Devils Postpile National Monument, Mammoth Lakes

4.4
#1 of 8 in Nature in Mammoth Lakes
See rare geometrically shaped basalt formations and 30 m (100 ft) tall waterfalls at Devils Postpile National Monument, which is within the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The formations were created 100,000 years ago when lava was flowing and cooling down and glaciers eroded, polished, and fragmented the basalt into long, symmetrical columns. Reaching 18 m (60 ft) high and ranging from 61 cm (2 ft) to 1.1 m (3.5 ft) in diameter, the formations give an impression of tall posts stacked in a pile. At the park, you can hike, camp, fish and go horseback riding. Look for animals, such as black bears, coyotes, and mule deer. You can explore on 13 km (8 mi) of trails on your own or on a guided tour. Use our Mammoth Lakes road trip website to arrange your visit to Devils Postpile National Monument and other attractions in Mammoth Lakes.
Create an itinerary including Devils Postpile National Monument
map
Devils Postpile National Monument Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
788 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • October 4, 2017
    You need to go down a considerable distance, but it is necessary to be able to see that trail left by history, volcano.
    View original
  • October 2, 2017
    One of the "must see's" during the summer through fall is a visit to the Devil's Postpile national monument. It is a rare geological formation when molten lava is pushed through freezing ice and cryst...  more »
  • October 2, 2017
    5stars for was of access and quality of the basaltic features. Not much to do other than look at it but it is an impressive rarity. You start looking around on other hike and see other types of struct...  more »
Google
  • May 9, 2017
    You need more than one day trip for this monument. Beyond the science of this area, the scenes are truly amazing. Watching JMT adn PCT Hikers come into camp for supplies is so cool, and Rainbow Falls is a must see. Prepare for some hiking, but well worth every minute. Tip if you have your hiking legs on... get off at the first bus stop and walk all the way to Rainbow falls. You will have first half of the park all to yourself.
  • June 13, 2017
    This remote National Monument can only be accessed in the summer by either hiking the JMT or by taking a shuttle from Mammoth. The Postpile itself is a rare formation with hexagonal-shaped rocks. Expect to spend a hour total on this hike. The other main site in the Monument is Rainbow Falls that is a 3 mile round trip hike from the shuttle stop.
  • April 17, 2017
    Never got to see it, as I was expecting to be able to park at a trailhead somewhere and hike in and out. Nope. Park in a huge lot and wait to get on the next shuttle with dozens and dozens of other tourists. May work for plenty, but not my cup of tea.
  • January 16, 2017
    If you're there you should go see it but honestly, it's not quite as amazing as you'd think from all the photos you see. The site isn't as large as you'd imagine and it's kind of tucked away. I'm sure there far more impressive and expansive basalt column outcrops elsewhere in the world - like Ireland for example. I think the hike to the top of the pile would be interesting but I didn't do it myself.
  • October 8, 2016
    We're blessed to have National Monuments and this one is a must for any traveler in the area as it makes for a great day of learning and fun for the whole family. And while you're there be sure to continue on to Rainbow Falls for an amazing view and beautiful scenery along the way. Enjoy! S-

Plan your trip to Mammoth Lakes

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Mammoth Lakes

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Mammoth Lakes by other users

23 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES January, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES January, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in San Francisco, Mammoth Lakes & Santa Monica BY A USER FROM ICELAND February, teens, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM PERU December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Mammoth Lakes BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in United States BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Mammoth Lakes BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES July, teens, outdoors, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, outdoors, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Mammoth Lakes BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans