Devils Postpile National Monument

Natural Feature in Mammoth Lakes Region

The most fascinating attraction in Reds Meadow is the surreal volcanic formation of Devils Postpile National Monument. The 60ft curtains of near-vertical, six-sided basalt columns formed when rivers of molten lava slowed, cooled and cracked with perplexing symmetry. This honeycomb design is best appreciated from atop the columns, reached by a short trail. The columns are an easy half-mile hike from the Devils Postpile Ranger Station.

From the monument, a 2.5-mile hike passing through fire-scarred forest leads to the spectacular Rainbow Falls, where the San Joaquin River gushes over a 101ft basalt cliff. Chances of actually seeing a rainbow forming in the billowing mist are greatest at midday. The falls can also be reached via an easy 1.5-mile walk from the Reds Meadow area, which has a cafe, a store, the Reds Meadow campground and a pack station. Shuttle services run to the Reds Meadow area in season.