Devil's Postpile is a short stroll down the river
The columns are grand, and astonishing. Even if you haven't yet seen them
in the postcard racks near the Mammoth ski resort area, they have
the look of a supersized 3-D postcard themselves. This is a view from
the trail, where there are benches to look at the cliff. From this angle,
it is clearly a natural phenomenon, though the vertical portions are
startlingly monument-like. It doesn't have
the scale of Yosemite, if you have just driven over Tioga Pass, but the
cliff is spectacular for what it is.
The columns formed in lava that was not splashed out on the ground, but cooled
under the surface, making a gigantic almost crystaline stress pattern.
When erosion got to this rock, it fractured the cliff along these hexagonal
fractures. Other basalt cliffs sometimes have shorter
structures somewhat like this, layered and twisted. This lava must have been
incredibly stationary and slow cooling.
The Walk to Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls Continues
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