Mammoth Lakes History & Museums: Devils Postpile National Monument, California

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Devils Postpile

Come to see the polished basalt spires of Devils Postpile and stay to take in 101 foot rainbow falls. With over 798 acres of wilderness, Devils Postpile National Monument is pure Sierra Nevada splendor.

  • The mandatory Reds Meadow Shuttle bus leaves from the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area parking lot.
  • Additional attractions include Rainbow and Minaret Falls.
  • After viewing the monument, explore the parks many other outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching.


While Devils Postpile, located in California's scenic Sierra Nevada mountain range, is worth the trip on its own, the Monument is far more than just a 60 foot basalt wall. With impressive waterfalls (Rainbow and Minaret Falls are both easy hikes), plentiful hiking, cycling, wildlife watching, and winter snowshoeing, there is something here for everyone.


Shuttle Service
Most visitors will take the mandatory Reds Meadow Shuttle Bus, departing from the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area parking lot (from US 395 head west on SR 203 to Mammoth Lakes). Shuttle service begins in mid-June and continues through the end of September. Tickets cost $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for children over the age of 3, and children under the age of 3 ride free. Purchase tickets at the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center or any other Mammoth Mountain Ticket Outlet.

Private Cars
Private cars may enter the Monument ($10.00 for a one day single vehicle pass) when meeting the following criteria:

  • When arriving before 7:00am or after 7:00pm
  • When staying overnight at Reds Meadow Resort or in the designated campground.
  • When carrying a cartop boat or float tube
  • When towing a lovestock trailer
  • If a handicap placard or plates are displayed

Contact Information

Devils Postpile National Monument
P.O. Box 3999
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-2289


The Monument operates seasonally, typically from mid-June through mid-October. During operating season it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Ranger Station is open from 9:00am to 5:00 pm daily.


Hiking: There are over 8 miles of trails within the Monument. Hike to the base of the Postpile in an easy 0.4 mile jaunt, or take a 2.5 mile stroll (one way) to spectacular Rainbow Falls.

Wildlife Watching: Come early and stay late (most wildlife are active at dawn and dusk) for a chance to see classic Sierra wildlife, including black bears, coyotes, and mule deer. The Monument also boasts 97 species of birds.

Fishing: The San Joaquin River, a designated Wild Trout River, boasts ample fishing opportunities. Fish near the parking lot, or venture away from Soda Springs Meadow for more solitude.

Snowshoeing and Cross-country Skiing: Though the roads close in winter, The Reds Meadow Valley is available to backcountry travelers, and will provide a measure of solitude and scenery not available during the busy summer months. Backcountry winter travel can be dangerous, and is not for the inexperienced. Most should hire a professional guide.

Additional Info

Access to Devils Postpile National Monument is currently free, though there are fees to utilize the facilities in the Reds Meadow Valley.