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Devils Postpile National Monument

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Geologic Wonders along a River of Life

High on the western slope of the Sierra Crest, nature reveals two of its wonders - the weirdly wonderful 'postpile' and the lovely San Joaquin River with its dramatic Rainbow Falls.

The geologic formation that is 'the Postpile' is the world's finest example of unusual columnar basalt. Its columns of lava, with their four to seven sides, display a honeycomb pattern of order and harmony.

Another jewel in the Monument is the San Joaquin River. Along the river corridor, the Monument flourishes with life. Meadows burst forth with flowers that nourish deer, birds, and butterflies. This portion of the San Joaquin is a designated Wild Trout River where both novice and expert can play the waters for four species of trout. Lining the river are a combination of old-growth red-fir forest and new growth rejuvenated by fire. On the lower reaches of the Monument's 2.5 miles of river course, rainbows frequently sparkle over their namesake -- the 101-foot drop of Rainbow Falls.

In addition to its geologic wonders and the beauty and diversity of the San Joaquin River, the monument is a portal to the great Sierra backcountry. Some 75% of the monument is part of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It is traversed by the historic John Muir and Pacific Crest trails; you can follow a trail from here to Mexico or Canada!

At 800 acres, Devils Postpile National Monument may be considered small by some, yet its natural and recreational values abound.



Email - DEPO_Superintendent@nps.gov

Write to
P.O. Box 3999
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Headquarters - 760-934-2289 summer
Visitor Information - 760-872-4881 winter


Operating Hours, Seasons
Summer season only: Opens in late June to early July, weather permitting. Closure in the fall depends on weather.

Ranger Station open July - August 7 am - 6 pm (closes for emergencies).

Winter months - Closed.

Getting There
PLANE - Closest commercial airport is Reno, Nevada.

CAR - Drive 10 miles west from U.S. 395 on S.R. 203 to Minaret Summit & then 7 miles on a paved, narrow mountain road. Most visitors must park at Mammoth Mountain & use the shuttle -- see 'Getting around' below.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - From late June to early September, day-use visitors to the Devils Postpile/Reds Meadow area must ride the shuttle bus -- see 'Getting around' below.

Accessibility is very limited in this remote area; none of the facilities or trails meet the ADA.

Getting Around
The road is closed from 7:30 am & 5:30 pm daily. All day-use visitors must ride a shuttle bus from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area between those hours. The first shuttle leaves at 8 am; schedules are posted there.

-Exceptions to shuttle use: walkers, bicyclists, vehicles carrying 11 or more passengers, vehicles carrying non-ambulatory passengers, people with valid camping permits, overnight guests at Reds Meadow resort or packstation, & vehicles pulling horse trailers or boats.

-Backpackers: wilderness permits do not include permission to drive to the trailheads or to the valley; you must use the shuttle or walk. Shuttles have racks which accommodate backpacks.

This shuttle system is necessary to lessen impacts on the environment & the visitor. Please relax & enjoy the view on your ride.



Required for people 16 years of age and older. The limit is 5 fish per day & 10 in possession.


Devils Postpile
There are 6 campgrounds in the area totaling over 180 sites. All are first-come, first-served; all close during winter. The campground in the monument, administered by the National Park Service, has 21 sites. The U.S. Forest Service administers the other 5 campgrounds: Agnew Meadows, Soda Springs, Pumice Flat, Minaret Falls, & Reds Meadow. Group campsites can be reserved at Agnew Meadows & Pumice Flat: 1-877-444-6777 or www.reserveusa.com.


Ranger Stations
Phone - 1-760-934-2289
Available Facilities - The station is open June through August, 7am - 6 pm (occasional closures may be necessary). Stop here for information & to purchase books & maps about this fascinating area.

Detailed Map

Contact Info
contact info
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates

Campgrounds Nearby
List of Nearby Campgrounds

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Devils Postpile National Monument.
 Campgrounds Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
Lake Crowley Campground, Mono County, 2 miles away
Aspen Group - Inyo, Mammoth Lakes, 3 miles away
Aspen Park Group Campground, Mono County, 3 miles away
Iris Meadow, Mammoth Lakes, 3 miles away
Iris Meadow Campground, Mono County, 3 miles away
McGee Creek, Mammoth Lakes, 3 miles away
Big Meadow, Mammoth Lakes, 3 miles away
 Marinas Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
Lake Mary Marina and Store, Mammoth Lakes , 18 miles away
 Hotels Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
The Mammoth Creek Inn, Mammoth Lakes , 16 miles away
Best Western Plus High Sierra Hotel, Mammoth Lakes , 17 miles away
Shilo Inn Suites Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Lakes , 17 miles away
Cinnamon Bear Inn Bed And Brea, Mammoth Lakes , 17 miles away
Travelodge Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Lakes , 17 miles away
Sierra Lodge, Mammoth Lakes , 17 miles away
Quality Inn Near Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, Mammoth Lakes , 17 miles away
 Trails Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
Sherwin Lakes Trail, Mono County , 14 miles away,  3.4 hiking miles, 954 feet elevation difference
Mammoth Rock Trail, Mono County , 17 miles away, 2.8 hiking miles, 1224 feet elevation difference
 Ski Areas Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
Mammoth Mountain, California , 19 miles away, 3100 foot drop, 27 lifts, 156 runs
June Mountain, California , 27 miles away, 2580 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
China Peak - formerly Sierra Summit, California , 34 miles away, 1679 foot drop, 11 lifts, 45 runs
Badger Pass, California , 64 miles away, 540 foot drop, 5 lifts, 10 runs
Dodge Ridge, California , 91 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 10 lifts, 59 runs
 Whitewater Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
San Joaquin River - South Fork, Fresno Madera County , 20 miles away, Class V - 14 miles long (Bridge over Piute Creek to Florence Lake)
Mono Creek, Fresno County , 20 miles away, Class IV(V) - 1.5 miles long (Vermillion Dam to Mono Diversion)
San Joaquin River - South Fork, Fresno Madera County , 22 miles away, Class IV-V - 7 miles long (Florence Lake to Mono Hot Springs)
San Joaquin River - Middle Fork, Madera County , 24 miles away, Class V+ - 32.5 miles long (Devils Postpile Nat'l Monument to Mammoth Pool Reservoir)
Kings River - Middle Fork, Fresno County , 27 miles away, Class IV-V - 6 miles long (Above Wishon Reservoir)
 Public Lands Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Three Rivers - CA , 62 miles away
Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park - CA , 64 miles away
Sierra National Forest, California , 37 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Devils Postpile National Monument:
Snowcreek Golf Course, Mammoth Lakes , 16 miles away
Sierra Star Golf Course, Mammoth Lakes , 17 miles away
 Lakes Near Devils Postpile National Monument
Lake Crowley, Mono County , 3 miles away
Chickenfoot Lake, Inyo County , 9 miles away
Mott Lake, Fresno County , 11 miles away
Bear Twin Lakes, Fresno County , 15 miles away
Lost Keys Lakes, Fresno County , 19 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.