Three Sisters (3235 m) is usually reached from the trailhead at the Courtright Resevoir.
The trail to Cliff Lake is relatively uneventful and quick.
Best is to leave the trail before it reaches the shores of Cliff Lake
and start climbing (easy class 1-2) to its north in the general west direction.
You are basically coasting Cliff Lake to its left, at higher and higher
elevation. This ridge connects to the Three Sisters with very little
elevation loss. Once you are at the base of the Three Sisters it is an easy
scramble to the top whichever direction you take, slightly easier on the
You can then descend the northern side to the Dinkey lakes where you can pick
up the trail that takes you back to Cliff Lake.
Directions to the trailhead
Take hwy 168 east towards Shaver Lake but turn right before the lake into
Dinkey Creek Rd that turns into McKinley Grove Rd. Follow the signs to
Courtright Reservoir to the end of the road
where the dam is. At the dam you get three choices: to the left you can drive
the paved road to the expensive campground and to the Cliff Lake trailhead;
straight ahead you do to the boat landing and to a free campground;
and to the right you drive over the dam itself.
It takes easily two hours from Fresno to the trailhead.
The Cliff Lake trailhead (northwest side of the reservoir, where the Nelson
Creek enters the reservoir) is a large parking lot.