Hiking Project Logo

Three Sisters Falls

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.3 ( 16 ) Favorite

Trail

3.5 mile 5.7 kilometer out and back
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 967' 295 m
Descent: -963' -294 m
High: 2,925' 891 m
Low: 1,975' 602 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 72% (36°)

Dogs

Unknown
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Ian Stenehjem

An iconic out-and-back route with steep, loose sections to the beautiful Three Sisters Falls.

Ian Stenehjem

Features River/Creek · Swimming

As of 2018 the forest service has cut the new trail that delivers you to the falls without excessive impact on the terrain. Please use this and not the old "trail". Don't cross the pink line across the edge of trail.

Overview

This is quickly becoming one of the most popular routes in East County. This out and back was recently rerouted to make it much safer and sustainable given its high use.

Need to Know

As of 2018 the forest service has cut the new trail that delivers you to the falls without excessive impact on the terrain. Please use this and not the old "trail". Don't cross the pink line across the edge of trail. Those random routes straight down the slope have caused a scar that will take a decade or more to recover - IF it remains unused and people don't cause more erosion. When on the new trail, as you get near the falls/stream bed, the trail becomes difficult to follow. Look for pink ribbons tied on shrubs that indicate trail.

Description

To access this hike, head up Boulder Creek Rd. to a tight hairpin turn to the right. Look for other cars parked or any signage that marks this as the Three Sisters Falls Trailhead.

From the parking area, head west on the wide fire road for just under two-thirds of a mile as you begin to head downhill. At the end of the fire road, turn south onto the clearly-travelled singletrack trail that heads southeast down the face of the canyon.

This trail will continue to sidehill along the contours of the canyon getting steeper the further you go. Continue on new trail past pink ribbon. This delivers you to middle sister without the scramble through the creakbed. When on the new trail, as you get near the falls/stream bed the trail becomes difficult to follow. Look for pink ribbons tied on shrubs that indicate the trail.

The larger upper falls has the best swimming in dryer weather. You can scramble up to larger falls from end of established trail, after crossing to south side. The route is behind oak tree. There is a rope there, but I wouldn't trust it.

From the falls, head back the way you came to return to the trailhead.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

May 27, 2019
Neil Delacruz
Apr 6, 2019
Cailin Jensen
Mar 9, 2019
Emily Gluck
Gorgeous view of falls after lots of rain. 5mi
Nov 24, 2018
Mark Sowash
No water. Hiked on thanksgiving 2018 5.9mi
Nov 4, 2018
Jon Steurer
3.7mi
Aug 13, 2018
Phil Tabb
Jun 4, 2018
Ian Stenehjem
Long drive, very nice hike. The forest service has cut a new trail that delivers you to middle sister. Rated 3 stars due to crowds and trash. 4.3mi — 2h 00m
May 6, 2018
Nicole McCampbell

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 16 votes

#377

Overall
  4.3 from 16 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#68

in California

#377

Overall
114 Views Last Month
4,480 Since Feb 1, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
7%
13%
27%
47%
7%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking