“An iconic out-and-back route with steep, loose sections to the beautiful Three Sisters Falls.”
— Zander Göpfert
As of the summer of 2016, the USFS has proposed an Environmental Assessment, which outlines a plan of action to re-route the trail to be safer and more sustainable. See the proposal here: a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/115…
Quickly becoming one of the most popular routes in East County, this out-and-back run can be challenging as it only uses a brief section of constructed trail. The majority of this route uses social trails that have been carved out over repeated use. These trails can be steep and loose with sections undergoing lots of erosion.
Features: River/Creek — Swimming
Need to Know
There are two sections where ropes have been tied to help downclimb and then scramble back up. Because of these sections, this route is only for those who are comfortable with scrambling. Be aware of your abilities.
To access this run, head up Boulder Creek Rd to a tight hairpin turn to the right. Look for other cars parked or any signage that marks this as the Three Sisters Falls Trailhead.
From the parking area, head west on the wide fire road for just under two-thirds of a mile as you begin to head downhill. At the end of the fire road, turn south onto the clearly-travelled singletrack trail that heads southeast down the face of the canyon.
This trail will continue to sidehill along the contours of the canyon getting steeper the further you go. After ~1.5 miles, you'll come to the loose downclimb section with the first rope. Because of the number of people that visit the falls, this area has a network of eroded routes which are visible on the satellite image at 1.53 miles.
This section should not be taken lightly. If you are sensitive to heights or are not able-bodied, do not attempt to get down this section, because the return route heads right back up.
After the steep section, you'll come out to a rocky river bed which leads down to the three falls. From the falls, head back the way you came to return to the trailhead.