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Three Sisters Falls

Enjoy the hike to one of the most beautiful falls in the area


Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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Three Sisters Falls, located in about 30 minutes south of Julian, is one of the premier Southern California waterfalls. This is a remote backcountry destination in San Diego that has become increasingly famous due to social media publicity. With three cascading waterfalls and pools of cool water to swim in, Three Sisters makes a truly alluring destination.

When is the best time to visit Three Sisters Falls

The trail is at its best after a good season of rain. While the area is a splendid spot to explore, remember that it is very steep getting into and out of the canyon. You shouldn't visit if you aren't prepared for a more intense hike. Note that it can get sweltering, be prepared with more than enough water, especially in the summer. Spring and winter are considered to be the best seasons. Morning time will be less crowded and cooler.

Three Sisters Falls facts

This often crowded and challenging hike takes you through numerous ecosystems before leading three large waterfalls wedged between tall, rocky mountains—Three Sisters Falls. Until recently, the trail to the falls involved a very steep descent down a heavily eroded hillside, often demanding the use of ropes. However, the US Forest Service has cut a new section of trail. It takes a more comfortable and more environmentally friendly route to the waterfall. The new path is kid and dog friendly. While the area is a spectacular spot to explore, you shouldn’t visit if you aren’t prepared for a more intense hike.

What to do at Three Sisters Falls

Those who are interested in mountain climbing, extreme hiking, or rock traversing will still adore the Three Sisters Falls trail elements, particularly if traversing the rocky bottom or trekking to the third waterfall.

How to get to Three Sisters Falls

From Julian, head west on Julian Road / Highway 79. Then turn left on Pine Hills, right on Eagle Peak, and then left on Boulder Creek Road. This road can become a dirt road for the last 5 miles (8 km) of the drive. It can be easily passible by a two-wheel car but note that it's hardly possible after a good downpour. When you arrive at the trailhead, you will see a gate and cars pulled out along the road. Just show your Adventure Pass and start your hike.

Where to stay around Three Sisters Falls

There are a lot of campgrounds around the Falls in the area. You have a chance to enjoy a comfortable stay at Paso Picacho Campground, Green Valley Campground, or Oakzanita Springs RV Campground.

Practical info

How long is the Three Sisters Falls hike?

4 miles (6.4 km) round trip

How tall is Three Sisters Falls?

150 feet (45.7 m)

Where is Three Sisters Falls?

In about 30 minutes south of Julian

Can you swim in Three Sisters Falls?


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