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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

A simple walk through some beautiful forest!! Devil's Postpile was too cool with a nice little shaded area to eat lunch before the rest of the hike to Rainbow Falls. The trail is very sandy and therefore can tire you out a bit so just pace yourself because, although not difficult, we met with a few older folks on the trail that didn't find it to be so easy -- if that's the case for you there are two spots to cut the hike short and head up to Reds Meadow Resort, and you'll still see some amazing sights! Myself, my wife, my 12 year old daughter and 6 year old son did great but we were certainly tired at the end! Rainbow Falls is breathtaking, a great reward at the end of the hike! Just save your strength since you have to then hike back up and out 1.3 miles to the resort and/or shuttle.

Beautiful in June! Shuttle drops you off at .4mi from Devil’s Postpile. After that, it’s another 2 mi to Rainbow Falls. While its kid-friendly, the trail isn’t stroller-friendly. A jogging stroller is fine if you are comfortable exercising with one. There are many sunny spots, so make sure you’ve got a hat.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a fun, easy hike. The views and geology are really amazing. As you leave the ranger station, you walk past a beautiful meadow then along the San Joaquin River before arriving at the base of the basaltic columns of Devils Postpile. There is a trail that continues on towards Rainbow Falls. We chose, instead, to take the loop to the top of the columns. The views from the top are worth the few extra minutes. Enjoy!

Great easy hike for the family and kids. Great swim by the waterfall depending the on water level

A Picture is worth a thousand words..but real life is priceless. Seeing pics of DPP does nothing for being there in real life. :)
Lots of trails to branch off and choose your route..but it all eventually heads back to the parking lot. Some hills...but most pretty easy to navigate. There are a few spots with steep steps.
Camp style bathrooms in parking lot. Road curvy & fairly narrow..suggest leaving the trailer at home.
Lots of great photo opps in road & hiking trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful easy hike. The Postpile is fascinating and the hike to the falls is easy. Signage is excellent and the trail is dog friendly.

Absolutely gorgeous. I have so much fun on this trail. I never miss it when I visit Mammoth. Make sure you smell the trees (trust me)! I remember when I was a kid, I got to hike down to Rainbow Falls, right across the rocks, right up to the falls. But last year when I went, it was blocked off. Not sure if they’ll open that path again. I hope so. Anyway, on the way back, instead of going back to the Postpile, I went to Red Meadows and took the shuttle back from there for different views. There’s also a market.

Overall the hike was decent. The scenery along the trail was pretty boring. Lots of burnt and cut down trees from the fire 25 years ago... the falls were pretty but I wouldn’t say the hike is worth it. There are many other hikes in the area that I would recommend over this one. For people that hike often, this hike is underwhelming... but if you don’t get to hike often, this hike may be a good one as it is not strenuous at all. (Except one or two short uphill climbs).

This is a nice trail in and out from Devil's Postpile. The views aren't spectacular but the trail is not crowded and there's a nice spot at the base of the falls to chill and picnic.

A "should do"... to see it. But a bit crowded for the avid hiker.

Loved the hike. It was hot outside but my favorite waterfall in the history of my California hiking trips. Even on a cloudy day when the sun peeks out the rainbow appears. If your tired from the hike and don't want the 2.5 miles back, keep right and follow the sign that says shuttle 9&10 0.7mls BUT it's uphill to some parts of it. Worth it all

There were many people on the trail, but it was fine. It is a little bit steep and seemed a little bit far for my 75 year old mom . She's kind of fit. Overall it was gorgeous and very enjoyable for an afternoon adventure!

A little strenuous for me but lots of shade and great views!

Short hike worth the view! Bring lunch or a snack and watch the waterfall while you eat on the big rock at the destination.

Started at Ranger's Station and hiked to Minaret Falls then back to Devil's Postpile which was spectacular! Took the trail to Rainbow Falls but veered off to enjoy the bridge over San Joaquin River. Then back to Rainbow Falls which was gorgeous! The trek up to Red Meadows was tiring and kind of steep. But at least there's a small general store (cold drinks and ice cream too), tiny restaurant and clean bathrooms waiting for you before taking the shuttle back. Loved this hike!

For the short hike the destination on this trail is a must.

Hiked this trail 2 days ago. Hiked it the opposite way. Started at Falls trail head and ended up at the Ranger Station near the Devils Postpile trail head. I would recommend this route. It was moderate downhill at first and then a gradual climb out. I preferred this to the gradual downhill and then a moderate climb out for 1 mile. The road was fully open and shuttles were running. No snow issues on trail or road.

Great hike, but super busy trail. If you want a more isolated hiking experience from Devils post pile to the falls, wait 15 minutes after the shuttle drops off the busload of people at the Devils PP trail head to let the crowd go ahead, and start on the trail before the next shuttle bus drops off.

Hotter than I expected but beautiful view! And we walked down to the lower falls and got in the water. Super fun little hike.

Loved it. Went from Devils to Rainbow to Red Mountain but if you come back to bus stop 10 it's all up hill.

Getting to this hike (and many others in the area) is a struggle right now, because the road to Devil's Postpile is closed due to snow damage. Bikes are allowed on the road. The bike ride down to Devil's Postpile is awesome, because it is all downhill (about 6-7 miles). As you might expect, the ride back up is not fun. Because the road is closed, we had both Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls to ourselves. Both are impressive. The trail is fairly easy, but there isn't much shade between Devil's Postpile and the falls, so bring plenty of sunscreen and water. We also hiked down to Lower Rainbow Falls, which was farther from the upper falls than expected, but worthwhile.

hiking
11 months ago

Very nice hike!! I highly recommend it, it is beyond beautiful and for the most part is shaded except for when you cross through the part of the woods that burned down a while back. Seen lots of deer. If you like getting wet go below the bridge that horses use to cross (I stop there every time) I've done this hike once a year for about 5 or 6 years now-I am currently 17 so yes it is kid friendly. We've never taken our dogs. If you are starting from devils post-pile and you want to get wet before the long journey go through the meadow it's very pretty and cold water is refreshing (I usually stop there on the way back). Everyone should do this hike

Just wanted to throw a tip up here that wasn't obvious from reading recent reviews. As of mid-May 2017, you can't access the postpile from Mammoth Lakes at all. The 203 is completely covered in snow starting at the Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge and going east towards the postpile. (The US Forest Service site does mention a road closure, but it's always a pain to interpret those notices unless you're familiar with the area.) I don't know if there is an entrance to the monument from the west, but if you're planning on coming in from the east, definitely give the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center/Ranger Station a call at 760-924-5500 to check about access.

Easy trail!

Great views of the waterfall!

hiking
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Did this hike with my wife as our warm up for the backpack trip that followed a few days later. Nice trail and quite busy with people of all ages. The falls are great in early summer. Camped out one night at Minaret Falls campground. Doing so allows you to be able to drive down the road otherwise you have to take the shuttle. The trail takes you past the Devils Post pile first, then continues down to the Falls. We hiked on the trail that brings you to the top of the post pile when we came back from the falls. Neat to see the Basalt columns from on top. Nice easy walk and can be hot during the middle of the day

Lovely, easy hike. Completed it with a friend in October 2016, not too hot or too cold. I like harder hikes, but this is great for the family, or a half day trip

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