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Description
Near Mammoth Lakes and surrounded by Inyo National Forest, Devils Postpile National Monument lies at an elevation of 7,560 feet in the eastern Sierra Nevada. The highlight of this 800-acre monument is a sheer wall of symmetrical basaltic columns more than 60 feet high. The formation is a remnant of a basalt flow worn smooth on top by glacial action. A trail leads to the top where the surface resembles a tile inlay.
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The Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River drops more than 100 feet at Rainbow Falls, 2 miles by trail from the Devils Postpile formation. Fishing is permitted; anyone over 15 must have a California license. Hunting is prohibited.
The monument is reached via SR 203, which leads west from US 395 and Mammoth Visitor Center to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Adventure Center parking lot, then by shuttle bus to the Postpile ranger station. The shuttle, which runs 7 a.m.-7 p.m., also departs from the Village at Mammoth in Mammoth Lakes. A half-mile trail leads to the Postpile. Except for vehicles with camping permits, the physically impaired, overnight resort guests or trailers carrying horses or other livestock, private vehicles are not allowed beyond Minaret Vista (just beyond the ski area parking lot) during the day, mid-June through the Wednesday after Labor Day.
Rangers conduct interpretive walks and programs mid-June through the Wednesday after Labor Day (weather permitting). Leashed pets are permitted in the monument and on shuttle buses. Pets must wear muzzles on the buses. Monument open May-Oct. (weather permitting). Ranger station open daily 9-5, mid-June through the Wednesday after Labor Day. Shuttle bus tickets $7; $4 (ages 3-15). Three-day pass $14; $8 (ages 3-15). Passes for exempt vehicles $10 (single day); $20 (3 days). A Federal Recreation Pass is only valid for vehicles that are exceptions to the shuttle bus or for camping discounts, if applicable. Phone (760) 934-2289.
GEM Description
A sheer wall of 60-foot-high basaltic columns distinguishes this monument in the eastern Sierra Nevada range.
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Current Location: Devils Postpile National Monument, California