A Beavertail cactus is covered with blooms at the visitor center in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stone
 Photo by Chris Stone

The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that public comment is being sought on a proposal to build a trail system to Three Sisters Falls and the summit of Eagle Peak in San Diego’s East County mountains.

The 3.9-mile hike to Three Sisters Falls, near Descanso, is described on hiking websites as difficult but fun, with occasional rock scrambling, rope climbs and a payoff of waterfalls and a pool at the end. The 4 1/2-mile Eagle Peak hike provides some of the best vistas in the region.

However, 24 hiker rescues have occurred in just the last two weeks from injuries or heat-related issues, according to the USFS.

More than 400 hikers on weekends and holidays access the falls via a network of user-created trails that cross steep, rugged terrain, prompting concerns regarding the safety and accessibility, according to the agency.

“It is important that we provide safe access on a well-designed trail and protection of resources in a sustainable manner,” said District Ranger Chris Dowling. “With resources being heavily impacted, and injuries to hikers rising, this comes at a pivotal time.”

Dowling said the plans are also designed to deal with problems regarding parking and waste.

A draft environmental assessment suggests either building a trail system, closing the current trail or taking no action.

Documents on the proposals are available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=46285.

Comments will be accepted through July 2, also online at comments- cleveland@fs.fed.us.

—City News Service