Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Trail type
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Beaver Ponds Loop is an accessible, short day hike out of Mammoth Hot Springs, packed with ample wildlife sightings and fantastic views of Sepulcher Mountain and Mount Everts.

You can start the loop by the Sepulcher Mountain Trailhead near Mammoth’s Liberty Cap, a large dormant hot spring cone. The trail winds briefly near Clematis Creek before climbing up the hillside to the junction with the Sepulcher Mountain Trail. On the large expanse of sagebrush, find a stunning view of the Mammoth elk herd in Elk Plaza as well as Mount Everts above Gardner Canyon.

As you reach the largest of the beaver ponds, Sepulcher Mountain comes into clear view. Return along the lower end of Elk Plaza and enjoy the smell of sagebrush and the sight of Mount Everts. Toward the end of the trail you will see a well-kept gravel road running parallel below you. This road is actually the Old Gardiner Road, a 5-mile stretch of road used by tally-ho stagecoaches to transport tourists from Gardiner to Mammoth in Yellowstone’s early history. The road is actually open to cars as a one-way road and for bicyclists as a two-way road from May to October.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Amazing views. Wildlife viewing.


Crowded parking in peak season.

Trailhead Elevation

6,295.00 ft (1,918.72 m)


Historically significant
Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Big Game Watching

Suitable for




My go-to winter trail in Yellowstone.
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