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.
We camped at New Shady Rest campground in Inyo National Forest, just outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA. We chose it because it was close to the places we planned to visit. The campground was nice, and made a good base camp. It was full on the weekend, but there was space when we left on Monday.
There is a Visitor Center just outside the campground, 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.
We visited Devils Postpile National Monument, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, and a few other places around Mammoth Lakes.
We also saw the Earthquake Fault, a large fissure in the ground. We hiked to Inyo Crater Lakes and you can see that they were rather deep craters just stuck in the middle of the forest. They think that volcanic activity blew steam through the area, forming the craters. We drove to Convict Lake. It was formed when a glacial moraine dammed the creek. The bowl of mountains around them was stunning. This must be a great place to fish, as the place was loaded with fishermen.
We almost stayed at Twin Lakes, in the lake district just outside Mammoth Lakes, and I assume where the town got its name. We drove around the lakes looking at the campgrounds. Twin Lakes was also nice, and would be our second choice. We liked New Shady Rest the best, although the camp store at Twin Lakes offered showers. We were able to take showers about every other day in our trailer, as we have learned the capacity of our water tanks, and we can't take more than about 5 showers before we run out of fresh water. And we had a great Verizon signal at the campground, not that we used it a lot.
Our trailer has worked out great for us. We have a secure and warm ( in cold weather) place to stay, with all the comforts we need, like hot water and furnace, and even a queen bed. Our Jeep Grand Cherokee tows it nicely over the mountains.
All of the campgrounds in this area of the Sierra Nevada mountains are in bear country, so we had a bear box at our campground. We were allowed to keep our food in our trailer as long as we kept the windows closed. We did use the bear box for our gas grill so it could cool down overnight. The gas grill is another of the things that makes our trailer nice for enjoying the places we are visiting.
We spent 4 nights and 3 days in this area, which worked out fine for us. We saw Devils Postpile NP on the first day, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on the second day, and some other smaller sites on the third day. As we are slow and short length hikers, we were able to see all we wanted and have a little time left for a little reading. We found a nice bookstore and Von's groceries in Mammoth Lakes near our campground.
The last time we tried to visit Devil's Postpile NM, seven years ago in May, we couldn't get to it because of snow, like 20 feet of it still on the ground. This year, after 4 years of drought, snow was nowhere to be seen. Well, it was August but there was precious little snow on the tops of the mountains.
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.