Devils Postpile National Monument

Eastern Sierra

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.

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