Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Devils Postpile

(GPS:N 37 37.510 W 119 05.065)

After visiting the craters we headed to Mammoth. I knew we needed to take a bus to Reds Meadow Valley so we could get to Devils Postpile. After purchasing our tickets we waited. As I remember, we sort of messed up by not notifying the guy who reserves seats on the bus where the bus takes off that we intended to go on the next bus. Which meant we had to wait around another 30 minutes or so. That was not really a bad thing, but looking back on this it slightly messed things up, and I will come back to this in one of the next two blogs.

After the 10-15 minute drive up and then descending, we started the short hike to Devils Postile. I had never been back here before, so I was looking forward to actually seeing this landmark. It is a well known tourist destination, so there were lots of people walking around.
Basically, somewhere between 700,000-100,000 years ago lava flowed over this area. It slowly cooled over the rock. The jointing occurred while the lava contracted. Then a glacier polished the rock. This created the organ pipe look to it and the "postpile" of rocks below it.
Most of the columns are hexagons, but the rest are 7 sided, 5 sided, 4 sided, 3 sided. This picture is standing above the postpile.
From the dozens of pictures I had seen and what I had read over the years, I kind of knew what to expect in coming here. Nothing surprised me too much. I think the only thing was I thought the postpile would be a bit bigger. The area is pretty much isolated to what I show above.

So, I would say we spent about 15 minutes total below and above the postpile. The next thing to do was to head to Rainbow Falls which is an easy hike a few miles to the south. We did encounter something I want to cover in the next blog. You will see a part of it the video I did for Devils Postpile.

Devils Postpile (Youtube Version)

Devils Postpile (Vimeo Version)