Day Trip’n solo through Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls.
DP all the way.
The tiled basalt on top of Devils Postpile.
The name “Devil’s Postpile” refers to a dark cliff of columnar basalt. Radiometric dating indicates the formation was created by a lava flow at some time less than 100,000 years ago. The source of the lava is thought to have been somewhere near Upper Soda Springs campground at the north end of Pumice Flat on the floor of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River, from where it flowed to the site of the Postpile. Estimates of the formations thickness range from 400 feet to 600 feet. The lava that now makes up the Postpile was near the bottom of this mass.
The monument was once part of Yosemite National Park, but discovery of gold in 1905 near Mammoth Lakes prompted a boundary change that left the Postpile on adjacent public land. Later, a proposal to build a hydroelectric dam called for blasting the Postpile into the river. Influential Californians, including John Muir, persuaded the federal government to stop the demolition and, in 1911, President William Howard Taft protected the area as a National Monument.
The Postpile’s columns average 2 feet in diameter, the largest being 3.5 feet, and many are up to 60 feet long. Together they look like tall posts stacked in a pile, hence the feature’s name.
I’m actually leaving but whatever.
Never forget the Rainbow Fire. The 1992 Rainbow Fire burned more than 80% of the Monument and even after 20 years, parts of it are still pretty barren.
Right is right.
Approx. 2 miles downstream from Devils Postpile, the San Joaquin River tumbles over an abrupt 101-foot drop, sending rainbows of color into the mist. You’ll hear the roar of Rainbow Falls well before you can see it – and when you finally do see the 101-foot cascades, it’s very impressive. Rainbow Falls is the highest water fall on the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin river.
A pathway of stairs winds down to the base of the falls…
…which allows you to get up close and personal with the rainbow.