Three Sisters Hiking San Diego: Here Is What to Expect

Three sisters hiking San Diego

When it’s flowing, the Three Sisters Waterfall is among the best waterfalls in Southern California.

There are 3 major waterfalls in this sequence of falls that flow down over the rock formations, hence the name “three sisters.”

You should not go if you are not ready to undertake a more difficult hiking trail.

So, if you feel like you can embark on this unforgettable hiking quest to the Three Sisters in San Diego, keep on reading below as we share some personal and general facts!

Best Time to Go

The best time to go hiking at the Three Sisters in San Diego is following a rainy season, and although the location is beautiful to explore, keep in mind that getting inside and leaving the canyon is extremely difficult.

The Three Sisters Falls In San Diego

Till recently, the trail required a rather sharp descent down a massively eroded hill, which frequently necessitated the utilization of ropes.

Luckily, the US Forest Service has now created a new path for this hiking trail to the Three Sisters Waterfalls which is way easier and far more eco-friendly.

The Three Sisters waterfalls

Three Sisters has long been known for the multitude of rescue efforts that take place there frequently.

This is mainly attributable to unskilled “hikers” who choose to go without adequate forethought and planning.

Because this is a “tilted” hiking trail with more than 1000-foot descent into a canyon, in the beginning, the hardest part is walking back up when you’re already exhausted from hiking and enjoying the waters.

Another thing you should be aware of is that it can become extremely hot, so carry plenty of water with you, especially during the summertime.

As a matter of fact, the Forest Department has proceeded with closing the pathway when there are high-temperature warnings.

Inexperienced hikers may also encounter difficulties due to the landscape: the trek is narrow and bumpy in places, and the granite plates around the waterfalls get many people to slip.

It’s far too easy to sprain an ankle or even break or dislocate a limb.

Getting To The Three Sisters

So, if you’re planning to go on this hiking trip, remember to take plenty of water and snacks with you, wear a proper pair of hiking shoes, and have sound reasoning.

This is not a hike for the faint of heart. Review the weather report and choose a different day if it is going to be too hot on the day you were planning to visit the place.

When it’s time to finally go, we suggest arriving in the early hours to avoid the masses and the heat.

Start your day early and drive the long distance to get to the trail’s starting point.

Once you arrive at the trailhead, you’ll notice an entrance and parked cars all along the road.

Show your Adventure Pass before beginning the hiking trip and you’re ready to go!

The trail begins at the entrance which prevents cars from continuing to drive onto the dirt road you are going to walk on.

It then follows a flat path for around half a mile. As you’re walking down the road, you will see a small shaded spot that appears to be ideal for a quick break. As

The Hike

We should note here that this spot is the only one with a shade for this trail, so that is another reason why it’s best not to embark on this hiking trip in the summer.

After a short descent, you’ll arrive at a spur where you should turn left and then keep walking straight. Proceed down the hill from there till you reach a narrow creek passage.

After crossing the creek, you will find yourself on a shaded path in-between trees for a short time as you hug the slope.

After leaving the vegetation, keep walking till the path circles the hill and turns left.

The falls can be seen in the distance from this point, but they’re still a long way to go.

Here is where the trek becomes more difficult. In around a quarter of a mile, you will have to come down 700 feet.

As we said in the beginning though, you no longer have to use the ropes as there is now a designated path you can follow.

What to Expect at the End

When you reach the bottom, you’ll follow the narrow creek that connects with the main stream.

This section of the journey has numerous offshoots and alternatives, but we suggest you keep walking parallel to the stream as you move up.

There will be red arrows painted on the stones to lead you to the right path and get you to the first stop.

You will undoubtedly be astonished by this majestic location once you reach the base of the first waterfall.

We were truly astounded by how lovely it is and the amount of water that was flowing over it.

We discovered a route that took us across the first level and higher to the second level’s overlook.

If you keep going in this region, please be cautious of the slipping stones and make sure to wear those anti-slippery hiking boots of yours (if you don’t have a pair, buy one before embarking on this trip).

You will then follow the trail that will lead you to the overlook for the third Sister.

Because the trek down to the base is dangerous, you might want to stay put and enjoy the view from there.

The Bottom Line

Do not underrate this hike as it is a challenging one that requires lots of patience and a decent fitness level.

It also requires plenty of water and a hat as there are no spots that offer shade for longer.

Other than that, the Three Sisters Falls hike in San Diego is an amazing hike that we want to encourage everyone to try.

The serotonin levels that come with this experience are simply incomparable, so dress accordingly, be wise about the day you will be visiting the area, and get hiking!

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