Devil's Postpile National Monument was proclaimed to protect a rare geological formation called Devil's Postpile and also nearby Rainbow waterfalls. Devil's Postpile is a cliff of basalt rock and is a fine example of columnar basalt. The symmetrical and multi-faced basalt columns are about 60ft high. Recent study shows the formation is about 100,000 years old and was was formed by a cooling lava flow. The columns might have been much taller. The eroding forces have broken the columns and the pieces can been in heaps on the ground.
From Mammoth Lakes town the National Monument is around 13miles, last 7 miles on a narrow, single and winding road down the hill. It is a bit scary at places as there is no railing on road side, but very much doable. From the Ranger station Devil's Postpile is around 3/4 of a mile. There is a loop hike which takes you to the top of the columns. Here one can see the hexagonal/pentagonal shape of the columns. It seems there was a plan to build a dam which would wash away this nature's wonder!! Then president William Howard Taft protected the area by declaring it a national monument. Many thanks to him for this noble work.
The very beautiful Rainbow Falls on San Joaquin river is just 5 miles round trip from here. The waterfalls is 101ft tall and rainbows appear all through sunny days. Though my family wasn't keen on trekking but, they agreed to go ahead. We walked the very exposed trail in dry and hot terrain. We had carried enough water and food. Had a nice picnic at the bottom of the falls.
Devil's Postpile National Monument lies adjacent to Ansel Adams Wilderness. During my previous visit I had camped at Agnew Meadows (8,300ft) and had hiked the popular backcountry route to cover 5 lakes up the minarets. This trek requires permit and available at Ranger Station. Backpacking trip was wonderful. Shadow lake, lake Ediza, lake Iceberg, lake Cicile and finally Minaret lake (9,800ft) up in the mountains. Lake Ediza is one beautiful lake with the minarets in the background. It is one of the popular backcountry camping place.
And the town Mammoth Lakes is popular vacation destination in Eastern Sierras. Very popular as a base for for some backcountry activities and fishing as numerous lakes around. During fall season it looks like heaven with trees changing colors. We went around most of the lakes. We had picnic at Lake Mary before leaving for Yosemite National Park.
Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)
Click HERE to read about more stories from USA.
This post is linked to Our World Tuesday and Nature Notes..
If you want pictures please ask me :)
Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.