The shuttle typically operates mid-June through mid-September, during which all visitors must ride a special shuttle for access to Devils Postpile, Rainbow Falls and other sights along the middle fork of the San Joaquin River. Mammoth Lakes, where it is located, lies 150 miles (241 kilometers) from the capital of the state, Sacramento. Mammoth Lakes is surrounded by two million acres of Inyo National Forest with dozens of hiking trails. Bring a small snack and water bottle too. Day hikers can choose between the 1.3-mile trail from a nearby trailhead or include the falls as part of a 4-mile loop though Devils Postpile. Book your tickets online for Rainbow Falls, Mammoth Lakes: See 315 reviews, articles, and 187 photos of Rainbow Falls, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 37 attractions in Mammoth Lakes. You can walk another 3 miles past Devils Postpile to the Rainbow Falls trailhead. But it can get crowded nearer to the falls and the stairs going down to the lower falls can get crowded. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Rainbow Falls is the highest waterfall on the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River, in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California, in the United States.Plunging 101 feet (31 m) to the turbulent water below, the falls are named for the rainbows that appear in their mist on sunny summer days. Rainbow Falls is located within the boundaries of Devils Postpile National Monument. Hotels near Devils Postpile National Monument, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours in Mammoth Lakes, Fishing Charters & Tours in Mammoth Lakes, Other Outdoor Activities in Mammoth Lakes, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours in Mammoth Lakes, Game & Entertainment Centers in Mammoth Lakes, Boat Tours & Water Sports in Mammoth Lakes, Devils Postpile National Monument: Tickets & Tours, Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center: Tickets & Tours, Mammoth Mountain Bike Park: Tickets & Tours, Mammoth Brewing Company: Tickets & Tours. There were very few people on the trail and at the falls during this time. Definitely a hike worth doing but go early or later in the day! We walk up the top of the Devil postpile, went down the bottom of the rainbow falls and to the lower falls, it’s beautiful. During these peak visitation months, the shuttle is the only way to access Reds Meadow for day use. This is why I'd recommend making it a morning hike because it can get very, very hot. Rainbow Falls. (Stay tuned for Rainbow Falls on our next article). Elevation change is manageable - some people may want to bring trekking poles for some of the stretches of elevation. more, Recommended experiences in and around Mammoth Lakes. Many looked like they were unprepared and had no water. Take the Reds Meadow Shuttle (tickets can be purchased at the Mammoth Adventure Center using any method of payment or on the bus with cash only) from either The Village at Mammoth on the Canyon Boulevard side or the Mammoth Adventure Center at Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and horses and is best used from May until October. We decided to start our hike at the lower parking area of the Red Meadows resort. So the hike is worth the view. were not running but the lots were filling up fast So arrive early. Once at the falls there are some amazing views and a steep stairway that leads you right down to the water. 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