Start – Mile 891, 8:00 am
End – Reds Meadow, Mile 906, 3:15 pm
Miles – 15
This morning I got a lesson in tentsite placement,because when I woke up the underside of my rain fly was so covered in condensation that it was raining inside my tent but not outside. This is apparently more common with completely exposed sites,which I had last night.
So I had to leave the fly out in the sun for a bit to dry, and got going around 8am. Aside from a bit in the morning when I was walking along a lake, today was not very scenic since I was mainly walking through the burn area from the Rainbow fire in 1992.
While older than many of the fire areas I walked through in the south, it was still a very scarred landscape with a lot of downed trees and stumps and not much else.
The good news was that it was pretty level so the miles for once went fast. After Silver Pass yesterday I was grateful for that. I thought it would take me all day to get to Reds Meadow, which I picked because it has a restaurant and I still wanted a real meal.
As I was making good progress I started to reevaluate my plans, because Reds Meadow is right next to the Devils Postpile National Monument, and I like to stop at as many units of the National Park Service as possible and this is one I haven’t hit before. Plus it’s tiny so I can probably see most of it in a short visit.
My thought was that I would stay at Reds tonight and then take a side trail that heads straight through the Monument and reconnects a few miles north. But since I arrived earlier I decided to expand my visit to the Monument by checking out Rainbow Falls this afternoon.
So after getting a snack and finding the bicker campground, I dropped my pack and headed without any weight on my back down to the falls. The falls are formed by the middle fork of the San Joaquin river, which I first crossed a few days and nearly 100 miles back.
The falls were impressive but the thing that was interesting to me was being on a trail with families and day hikers. I was by far the dirtiest person for miles.
I spent a little time photographing the falls and took a bunch of family photos for a big family and then headed back to the campground. Tomorrow I’ll take the trail north into the actual post piles so I will have seen the majority of this Monument.
I did get a meal from the restaurant but it wasn’t that great, so maybe I should have gone into Mammoth like everyone else but I want to spend that time in the Monument rather than in town.
Should make it to Yosemite in a day and a half so I’ll focus on that.