October 3, 2018

Mammoth Lakes: Devils Postpile National Monument


High Sierra: Highway 395

Devils Postpile National Monument  (760) 934-2289.  Daily 7am-7pm; June-Oct only.  Shuttle bus:  $8, 3-15 $4/day.  No reservations.  

ranger station cabin at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
ranger station cabin at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


welcome sign at ranger station cabin at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
welcome sign at ranger station cabin at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


Located at 7,500-feet altitude, this 60-foot-high formation is constructed of polygonal basaltic columns formed about 100,000 years ago by quickly cooling lava.  After checking in at the rustic 1941 ranger station (it once served as a ranger residence), visitors can take a pleasant 1-mile round-trip hike through the monument, circling up to the top where you can see the symmetrical hexagonal patterns polished by glaciers.  You’ll pass several meadows, a spur path to the San Joaquin River, and an access trail leading to the Pacific Crest Trail.  The Jr. Ranger program operates here.    

trail sign at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
trail sign at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California



trail to Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
trail to Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


scenic view at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
scenic view at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California



Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


wildflowers at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
wildflowers at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


hexagons at the top at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
hexagons at the top at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


hexagons at the top at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
hexagons at the top at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


Folks we met on the trail:
Anthony King, from L.A., doing Pacific Crest Trail
Yotam Perlitz and Shira Akov, from Israel, doing John Muir Trail

people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California

Aaron Kendall, with forest service, here to help assess the Lions Fire at Lions Peak that was started by a lightning strike

people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California

Deanna Dulen/ranger

people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California

man with his dog, Buttercup

people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
people met on the trail at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


A moderately strenuous 2-mile trail leads on to 101-foot-high Rainbow Falls.  It is mostly flat, with steps leading down to the base of the falls.  A rainbow is often seen, especially at mid-day.  

Visitors must ride a mandatory shuttle bus from the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center.  Parking here is limited and fee-based.  Campsites are available nearby.  
Other stops on the shuttle bus route include Agnew Meadows, Starkweather Lake, 

Agnew Meadows shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
Agnew Meadows shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


Starkweather Lake shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
Starkweather Lake shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California

and Reds Meadow, which has lodging, a general store, a cafe, a pack station where you can also arrange for day rides, and hot spring-fed showers.  

Reds Meadow shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
Reds Meadow shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


people relaxing at Reds Meadow shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California
people relaxing at Reds Meadow shuttle stop at Devils Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, California


More things to do in Mammoth Lakes.

More things to do in nearby Yosemite.

images and video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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