MADERA COUNTY, Calif. — Devils Postpile National Monument is technically located on the Easternmost edge of Madera County but only accessible through HWY 395 in Mono county, Devils Postpile is a 60-foot tall geological wonder nestled in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The odd column-shaped rocks are the main attraction and the hike to the top is actually not that far just a quarter-mile.
Just a warning, the elevation gain on the hike is noticeable and the peak is around 7,500 feet.
When you do reach the top. Odd hexagonal tile-shaped rocks cover the bluff and geologically speaking this is a rare sight. These are the tops of the postpiles and they were formed by supercooled basaltic lava 80,000 to 100,000 years ago. Over time the piles were uncovered and polished by melting and shifting glaciers.
You could end your day after seeing Devils Postpile but I suggest you head down the hill and add a pine cone to the pine cone stump then take the 5-mile round trip hike to Rainbow Falls. It’s a great place to take a picture. The waterfall drops 101 feet into a large swimming hole. A long staircase makes it easy to get to the water.
If the beauty and landscape of Devils Postpile reminds you of Yosemite National Park that’s because at one point it was part of Yosemite National Park. In the early 1900’s gold was discovered in this area boundaries were changed. Thanks to Naturalist John Muir the area was saved from development and turned into a national monument in 1911 for everyone to enjoy today.
It's easy to take the same route. There's over 50,000 miles of California State Highway and it only takes you to well-known destinations, but Bartell's Backroads will take you to some of the hidden places that you won't want to miss.