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Three Sisters Falls

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.2 (17) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

3.5

Miles

5.7

KM

Out and Back

2,925' 891 m

High

1,975' 602 m

Low

967' 295 m

Up

963' 294 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

72%

Max Grade (36°)

Dogs Unknown

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ian Stenehjem

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 17 votes

#723

Overall
  4.2 from 17 votes
5 Star
41%
4 Star
41%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#120

in California

#723

Overall
67 Views Last Month
5,957 Since Feb 1, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

6%
0%
19%
0%
69%
6%

Photos

Caution! Very poorly done fixed lines on trail. Don't trust your life to them.
Oct 21, 2016 near San Die…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 28, 2020
Ken Shalom
Jul 15, 2020
Tyler Kelehan
Beautiful morning hike. Temp was great for July. — 3h 00m
Nov 10, 2019
Pamela Villaver
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