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The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Three Sisters Falls + Rock Slide!

May 6, 2017
Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

Have you been wanting to hike Three Sisters Falls located near San Diego? This SoCal hiking gem has been on my “to do” list since I moved to San Diego, and I am so glad I finally made it happen. I recently hiked Three Sisters Falls as a day trip with some friends and even did the rock slide! Here’s everything you need to know for your trip to Three Sisters Falls, enjoy!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Three Sisters Falls + Rock Slide!

 

Three Sisters Falls: General Info

  • Location (Google Maps) – About a 1.5-hour drive away from San Diego, this hike can easily be done within a day.
  • Distance – The hike is just under 4 miles roundtrip (roughly 1.8 miles out to the falls and 1.8 miles back)
  • Level of Difficulty – It is only recommended for very experienced adventurers, mostly due to the steep incline in certain areas. In these spots, a rope is provided to help scale down the cliffs. But don’t be discouraged, I was able to do it fairly easily, and I am by no means an avid hiker. 
  • Best Time to Come – It’s recommended to come between March and October – and it is particularly beautiful in Spring!

 

Note: It’s best to go after there has been a lot of rainfall. This way there’s a lot of water and you can do the rock water “slide” (check out the video at the bottom!).

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

What to Bring

  • Hiking boots – There are certain spots where you’ll need better grip than what is provided in running shoes
  • Gloves – There is a section where you grab onto a rope for extra support down a steep part of the hike. Gloves are very helpful here.
  • Plenty of water – It’s not so bad getting to the falls, but on the return trip you’ll be happy you brought along some extra bottles of water.
  • Bathing suit – It’s freezing, but you gotta get in!
  • Towel – Like I said, it’s cold, you’ll be grateful for that towel. 😉

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Getting to Three Sisters Falls

From San Diego take I-8 East for roughly 22 miles. After exiting off I-8 East, you’ll take Highway 79 North and drive through some beautiful mountains.

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

There is a section where you’ll need to drive over a flooded riverbed. I was in a standard sedan and it was fine.

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Three Sisters Falls Hike

The trail begins fairly easy and you’ll begin to see the Three Sisters Falls in the distance.

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Once you reach the rope climb, the real work begins. It’s very steep, but the level of difficulty really depends on your experience and fitness level. I found this part to be fairly easy and very fun, however there were fellow hikers struggling and a bit intimidated by the incline.

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego
Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Once on the valley floor, there are two trails to reach the falls. One veers off to the right, and the other off to the left. For both trails however, be wary of poison oak. Look out for the blue and white ribbons representing the path to the falls.

 

Note: The left side tends to be easier. 

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

When you reach the bottom of the falls, sit back and enjoy the views! You can always hike more to the top of the falls, but I did not do this.

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Three Sisters Falls Rock Slide

For the ultimate 3 Sisters Waterfall experience, you’ll want to do the rock water slide! Please be extremely careful when doing this, and only do it if there is plenty of water. The rocks are very slick and people have died or had to be emergency air rescued out. 

 

P.S. The video has sound 😉

 

 

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Three Sisters Falls Trail San Diego

 

Have you hiked Three Sisters Falls? Love to know below!

 

TIFFANY NICOLE

Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.

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Comments

  1. Noelle

    May 8, 2017 at 2:35 pm Reply

    Love the photos here – so pretty! Sounds like a really fun and scenic day hike.

    1. Tiffany Nicole

      Tiffany Nicole

      May 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm Reply

      Thanks, Noelle! It was so beautiful and fun!

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Welcome to Lavender Vines! 
Hi I’m Tiffany, a Jesus loving free spirit who can’t get enough of adventure, salted caramel lattes, & farmers markets. At Lavender Vines my mission is to help you grow in your faith, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest.
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