Devils Postpile National Monument Road Closed for the Season
The road to Devils Postpile has been closed for the season. This will be updated as soon as a 2014 opening date has been announced.
There are about 8 miles of trails in Devils Postpile National Monument. The trails offer a variety of opportunities for all fitness levels. Expanding your hiking outside the boundaries of the Monument will take you into the High Sierra of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. If hiking with your pet, make sure it is on a leash at all times within the Monument. All of the following distances are from the Devils Postpile trail head.
Devils Postpile: An easy 0.4 mile one way hike to the base. The top of the Postpile is another 15 minutes uphill.
Rainbow Falls: From the Ranger Station, this is a rolling, mostly downhill, 2.5 mile one way hike to Rainbow Falls. This hike can be hot and dry in the summer, so bring plenty of water.
Minaret Falls: This is an easy 1.4 mile hike to a cascading waterfall just outside the Monument boundary.
Ansel Adams Wilderness: There are multiple destinations within day hiking distance from Devils Postpile in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Minaret and Fern Lakes are just a couple of the destinations you could visit. Ask a Ranger for more information.
RANGER GUIDED PROGRAMS
Other fishing opportunities are available at nearby Sotcher and Starkweather Lakes. For more information on regulations and limits, please visit the California Department of Fish and Game site.
Devils Postpile boasts 115 species of birds and all of the classic Sierran charismatic megafauna, such as black bears, coyotes, mule deer, and pine martens. The wildlife in the Postpile tends to be primarily crepuscular, meaning active at dawn and dusk. For wildlife watchers, the best time to visit is early morning or in the evening.
When viewing wildlife in the Monument, remember, all animals are wild. Please do your part to keep them that way by viewing them from a distance. This will keep you and the wildlife safe. For more information about Devils Postpile's wildlife, visit our Nature and Science page.
HORSEBACK RIDING AND STOCK USE
Horses have long been an important part of exploring the Sierra. Commercial pack trips are available in the valley through the Reds Meadow Pack Station, but visitors are welcome to bring their own stock. The trail from the ranger station to Devils Postpile is not open to stock use, but there are several other options. There is no stock trailer parking at Devils Postpile National Monument, but visitors may use the Rainbow Falls, Agnew Meadows or Red Meadow parking areas. Click here for a complete list of regulations regarding horse and stock use.
CYCLING AND MOUNTAIN BIKING
Cycling the road into the Red's Meadow Valley is certainly a scenic adventure. If you are interested in biking into Reds Meadow, please consider the following advisories:
If cyclists ride the shuttle buses out of the valley, they must pay the transportation fee. Those who cycle in and out of the valley are exempt from the fee.
Mountain biking is generally not permitted in the Reds Meadow Valley and is not permitted anywhere in Devils Postpile National Monument. The one exception to this is the Starkweather Trail, which starts either at Starkweather Lake or at the Minaret Vista. Mountain biking is only allowed on this trail AFTER the shuttle buses have stopped running for the season, which is generally the Wednesday after Labor Day. This is also a popular hiking trail, so ride cautiously. The nearby town of Mammoth Lakes and the surrounding Forest Service land offers endless mountain biking possibilities. Click here for more information about mountain biking in the surrounding area.
SNOWSHOEING AND SKIING
The Reds Meadow Valley, although closed to vehicles in the winter, is available to backcountry skiers and snowshoers. This is a true winter wilderness experience and travel into the valley can be hazardous. For those with proper avalanche safety skills and physical conditioning, however, the valley offers outstanding touring and provides a gateway to the High Sierra backcountry. There are NO facilities available in the valley in the winter and all travelers should be prepared to be self sufficient.
Snowmobiles are allowed on the Reds Meadow Road, but are not permitted on the road to Devils Postpile or anywhere within the boundaries of the monument. Please be respectful of this regulation.
Remember that avalanches are frequent on the Reds Meadow Road. Traveling alone is not recommended in the winter months due to the potential avalanche hazard. Anyone traveling into the valley should be equipped with and know how to use minimum safety equipment, including the following:
Winter travel in the valley can be a beautiful and rewarding experience. Research your trip ahead of time, checking the weather and avalanche forecasts. Check with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center for updated reports throughout the winter.
Did You Know?
The Devils Postpile that you see today is only a fraction of the size the original lava flow formation that filled this valley. Natural processes, especially glaciers, have eroded the rest.