Unless you go before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., or stay at Red Meadows, you will be riding a bus from Mammoth Mtn and yes there is a fee for this. It is not a long ride, but if you are not fortunate to get a seat, more a problem coming back than going...it is a windy, curvy ride. Backpackers also use the bus to get to this area and on to the backcountry. The bulk of the crowd gets off at the Ranger Station and trucks off past the creek and meadow to Devil's Postpile and on to Rainbow Falls (will review that separately). It is a nice hike, so ups and downs. We avoided the immediate crowd and went across the creek to Minaret Falls (1.5 miles one way from Ranger Station). It was nice, decent but not great water. We enjoyed climbing around the rocks. My youngest made it to the top. I tried but my age caught up with me! WE had it to ourselves until we were leaving and a number of folks headed there or just arrived. We made it back to Devils Postpile, but due to time constraints, did not do the upper loop. just viewed from bottom and headed on to Rainbow Falls. Worth the trip.
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