We decided to take an August trip to the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains to see some places that were still snowed in when we last tried to visit 7 years ago in May. We camped at New Shady Rest campground near Mammoth Lakes, visited Devils Postpile NM and Ancient Bristlecone Pine National Forest, and then we camped at Toulumne Meadows on the nights that were the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower. What better place than the top of the Sierra to get clear skies?
While we were staying at Mammoth Lakes, we took a day trip to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, an Inyo National Forest site south and east of Mammoth Lakes in the White Mountains.
There is a Visitor Center just outside the campground in Mammoth Lakes, and it was valuable for good information on what to see and how to see it. The guide saved us a long trip on a dirt road to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest that we would have taken if we listened to our car GPS instead of to him.
Devils Postpile is a volcanic formation where the cooling of the lava caused hexagonal columns to form. Many of them have fallen off the formation and piled at the foot of it, hence the name. We walked through the forest to Rainbow Falls which was about 100 feet high, and flowing nicely. I wonder what it looks like when it isn't a drought. Then we walked to Reds Meadow to the lodge there, and enjoyed a little ice cream while we waited for the shuttle bus. You must take the shuttle bus to see the National Monument and given the narrow roads, this makes sense. I was glad we chose to stay at New Shady Rest rather than driving to one of the campgrounds near the NM. The bus driver pointed out the Minaret mountains as we drove down, and we went back to see them from the overlook.
2015 Bristlecone- Yosemite
Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.