1911: National Monument
Rating (1-5): Unrated
About the SiteBizarre, 60-foot-tall basaltic columns are protected in this Monument. They resemble more than anything a giant pipe organ, and are the result of a lava eruption long ago that cooled and formed fantastic shapes. This park also protects Rainbow Falls and Soda Springs, which are carbonated mineralized springs. No word yet if the soda water is drinkable. I'm going to guess 'no'.
The John Muir and Pacific Coast Trails cross the monument as well.
What You're Going to SeeWelcomed activities include bicycling, fishing, hiking to the springs and falls. There is a ranger station, and ranger-led interpretive programs, and campfire programs.
Personal ObservationsOne of these days ... It's too close a state to miss!
Getting ThereThe Monument is in east-central California, fifteen miles directly east of Yosemite National Park. From Modesto, take Highway 108/120 east for 93 miles to the entrance to Yosemite National Park. Don't go into Yosemite Valley, but continue on Highway 120 through the Park for 55 miles to the junction with Highway 395. Take Highway 395 south for 26 miles to the junction with Route 203. Take Route 203 ten miles west to Minaret Summit, then go seven miles more on a paved narrow mountain road.
Nearby AttractionsImmediately to the north is Yosemite National Park. To the south and east are Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Manzanar National Historic Site, and Death Valley National Park.