Hikes in Devils Postpile National Monument
Devils Postpile National Monument is located near Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. At the south end of the monument, you’ll find the lovely 101-foot tall Rainbow Falls. The monument’s main attraction is the Devils Postpile Formation, which has unique 60-foot tall cliffs made of basalt columns.
Devils Postpile National Monument is surrounded by Inyo National Forest (which includes Ansel Adams Wilderness). The park is shaped similar to a column of basalt. Looking down from above, the park is a long north-south rectangle that covers 800 acres.
Devils Postpile was protected as part of Yosemite National Park in 1890, but it lost that protection 15 years when plans were put forth to destroy the postpile formation. The park guide explains:
Originally part of Yosemite National Park, Devils Postpile lost its protective status in 1905 with pressure from local mining interests. They planned to dynamite the postpile to make a rock dam on the river. This threatened not only the postpile formation and falls, but this vital watershed. Activists persuaded President William Howard Haft to restore federal protection to Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls by proclaiming the national monument in 1911.
Postpile National Monument Hiking in
This group of trails in Devils Postpile National Monument all start from the same trailhead at the north end of the monument. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these trails. An interactive map showing the location of each trail is also provided.
This 1 to 1.35-mile hike visits the columnar basalt cliff that Devils Postpile National Monument is named after, with top-down and bottom-up views of the impressive formation. The hike can be extended to include Rainbow Falls at the south end of the monument.
This hike of 5.1 miles or more passes the Devils Postpile Formation to reach an attractive 101-foot waterfall with rainbows in its mist.
This 3-mile hike from Devils Postpile National Monument connects with Pacific Crest Trail to reach the base of a waterfall that tumbles and slides down a rocky slope.
Camping in Postpile National Monument
|Devils Postpile National Monument Campground|
This 21-site first-come first-serve campground provides camping in a pine forest next the Middle Fork San Joaquin River near the trailhead for Devils Postpile National Monument.