Nov 5, 2012

Natural Wonders- Devil's Postpile


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. 
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This post is linked to Our World Tuesday and Nature Notes..

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14 comments:

  1. Interesting place. Nice captures too.

    http://www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  2. Very interesting post! I'd love to see this in person. :)

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  3. What an awesome place, Kusum!! Your photos are superb and thank you so much for the fascinating history! Terrific post and photos for the day and a wonderful look at your world!! Have a great week!

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  4. Beautiful, nature at its best.

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  5. This is really spectacular, i haven't seen it in blogs! Thanks for showing it.

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    1. Welcome to my blog Andrea. Glad you liked the post.

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  6. Gorgeous! I love the waterfall and rainbow in the water! :)

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    1. Thank you Loredana. Believe me that rainbow is always there!

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  7. What a beautiful area for hiking and taking photos. I admit, I am not much of a hiker myself, but I would certainly enjoy experiencing all of this as you can almost smell the clean air in that region.. Lovely post for Nature Notes.. thank you Kusum... Michelle from Nature Notes..

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    1. Thank you Michelle for your kind words.

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