Three Sisters Falls Hiking Guide | San Diego
San Diego certainly has its share of culture, coasts, and city life! But it also has an abundance of beautiful nature, landscapes and waterfalls. Three Sisters Falls Hike in the Cleveland National Forest is icing on the cake when it comes to fun and unique hiking adventure. Here is a recap of our Spring 2019 excursion into Pine Valley, California to explore this amazing pathway to gorgeous waterfalls.
There are a few different ways to get to Three Sisters Falls Hike Trailhead; I will share the route we used. Coming from San Diego area at 78 E reaching Ramona area:
Passing through Ramona, California:
Left on Olive Street
Right on 7th Street
Left on Main
Continue on 78 East (20.2 miles)
Right on Pine Hills Road
Right on Eagle Park Road
Left on Boulder Creek Road
Turn Right to stay on Boulder Creek Road
Turn Right to stay on Boulder Creek Road (Dirt gravel roads)
This hiking trail is an interesting path that leads up and down eventually taking you to the triad of cascading waterfalls. It is considered a seasonal hiking trail because parts of the year there is very little water flowing in the falls. However, this year in 2019 there has been lots of rainfall so these falls are full!
Although this trail has had its share of injuries, emergencies, and even fatalities; it has its challenges, diversity, and tranquility. Which makes it an incredibly fun trail to hike. This trail has been modified recently and a new path is now open. The old trail lead to a steep decline path where ropes were needed to assist the hiker on the route heading down into the gorge area. Also avoiding tons of poison oak.
As you are getting close to the waterfalls, you will scramble over some boulders and trek on a rocky trail section and end up coming out near the middle falls. You can carefully walk down to the lower falls for a few photos, and then climb up to the upper falls area.
What To Expect
As you arrive at the parking area for the Three Sisters Falls Trailhead, it is all dirt roads leading into the parking lot, which is also dirt. Drive carefully. There are a couple bathrooms, which are porta potties. Keep in mind since the trail takes you down, you will be climbing on your return.
The trail is about 4.2 miles and is heavily trafficked both in and out. The return incline is about 1000 feet. The path can be rough in some areas; you will also scramble over a few boulders and pass by a flowing creek bed with plentiful small trees, shrubs, and singing birds.
Tips and Safety
This trail can get heavy traffic and I recommend arriving to begin your hike before 11 a.m.
- Bring plenty of drinking water. The summer can reach high temperatures.
- Do not bring your pet.
- Do not bring alcohol; this will dehydrate you.
- Bring salty snacks.
- Bring camera
- Wear shoes with good grip
- There are porta potties but no water.
- Rated Moderate to Strenuous. (But with new trail path, could be rated easy).
Finally, Enjoy Three Sisters Falls!
We hiked this trail in the month of May 2019, so the weather was cooler, and skies were mostly cloudy. But we got lucky and enjoyed the abundance of water flowing in the Three Sisters Falls! Be careful, and be prepared so that you can maximize your experience hiking this beautiful trail.