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Stacks of bizarre, 60-foot stone columns give Devils Postpile National Monument its name, ancient geological formations resembling giant piles of bent lumber. The unusual, hexagonal structures are actually columnar basalt that was formed 100,000 years ago when hot lava filled the valley floor. Glaciers later polished and exposed the symmetrical, striped walls of stones to create the unique landmark we see today. Devils Postpile can be viewed from the side or the tops of the columns and is truly a mysterious masterpiece of nature.
Devils Postpile National Monument covers acres of mountain wilderness and is located in the Mammoth Lakes area. The strange rock formations are the highlight of the park, which is also a favorite outdoor recreation destination to fish and hike. Another popular attraction is Rainbow Falls, a 100-foot waterfall on the San Joaquin River and an inviting picnic spot. The area is teeming with animals, including mule deer, black bears, coyotes, and over 100 species of birds. Wildlife watching is best at dawn and dusk.