Rainbow Falls

End of CA-203 West
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Local phone: 760-934-2289

Hours of Operation: Ranger station hours vary

Closed : September 1 - June

The 101-foot waterfall is part of the Devils Postpile National Monument. It is known for the colorful rainbow that its mist creates. The best time to experience the rainbows is midday, when the sun is highest.

Mandatory Scenic Shuttle

The mandatory shuttle is operated by Eastern Sierra Transit and boards at Mammoth Adventure Center. Personal vehicle travel is allowed outside of the shuttle season.

Accessibility to the Waterfall

2.5 miles or 5 miles round-trip moderate hike.

Traveler Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Overall Rating: 4.5

based on 323 reviews

A must see.
It sure was beautiful, and the hike from the parking lot was nice too. Arrive early to beat the crowds. The road down from the ranger shack was quite intimidating with some steep drop offs in some...
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Beautiful but crowds kind of ruin experience
Take the shuttle to the Rainbow Falls stop AFTER Devil's Post Pile. It's less crowded and downhill and only 20 min hike to the falls. Start early before 9 am to beat the crowds. Signs are confusing...
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Easy hike with dog
2.1 miles round trip - lots of kids on trail but a must see in area Limited parking - i went late in day
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Full day

Half day

Hiking & Backpacking


Takes 1 - 2 hours

Takes 2 - 3 hours


This unique geological structure features thousands of hexagonal basalt columns formed 100,000 years ago when lava flow slowed and then cooled and cracked. The area is accessible in summer months, and a mandatory shuttle offers visitors transportation to Devils Postpile and other Reds Meadow areas. Catch the shuttle from the...
Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation, Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile formation, the 101-foot high Rainbow Falls and pristine mountain scenery. The formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt.  Visitors can...
ESTA offers a variety of bus services, including; deviated fixed routes, local in-town dial-a-ride services, multiple town-to-town services throughout the Hwy 395 and Hwy 6 corridors, and interregional service (CREST) extending from Reno, Nevada, to Lancaster, California, with connections to the Los Angeles area. Locally, ESTA operates summer and winter...