California: Devil’s Postpile National Monument

Mammoth Statue at Mammoth Lakes

Monument’s High Sierra Stream with Fall Color

View of Devil’s Postpile from Bottom

Twisted Columns of Devil’s Postpile

Fallen Columns of Devil’s Postpile

“Floor Tile” Pattern at Top of Devil’s Postpile

View from Top of Devil’s Postpile

Wildlife Sightings at Devil’s Postpile

Devil’s Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Lakes, California, has some of the best rock columns in the world!  Over 10,000 years ago, the area was roamed by mammoths, ground sloths, saber-toothed tigers, and camels.  Even further back in time – 100,000 years ago – the area was filled with erupting volcanoes and a fiery lava lake.  Over time as the lake cooled, cracks formed in the lava and merged into vertical columns.  Later on, glaciers scraped over and around the lake and exposed the columns.  The symmetrical columns are equally impressive from both the bottom and top of the postpile.  Wildlife sightings by hikers at the monument include bear, marmot, and porcupine.

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

4 Responses to California: Devil’s Postpile National Monument

  1. Kongo says:

    I have visited the Devil’s Postpile several times and have camped nearby. Actually, it was my last camping experience. Our youngest got sick, my wife took him to the toilet leaving a smoldering fire which a passing ranger flooded and fined us $200, and we had a flat tire. After leaving early, my youngest said from the backseat, “Next time I just want to go to Hawaii.” Good memories, though and thanks for those great pictures.

    • Pam says:

      You have my sympathy! After we visited, a front moved through and there was an early snowstorm. The Tioga Pass was closed, so we had to drive all the way to Lake Tahoe to get back to San Francisco! We love Hawaii and would love to return sometime. Am really enjoying your pictures of Missy there!

  2. Hey Pam. These are nice photos, and BTW, these types of formations are called “columnar jointing” by geologists. They’re relatively rare, and are caused when basalt cools rapidly from the outside in. I’ve never heard of this National Park, and will definitely put it on my list. ~James

    • Pam says:

      Neat! I loved visiting. Stay in Mammoth, and while in the area head north to Mono Lake, and south to Bristlecone Pine Forest. One of our favorite areas ever!

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