Devils Postpile to Upper and Lower Rainbow Falls

Visit both the upper and lower falls on this run.

Trail Running Easy

Distance
6 km
Ascent
190 m
Descent
193 m
Low Point
2.2 km
High Point
2.3 km
Gradient
10˚
VIEW ON MAP
Devils Postpile to Upper and Lower Rainbow Falls Map

Description

The route to Rainbow Falls follows a wide, extremely popular sandy trail. Despite being located in the John Muir Wilderness Area, this short trail 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. This section is guaranteed to be a bit more runnable thanks to the lower traffic!

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

Difficulty

Easy

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

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

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area