Some details of the geologic origin of the Devils Postpile are not completely clear, but enough is known to reconstruct much of the story. Until recently, it was thought to have formed about one million years ago. Current studies suggest that the Postpile was formed less than 100,000 years ago when a cooling lava flow cracked into multi-sided columns. However, to fully understand the geologic setting of the Postpile we must go back millions of years to a time when there was no Sierra Nevada and California was a shallow sea. The beginning of North America For nearly 500 million years, what is now Eastern California was a shallow sea. The western edge of North America was several hundred miles east of the present coastline and North America was part of a large super-continent called Pangaea. This super-continent was the land mass from which all of today
Amazing hike, it never gets old!! It's super smart to go very early in the morning around 5am so that you yourself can drive down there and park wherever you want. I have taken the bus down there and i had to stand the whole time and quite frankly, i think any Californians or hikers will admit that having to stand in a packed bus isn't our cup of tea and we're not used to it. Also there are MANY tourists that you can avoid as well. Get up super early when it's still dark and drive down to Devils Postpile and catch the trail. You have to be at the entrance before, i believe, 7am or else they will not let you in! At this early in the morning, you can't see the rainbow at the falls because the sun doesn't hit it yet, but it is worth it. You might see one or two people, and it is so calming. Birds chirping and the sun rising, nothing beats it. This is amazing compared to the hundreds of people trying to get a peak at the waterfall, and hundreds of people on the trail alone. But whatever you end up doing, enjoy the whole experience!
Beautiful hike with nice views. Waterfall had a good amount of water and we even saw a rainbow. We walked over the top of Devil's Postpile which offered more views and a closeup look on the hexagon patterns. Total distance including hike back along the road was 5.9miles
We went in the evening, after 7pm, when you didn't have to take bus anymore and could just drive down the parking, right next to the Devil's Postpile. This way we were almost completely alone on the trail and were able to marvel at the monument in relative solitude.
During the day it's possible to take the bus to the Devil's Postpile stop and then it's only 0.5 miles to the sight, a little more if you want to go on top and see the hexagon squares on the surface.
More photos: https://csgirllife.wordpress.com/2016/09/15/devils-postpile/
The scenery going to the falls is outstanding! We decided to connect to the Pacific Crest Trail and get off the beaten path on our way back to the falls, which was well worth it. The trail going back to the bus stop is all up hill so caution should be taken for people with health conditions.
Over all I think it is worth going to see.
We only did the hike from Red's, Easy hike from there, although trees are burnt out from forest fire years earlier, could get warm mid-day, Stairs to the bottom of the falls were closed, wish we would have known, would given a higher rating if we could have gotten down to the river!
This hike was tough for me. I'm not used to the elevation and it was really against me on that hot day. It's mostly in the sun due to the fire years ago. Wear a hat and sunscreen. We had two camelbacks (5L total) between two kids and and two adults and tapped them both out by the time we got to the shuttle pickup.
My 7yr old did pretty well on this hike. Definite times of complaining and wanting to give up, but he was so happy he went on when we reached Rainbow Falls.
My husband hiked this with our 29lb 3yr old on his back in a carrier and did it with relative ease.
It's definitely worth continuing on after you reach Devil's Postpile.