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Devils Postpile National Monument

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Devils Postpile is one of those amazing geologic wonders of the word that really makes you appreciate nature! The natural formation is one of the finest examples of columnar basalt in the world. These beautiful perfectly symmetrical columns of black rock tower over the valley floor and reach a height of up to 60 feet.

You can get all the details and history by going to: http://www.nps.gov/depo/index.htm

But here is the scoop…

Millions of years ago the mountains of the Eastern Sierra were actually the ocean floor. Then the earth went through some major changes. Earthquakes began pushing the mountains upward and the planet was in an ice age. Then at some point lava from the earth’s core started to make its way to the earth’s surface. This type of lava was basalt lava which is typically hotter than other types. When this filled in the the particular area of what we know today as Red’s Meadow, it was forced to cool very rapidly by the climate on the earth’s surface. When this cooling happened the lava started to form to a solid and would do so by cracking, as it had less volume than its hot liquid form. And as this lava turned from a liquid to a solid, nature released those stresses by cracking in a vertical columnar fashion with hexagonal shape, as this was nature’s easiest way to relive the stress within the cooling lava.

I had the opportunity to get a semi-aerial view of this on my hike out of Fern Lake this weekend. But if you are ever in the area and haven’t seen Devils Postpile National Monument before, it is worth the time! You can easily access it by a short hike from the parking area located within Red’s Meadow on the backside of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

Once you’ve visited Devils Postpile, I recommend continuing the hike to Rainbow Falls. This is a great spectacle especially in the springtime when the San Joaquin river is flowing at maximum water volume. And why do they call this massive waterfall “Rainbow Falls”? Well get down there and check it out for yourself and you should see why.

Posted by Real Estate Broker Eric Leach / 949-690-5555 / Eric@RPExperts.com / www.EricLeach.net

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