Rainbow Falls: 100 Foot Waterfall in Devils Postpile

After visiting Devils Postpile I decided to chance a quick hike to Rainbow Falls just as the grey clouds were starting to roll in. I didn’t know how long I had but I was already there so it was worth a try. This 1.5 mile each way trip leads you to one of the best waterfalls in the area, a 100 foot tall cascade that falls over the rocks into a pool below, it was worth a try to get to.

Rainbow Falls 10


  • Located off stop 9 is the trailhead for 1.5 miles each way
  • From the Devils Postpile trailhead it is 2.5 miles each way
  • 10 dollars to get in the park

Rainbow Falls 16

I set out on the trail which meanders through a lush forest with tall trees before it starts it’s steady decline down towards the falls. This is a reverse hike so you will be walking down most of the way the it’s uphill the whole way back.

Rainbow Falls 3

About .4 miles into the hike it started to pour on me. I was commited and had my rain gear so I just kept heading on.

Rainbow Falls 2

As you descend it continues to get prettier and prettier before it opens up into a vast field of burnt down trees which is somewhat other worldy. I was shocked by how beautiful this area was even in spite of the damage that was done to it from the fire. The fire did not stop the plants from coming through and showing their fall colors.

Rainbow Falls 1

After snapping some pictures I continued downhill to the big sign that let me know I was in Ansel Adams wilderness.

Rainbow Falls 17

After a short bridge that crosses a creek you will see a sign for .5 miles left to the falls.

Rainbow Falls 8

By this time it has started to hail on me as the video below shows.


I pushed on soaking and started down the steps to the viewing platform.

Rainbow Falls 7

I turned to the right and there it was, Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls 9

This waterfall is so beautiful, even in the low water year that I went on. It has multiple areas that all cascade down and land on the rocks jutting out to create a perfect picture.

Rainbow Falls 11

I sat here for a couple minutes by myself with the rain washing over me just taking it all in. But as I was soaking through my hat I figured it was time to get going and headed back.

Rainbow Falls 5

Going back was less eventful as the rain stopped all the way until I was back to the car when thunder started to come in. It even snowed on us as we were leaving the park, but that is a story for another blog. I loved Rainbow Falls and highly recommend it. Let me know your thoughts below.

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About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.

  • how often do you go exploring? 🙂 do you go a lot once a month and have them queued up on the blog.. or do you make a point to go somewhere once a week etc?

    • I wish I could say that I am always travelling but right now I have a lot of posts waiting to go live from adventures that were weeks ago. I try to do something unique each weekend if I can though.

  • Shawn Johnson

    Make sure when visiting the falls you hike down the cliffs to the bottom of the waterfall. During the summer it makes for some awesome pictures, plus you can cool off if need be. This really is an awesome hike!

    • Thanks for the comment Shawn, I hope next time I am there it is not hailing on me and I can do that!

  • Bill Meadows

    i agree with Shawn! you HAVE to go to the bottom.

    • Thanks for the comment I will go to the bottom next time I am there, this time was rough since it was hailing and I wanted to get back to the car!

      • Bill Meadows

        i can dig that. its a totally different take on the falls down there. youll love it. also, if the weather is good keep hiking down the trail to lower rainbow, also really neat!!!!