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Beaver Pond Loop GNP
2 Photosets

mini location map2021-08-07
29 by photographer avatartibber
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Beaver Pond Loop GNPNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2021
Hiking3.56 Miles 458 AEG
Hiking3.56 Miles   1 Hour   42 Mns   2.11 mph
458 ft AEG      1 Min Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This was our second hike for the day and we hoped the weather would hold out. I last did this hike in July 2013 after the Romain Homestead 100th Reunion. I did it as a ranger-guided hike since I was by myself. However, the last 1/2 I lagged behind and more or less hiked on my own and somehow I managed to have a 3 part video. There were lots of wildflowers and the topography was very interesting.

Anyway, after our wonderful lunch at the Park Cafe in St Mary, we drove up to a packed parking lot. This is also the TH for Red Eagle Lake. The first stop is the Ranger Office/Cabin and Barn built in 1913. They are impressive structures I think. And then it's up through the thimbleberry and Cow's Parsnips to the forest, much of it dead. For the rest of this part of the hike heading west, you head in and out of various kinds of forests and into and out of meadows with expansive views to the west and north.

We had heard from some other hikers that there was a moose at the pond but we never saw it. However, we did see some bear scat which there would be no shortage of during all of our hiking. The wind was also blowing and in one area where the aspen were growing pretty nicely now, it created an eerie sound.

The meadows weren't as full of flowers as it is in early summer altho there was still some flowers that were blooming and others getting ready for fall. We came upon the pond. It still has that one dead big tree on its side that I saw in 2013. I couldn't see any beaver activity or remnants of such. We decided to hike along the use trail next to the pond as we proceeded west.

Eventually the trail wraps around the west side and meets up with the trail to Red Eagle Lake (a place I'd like to go on a backpack, it's about 7 miles from here) and the old road that goes toward Red Eagle Lake. We did encounter some hikers here but they didn't seem too sure about the hike they were doing so we told them to stay on the Loop and that the mileage is off by about .75.

Eventually you get closer to St Mary Lake and you can somewhat see it through the now burned trees leftover from the 2006 Red Eagle Fire that burned 34,000 or so acres. There is also a long patch of thimbleberry with some fireweed here and there. You eventually come closer to the lake and you can walk out to it for a closer view but it was starting to get chilly so we continued on to the TH.

There were other people there with their dogs so this must be an area you can have your dogs with you. The lot was still pretty full. One thing of note, it is best to hike it clockwise, mostly because the views are so much better.

We had dinner at St Mary Lodge where we would be staying the nite in a very small room. However, this room was much better than the tents we would have been sleeping in as the storm came in around 7 and stayed for most of the nite and into the AM. I should note here that finding breakfast on the east side was a challenge as there was only one place open besides a coffee truck. Fortunately the place open was the St Mary Deli, they had a great huckleberry yogurt parfait.

Here is a two part video from our hike:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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