Three Sisters Waterfalls Trail

#1 of 30 trails in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

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Three Sisters Waterfalls Trail is a 4 mile out and back trail located near Julian, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced outdoorsmen. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing & walking and is accessible from November until June.

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Anthony Collins (608)

15 Completed7 Reviews

Love this hike. Out in the middle of no where!!! Steep inclines and declines, A rope to abseil... big boulders and a few waterfalls! Awesome

Charles Hamlin (154)

14 Completed3 Reviews

we did this yesterday! despite multiple people telling us to turn around because we had a 4 y/o and I was carrying our 1y/o in a osprey child carrier we pushed on and it was worth it. If you are a strong hiker you will make it. my 4 y/o had a blast climbing the rick wall and with a little planning I was able to make it with the little one on my back. Don't be intimidated by the reviews we made it and so can you! BTW there were others with kids out there

Sharyn Edwards (45)

5 Completed1 Reviews

Most beautiful, challenging hike so far. I was thankful to have read reviews so I took my gloves and wore long pants, which were very helpful. Like everyone, I recommend lots of water. I will be going back very soon.

Zack Granger (184)

4 Completed5 Reviews

Best trail I've ever been on in my life! Very challenging...included climbing up and down ropes and even did a bit of rock climbing. Went early morning and beat the heat...waterfall wasn't much to look at since it was mostly dried up but the water felt great! And loved that it was in the middle of nowhere. Really made you feel like you were Luis and Clark :)

Danica Scales (101)

5 Completed1 Reviews

This hike was absolutely fun! If you're the type of person who is "outdoorsy" and adventurous, this hike is for you. You get your simple hiking, to strenuous climbing, rope climbing, boulder hiking, etc. Getting there is an adventure in sure that the car you bring you don't mind getting dusty/dirty, hit with tiny rocks and gravel, and somewhat off-roading in...because you have 13 miles of an unpaved, single lane (at parts), and windy road.
Most important advice for this hike....BRING PLENTY OF WATER. My boyfriend and I brought about 3.5 Liters in our camelbak, and we were conserving it at the last 1.5 mile stretch. We saw way too many people who brought simple bottles of water, or NOTHING. Please don't be stupid.
This hike is for those who are in some form of physical shape. The elevation, heat, and intensity of the hike is no joke. My boyfriend and I are both very active individuals, who workout about 4 times a week, and this hike still got to us at times. Just be prepared for heat if you go out on a day when the sun shines. Also be prepared to somewhat rock climb. There are portions of the hike where you have to hop rocks and boulders; for one part there is a rope used to go up and down because there is simply no real way to get down (unless you are a pro rock climber). Also, there is one spot that EVERYONE needs to be cautious's a very steep section of the mountain. If you are going down, be prepared to essentially slide in the sand/dirt. If you're going prepared to get your hands dirty, because you literally have to climb using your whole body.
When the sun is out there isn't much shade towards the middle of the day. So if you hike this on a day when the sun is going to be out, go out in the morning and start heading back around 11/12. Also, DRESS APPROPRIATELY. We saw way too many idiots wearing normal clothes/shoes. People get airlifted out (some have died) of here all the time due to being unprepared...don't let that be you.

Overall, this hike was MY FAVORITE, and we are definitely going to do it again! The scenery and waterfalls were awesome!

M. Stopani (376)

13 Completed8 Reviews

The dirt road leading to the trailhead is a bit rough but if you don't have a truck or SUV, you can still make it without any problems. Just go slow and you will be fine. We arrived at 8:30am. The hike down was well marked(go left at the wooden post) and you will have no problem finding the falls. Once we arrived at the bottom fall, we crossed the stream, rock hopped our way to the second fall. As we stood at the base of the second fall looking up to the very top fall. We saw people making their way up the left side. This looked very dangerous and some people as we watched even turned back. We went to the right side, much, much easier and especially safer. Once at the very top, it was well worth it. Water was flowing and just a beautiful place to hike. The way back was definitely much harder especially if you are not in tip top shape. Please make sure you take enough water. Take as many rest breaks as needed, and you will be ok.

Marjorie Gross (197)

19 Completed8 Reviews

My family & I hiked this incredibly challenging & breathtaking trail for the first time today for Valentine's Day!! The falls were so beautiful & refreshing!! It's definitely my MOST favorite trail in all of San Diego County now!! The drive there is deep in the mountains, on some gravel roads, so bring a high rise vehicle. The trail seems pretty easy at first! Make sure to turn left at the large wooden post you come to in the middle of the trail. The trail declines into a wooded area, then through the most treacherous part, the sandy & slippery area(esp on the way back so stay low), use the ropes to descend at the base, then you journey through some shrubs, & last over boulders towards the waterfalls. Enjoy the refreshing feeling of the water at the base of the falls. We took off our socks & shoes off & waded through the ice cold waters & then enjoyed some snacks & drinks!! Tips: This trail is VERY difficult & should only be climbed by those who are more experienced climbers!! Bring a LITER of fluid per person(we brought Powerade & H2O). Follow arrows on boulders on the way back. Enjoy this truly spectacular hike!!

Juan Olivas (976)

28 Completed7 Reviews

went hiking with my friend and with a group of others. had a scary experience with them but made it through. it's a good hike, somewhat challenging. DO BRING LOTS OF WATER. I depleted my water by giving it to some of the people from that group. rangers do go down to give water to people. the hike is great the falls when there's water is great.but if you are going to hike this trail you have to build up your endurance and be able to tolerate heat. also bring good and comfortable shoes . my shoes fell apart due to the heat. I hiked up with the extra pair of water shoes i had on my pack. FYI choose overcast days.

Phil Swain (356)

10 Completed10 Reviews

Did this twice and was not disappointed either time. Depending on the season the water flows more than other times so pick and choose wisely. It is downhill for most of the trail and so returning back to the trailhead is all the way uphill. This is not for beginners but the boulder hopping is very fun. Watch out for snakes.

Michelle Berenschot (294)

14 Completed2 Reviews

Out of all the hikes in SoCal, Three Sisters is my ultimate favorite. I've been three times so far (ironically) and I'm going again next week. It really is the perfect hike, just make sure you have a lot of water, especially on a hot day. People say to not bring your dogs, but really only you know your dog's limitations. My 10 year old dog comes with me every time, but then again she's a tiny rat of a dog (bichon/poodle mix and full of energy). Just know once you get to the falls area, it will be easy for them to slip. And the path right before the falls might be a bit tricky for a bigger breed, but I have seen a German Shepard fair pretty well through it. It's a fun hike, do it.