Devil’s Post pile/ Minaret Falls/ Rainbow Falls
by Mamood Sabahi
This is one of Eastern Sierra’s highlights and is a “must do” whether you are a skier or not.
After a great day of skiing yesterday, I purchased a bus ticket for $7 and boarded the bus by the adventure center ( bottom terminal of Gondola across from main lodge). Busses run every 20 minutes and private cars are not allowed between 7AM-7PM when the shuttle buses are running unless you have a Handicap sticker or unless you are staying at Red’s Meadow Resort. The last bus leaves stop 6 at 7:45 PM. its about a 10 mile ride to stop 6 ( Devil’s PostPile Stop).
On the way there you are exposed to an incredible view of the MInarets across the valley so have your camera ready. Once you get off at stop 6, you encounter a beautiful meadow with San Joaquin River Running right thru it and if you are lucky, a few deer would be close by. There is a ranger station which is helpful for answering your questions and getting trail maps. I started hiking at 3:00 PM and the first trail that I took was Minaret Falls. It is 1.5 miles to Minaret Falls and you start by crossing a wooden bridge over the river.
Minaret Falls are very unique in nature and they flow at about 45 degrees over huge boulders. After taking pictures, I headed back and I was back at the ranger station by little after 4:00 PM. I would classify this hike as an easy/ moderate hike. I then took the trail to Devil’s Postpile which is about .5 miles and came across incredible formation of postpile rocks which appeared to have been curved by the devil himself ! From there, I continued the trail towards Rainbow Falls which was about another 2.5 miles of well marked trails.
Once I got there, this was the highlight of the day ! Waterfall pouring about 100 feet off of a cliff and while the sun was shining, you could see an incredible rainbow across the river canyon. You can also hike down to the small pool at the bottom of the falls. Once again after enjoying the scenery and taking pictures, I headed back to the trail head at stop 9 to catch the bus back to the Adventure Center. This is much closer ( about 1.3 miles) than going back to stop 6 where I started. On the way back, make sure and follow the trail marked “Rainbow Falls Trailhead” and go right at the first fork with map board and then stay left at second fork. I arrived at stop 9 by about 6:15 PM and I was back at the Adventure Center by 7:00 PM. This is also considered an easy/moderate hike.