For geology enthusiasts like me, there is no better landmark near Mammoth Lakes than Devil’s Postpile National Monument. The tall basalt columns were formed less than 100,000 years ago when the lava cooled after a volcanic eruption. Stress cracks expanded in geometric shapes and formed the columns. It wasn’t until 10,000 years ago when moving glaciers exposed the sixty-foot wall of basalt columns. From the top you can see the geometric shape of the columns, which looks like a giant soccer ball.
Devils’ Postpile is located in the Red’s Meadow Valley and can be accessed by a quarter-mile hike. The monument is a favorite destination among visiting travelers and families. The Reds Meadow Valley is open in summer months and is only accessible by a mandatory shuttle bus that departs from Mammoth Mountain’s Adventure Center.