The Beaver Pond Loop is a relatively easy hike near Saint Mary Campground in Glacier National Park that is wonderful early in the morning due to the angle of the sun and reduced haze. Start at the Red Eagle Trailhead near the historic 1913 Saint Mary Ranger Station on the east side of the parking lot.
Make sure to carry bear spray, especially when hiking early in the morning or late in the evening. There tend to be moose and bears that are active at these times, and the dense forest around Beaver Pond can make surprise close encounters something to watch out for.
A large burn a few years ago swept through this area southeast of the Saint Mary Lake, and the area is still recovering. Large clumps of fireweed have taken hold of the hillsides as the new trees start to take root. When the wind is low, the glassy surface of Saint Mary Lake reflects the mountains on the other side; it is a great spot to skip rocks if any good candidates can still be found along the shore.
The hike itself follows a very small loop less than 4 miles with not too much elevation gain, and it is a good hike to get acquainted with the park or for those who don’t want to tread too far out in the backcountry.