When I first saw the Three Sisters Reserve next to the Portuguese Bend Reserve on a map, I thought “I want to go there”. The name called out to me. The Portuguese Bend Reserve is the most popular reserve among nature reserves nearby so you can find trail information and helpful reviews from other hikers easily online. The Three Sisters Reserve is another story. I mapped out a route (3.3 miles) that included the Filiorum and Three Sisters Reserves.
We drove to the trailhead which is located at the end of Ocean Terrace Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Since this hike isn’t very popular nor well-known, parking was very easy. We began hiking from the upper west Filiorum then descended via McCarrell Canyon Trail. The good thing about exploring a new place is, you don’t know what you will run in to and you are excited about the unknown. The Three Sisters Reserve has spectacular ocean views.
On the other hand, since you don’t know what you will run in to, you hope you are prepared for whatever the challenges you may run in to.
It turned out Sunshine Trail wasn’t a happy fun trail as it sounds. When we reached the bottom of the Three Sisters near the residential area, it was obvious the area wasn’t well maintained. We followed a track we thought was a trail. Then, Sunshine Trail led us to the top of a hill and disappeared. Only the steep drop was ahead of us.
Surely, this can’t be the trail.
We backtracked a little bit and took a sidewalk to meet up with Barkentine Trail. Later, we found out that the steep drop was the Sunshine Trail. We were still happy with our decision and our knees thanked us.
I noticed a section of Jack Hat’s Trail that links the Three Sisters and Filiorum Reserves was in a shade of beige/taupe on a map. I figured ‘no trees/shrubs’. Well, all of a sudden, we found ourselves in soft deep sand. Have you hiked uphill on soft deep sand?
The trails weren’t clearly marked here. We hiked in confusion hoping we weren’t trespassing onto someone’s property. It was only after we were in the Filiorum Reserve for a while, we saw a sign facing the opposite direction saying that the trail ends in 300 feet. Say what! Why didn’t they put up this sign in the Three Sisters Reserve as well? lol.
We hiked 3.5 miles and enjoyed the views. We had fun exploring the new trails but next time we will skip Three Sisters. After dropping off Xena at home, we spent a nice relaxing afternoon at a spa. It was a lovely day~
Details on this Hike:
- Distance: 3.5 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 857 ft
- Difficulty Level: Moderate-Challenging