Three Sisters Waterfalls
Distance 4.0 miles (out-and-back)
Hiking Time 3 hours
Elevation gain/loss 1,000'
Trail use Suitable for backpacking
Best times November - June
From I-8, exit at CA 79 (the Descanso exit) and drive north. After 1.3 miles, turn left on Riverside Drive. Continue 0.6 mile to the main crossroads (post office and so on) of the hamlet of Dscanso. From there, take Oak Grove Drive 1.6 miles to the intersection of Boulder Creek Road on the right. Follow Boulder Creek Road north 13.0 miles (the first half is paved and the rest is dirt) to a hairpin turn where unpaved Cedar Creek Road joins from the west. Park there, taking care not to block traffic, and post an Adventure Pass on your car. (This hairpin turn and intersection can also be reached, more circuitously, by way of Engineers Road or Pine Hills Road to the north.)
From the parking area at the hairpin turn, follow the new formal trail along the bed of an old ranch road (avoiding Cedar Creek Road) due west 0.7 mile to a saddle. At this junction, a trail on the left slants southeast and descends into Sheep Camp Creek. Continue southwest 0.4 mile, losing elevation and crossing Sheep Camp Creek before switching back onto a narrow path cut into the south slope. After another 0.3 mile, the trail veers sharply left and passes over a saddle in the divide between Sheep Camp Creek and Boulder Creek. Down below, in the gorge of Boulder Creek, you'll both see and hear the falls.
The proposed new route will drop down from the second saddle to descent obliquely along the east wall of Boulder Creek's steep gorge. The trail's proposed route reaches the falls on the north side of the creek, eventually bottoming out at a granite slab just above the base of the lowest waterfall. Though this newer route will be less technically challenging, hikers will still face a long, exposed climb out of the gorge ofter during the warmest parts of the day. Be sure to bring adequate water and ensure that you are prepared for the rigors of this particular route.
Don't forget to your 10 essentials, and bring along a lunch.