Reds Meadow & Ansel Adams Wilderness Area – Half to Full Day Itinerary

A mandatory shuttle and fee are required to get into Reds Meadow Valley. Pick up the shuttle at the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center. The shuttle system is in place to allow the valley to recover from intense use it received in the 1970s, and it has protected the area from the additional degradation that would result from a high numbers of visitors combined with limited parking. The steep and narrow access road into the valley would also become a major traffic safety hazard during peak visitation periods without the shuttle service. A fee is charged to support the shuttle. For more information, call the California Welcome Center – Mammoth Lakes at 760-924-5500. 

Devils Postpile: Devils Postpile is a unique geologic feature, formed 100,000 years ago by an eruption of lava. The lava cooled uniformly, leaving surface cracks resulting in six-sided basalt vertical columns. Devils Postpile is a short, easy half-mile hike from the trailhead. The National Park Service offers interpretive tours, a ranger station, picnic area, restrooms and a campground. 

Rainbow Falls: The San Joaquin River tumbles over an abrupt 101-foot lava ledge, sending rainbows of color into the mist. The best time to experience the rainbows is midday, when the sun is highest. You can walk another 3 miles past Devils Postpile to the Rainbow Falls trailhead. From there, it is a 1.25-mile, moderate hike to view the falls. 

Reds Meadow Resort & Pack Station: Reds Meadow Resort has cabins, motel rooms, a general store and the Mule House Café. Resort services include backcountry supply package delivery, showers, summer entertainment, barbecues and wagon rides. Reds Meadow Pack Station offers guided hour-long, half-day and full-day horseback rides. Custom multi-day, week-long and full-service pack trips are also available. Advance reservations required. Reds Meadow Resort & Pack Station is located 1 mile past the Rainbow Falls trailhead. For more information, call 760-934-2345.