3 Sisters Waterfalls Hike

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Descanso, California

Distance: 4 miles

3 sisters falls is a great workout! For a hilarious read, check out the yelp reviews (here) and you’ll find the largest variance in experiences. Some range from “this was so easy” to “this was so intense a few guys had to get helicoptered out!”

This hike has it all, it’s part hike, part sliding, and part rock climbing. It starts out with one path but halfway through there are many routes to the falls and it becomes a mini choose-your-own adventure! Do you cross the stream or do you continue along the same side? Do you jump over to the huge rocks or do you find a safer route? Should you brush against those 3 leafed branches that look an awful lot like poison oak?

At the end is a pretty neat but kind of smaller-than-in-real-life-than-pictures waterfalls. It’s a good time to go right now just as the rains have come through a few weeks back and the springs are gushing with water. A few months later and I hear the springs dry down to a trickle.

There are portions of this hike that are so steep you really need shoes with some type of grip. That or you could resort to sliding on your butt because for those portions, you don’t really hike down, you control slide down. There’s nothing scarier than having someone behind you with that slipping sound!

When you get to the falls, the water is frigid, even if it’s pretty hot. You could attempt to slide down the waterfalls but the bottom pools are so shallow you’re really risking some broken bones. so yeah. not as fun for water as the devils punch bowl hike but still a fun workout!

There were points where I legitimately felt someone could get dangerously hurt. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents up there but if you’re safe, know your physical boundaries, and don’t try to impress everyone insight…it’s a decent adventure.

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It’s called 3 sisters falls for a reason and after you get to the first falls you need to do some mild rock climbing and slight more dangerous maneuvering to get to the 2nd and the 3rd. Above is the 2nd sister.

Here’s where my fear of heights really started tingling and almost got me caught in a bad position. Some guys took my phone over to the waters edge and snapped the following shot. Don’t know how people can get so close to the edge and not be afraid…crazy. The view from atop the 3rd sister.

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