the sun burning your cheek. Except that it s à really enjoyable trail. We ran into several people so it's quite frequented. We saw deers, birds, and lot of super cute ground squirells :) no bears.

recorded Recording - May 30, 12:26 PM

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome day hike. Lots of varied terrain and some cool views. We did see a bear and cub on the trail about a mile in. They walked away with no issue.

hiking
4 months ago

Lovely trail starting right from the centre of Mammoth. We started next to liberty cap which means you start with a 300’ climb. About 3 miles in we encountered a big brown black bear with a cub, what a joy to watch mom being very relaxed while the cub was climbing/falling up and down the trees. Enjoyable hike with nice change of scenery.

Load More

Featured Trails