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Not at all hard

This is another one that I was very apprehensive about , because we were told it was so so hard, but really it was not that difficult. As usual, bring lots of water. So beautiful, and the destination, being what I have heard called Devils Punch bowl, is a beautiful body of water with a waterfall. And all of the squirrels come up to you they are so cute. Apparently they’re used to being fed, which we did not, because I’m sure it’s bad for the squirrels. Wonderful!!

So beautiful.!!! I was so apprehensive, because of its reputation of being treacherous and difficult, but it must have been made safe lately, because though it’s tiring on the way back, because on the way TO the falls it’s pretty much downhill, there was nothing dangerous about it. Honestly, the biggest pain to me was the driving there. I had my regular slightly low car, and some of the roads are dirt-ish. Then again, if I’d had my husband’s big truck, I would feel insecure that it was too big because some parts of the road are very slim. Back to the hike, the destination is so gorgeous. Though it’s too cold still to go swimming, we put our feet in and walked around. Two couples went, and I saw the guys going down the small waterfall into the lower pool.Thank goodness they hurt!

The trail has been fixed to make it easier to get to the falls since last summer. No more climbing down an embankment on a rope. The water is flowing good as of today, March 20 2018. It was 65 degrees and I still drank down two gatorades and a water bottle going back up the trail from the falls. Be sure to bring plenty of fluids, especially when warm out. You might want to bring mosquito repellant if you climb to the top fall and stick around a bit. Only small portions of the trail provide shade from the sun.

I've climbed Cowles twice, this time taking the less trafficked route, and I enjoyed it a lot more. It is very steep towards the summit and there is a lot of loose gravel. Make sure you wear HIKING shoes or boots. I made the mistake of wearing running shoes, and I slipped and fell and scraped my knee. Overall a nice hike, great for beginners like me.

I have done the hike twice. The most recent time being yesterday (3/18/18) and the first time was in August a few years ago. We just had recent rain so this hike was beautiful (5 stars), but if you happen to come during a drier month when there hasn't been much recent precipitation like I did in August this hike is more of a 3 star. It was about 6 miles RT and the hike will take most people 2-3 hours plus the amount of time you care to spend at the falls. A drawback would be needing to go online and purchase a $10 permit. There's a ranger at the trailhead checking for permits and you sign in. The hike is pretty easy for the first 4 miles, but the last 2 miles is a bit steep as you walk up from the falls back to the parking area, but as other reviewers have mentioned it should be rated as Moderate for sure.

There was a nice waterfall as of mar 18, 2018. Make sure to leave plenty time to return back.

Beautiful hike!

Great workout hike - Easy to find trailhead - trail in good condition even after rain - started right before sunrise and rock ridge trail was empty .... at least going up

6 days ago

Beautiful! I can only assume it's classed as a hard hike because I've heard temperatures can get really high. We went on a drizzly overcast day and I would only rate as moderate at most. Bring swim stuff if you want to swim in the waterfall at the end! Don't do anything stupid, you'll have to get airlifted out. There's enough nature and scenery to keep you entertained the whole way through. don't forget to buy your permit! We had to sign in at the beginning of the trail.

nature trips
7 days ago

Great Hike. Not suitable to bring pets or your children coz theres a lot of boulder climbing, steep trails and also we got lost a little bit coz theres no signs anywhere. Advisable to start in the morning when theres plenty of sunlight. It was raining today and it made a great waterfall. Just be careful coming up there coz it gets foggy during this time. Advisable to bring walking sticks too. Going back is harder than we thought it would be. Overall, amazing experience.

it was a great hike well worth the trip. some things to be careful of is the drive there turn in to a dirt road and it could flood out during the rainy time. also on the trail it self there are two ways you can go, you can go straight down a loose dirt clif or you can stay left and do a easier trail it's easy to miss.

Definitely not as hard as they make it sound. Moderate at most. Hiked it today in the rain after recovering the last month from surgery and it was fine. A little slippery if you step directly on the rocks. Half of our group swam in the 46 degree water because it was just so beautiful. Recommend bringing change of clothes/towel/etc. there were unfortunately some humans defecating around the waterfall-so watch your step! One member was unlucky to find this out the hard way-gross!!!

Also tons of poison oak-so don’t go off if the trail or let your dog wander.

Definitely worth the drive! Very nice people on the way up and down! I honestly was sliding on my butt for a lot of the way down. Make sure to bring plenty of water! The photos on the website don't do service to what it feels like to be there. Definitely the hardest hike I've done but I did all of it! I went from 12:30-4:30 during March and it was perfect!

Beautiful hike. I usually approach Tahquitz Peak from South Ridge Trail which IMHO is more challenging, especially the switchback push at the end. There was ice patches along the shady parts of trail — way before the saddle, and snow at the top. Micro spikes and pokes came in handy! A little windy here and there, otherwise was a gorgeous day. OH and one hour in I spotted a black bear paw track, about six inches in width. See pics!

Can’t believe this is in San Diego. A must do!!!

From out of town and so glad I picked this! Ran all the trails up there but this was my favorite segment - not as heavily trafficked as the others were to get to the peak. Spectacular views all the way up and back. The trail is well marked and easy to navigate and the single track segments were just hard enough to keep it interesting. Had a great time!

Just beautiful! I would definitely call this a moderate hike. My six year old was able to complete it. Well worth the $10 permit.

Beautiful view

Water is flowing decently right now. The weather was great, 50 and overcast with a stiff breeze, a light mist, and heavy clouds around the top of surrounding mountains. I brought two medium size dogs and they loved it also. definable a must do in the area if it's rainy season.

Just got through today, raining during midday has made rocks very slippery but well worth the challenge, waterfall was a great place for some scenic photos.

Love this trail....is the water flowing? I want to hike here tomorrow. Haven't been s since may/July when there was actually water flowing ..anyone been there the past couple days???

The best after a rain!

Can people please indicate if the falls were flowing when they hike 3 Sisters? Thanks

Hiked it on Sunday and it was very hard and kind of scary especially at my age of 66 but I made it. The climb back was the toughest

Ive hiked and biked this trail on a few occassìons. Experienced mtb only and you will need to walk some. Its a nice stroll up the mountain though and it is definitly prefered trail to the top of cowels for my taste.

26 days ago

Nice hike and a beautiful waterfall. Wouldn’t want to do this in the summer. All uphill coming back but worth it.

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