Lots of elevation gain and scrambles to make it challenging. An amazing waterfall and views once you get there. Really cool cliff-jumping as well. Distance: 4 miles. Duration: 2-5hrs. depending on how long you stay.

Although this hike is not very long (in terms of distance) it will be a workout nonetheless...as possibly one of the harder hikes in all of San Diego. Start out earlier in the day for a less strenuous trip and be prepared to drink a LOT of water. The path is fairly well marked and at certain points, you will need to use ropes to climb up or down some natural obstacles (the ropes are already there). You will also be scrambling up and down some rock faces, lose dirt and sand, and generally using your whole body to maneuver in and around the trail. So good hiking shoes and the right clothing are paramount.

Once there, and depending on the time of year, you will be able see all 3 Sisters flowing and, at your own risk, you can climb up to the top and jump into the pools below. Again, depending on the time of year, this hike can get crowded and sometimes overrun with inexperienced hikers, but if you chose your day and time wisely you will be pleasantly rewarded. If the water isn't flowing, the views and the challenge are still worth the experience and the muscle fatigue you will feel the next day.

Photos: Steve, Dave Milsom, Andrew Jensen

Pack List

  • Water (bring extra depending on the weather)
  • Good hiking shoes
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Swimsuit (if you plan on jumping in)
  • Snacks
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
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Activities Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Scenic
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

The Best Hike!

The most difficult hike I’ve been on in San Diego.. be careful! People have died here and the day I went someone got air lifted out.. YT- Nick.G tv

Three Sisters Hike

Great hike. Definitely a challenge. Use your water wisely. Don't bring a dog. Falls are gorgeous!

Challenging, Rewarding Hike

This is a great challenge with very steep slopes, a bit of climbing, and a lot to explore. Please wear appropriate shoes! I saw too many people hurt or almost hurt themselves wearing shoes that are not made for this. Also leave your pets behind for this one. I heard one man say he hikes this place a few times a year and lately the hike seemed more difficult do to erosion. Would be interested to know if others agreed. Go challenge yourself and hike this!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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