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Devils Postpile to Upper and Lower Rainbow Falls

Visit both the upper and lower falls on this hike.

Hiking Moderate

6 km
193 m
193 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.2 km
High Point
2.3 km
Devils Postpile to Upper and Lower Rainbow Falls Map

The hike to Rainbow Falls follows a wide, extremely popular sandy trail. Despite being located in the John Muir Wilderness Area, this short hike is an ultra-popular tourist jaunt. When you reach the overlook for Upper Rainbow Falls, you’ll see why: Rainbow Falls is a stunning 101-foot-tall cascade in a rugged rock canyon.


Bring your cameras: this waterfall is extremely photogenic! To best capture the colorful rainbow mist, try to reach the falls at midday when the sun is highest in the sky (Source).

During peak tourist season, you’ll have to board a mandatory shuttle at the Mammoth Adventure Center in order to reach the trailhead. Personal vehicles are allowed up the road to the trailhead outside of the shuttle season.

While most people stop at the upper falls, a less-used trail continues further down the river to the lower falls. If you haven’t had enough on the short hike to the upper falls, be sure to venture further down river!

Sources: https://www.mammothtrails.org/trail/78/rainbow-falls-trail/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevilsPostpileNationalMonument https://www.visitmammoth.com/adventure/rainbow-falls



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between July and October


  • Picturesque
  • Water features
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area