Some of the most expansive views in the entire California Desert--vistas often extending for more than 100 miles--exist in Carrizo Gorge Wilderness. From overlooks, you can see the Chocolate Mountains, the Salton Sea to the northeast, Mount Signal on the Mexican border, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which shares the Wilderness' eastern border. The eastern boundary actually runs near the western edge of Carrizo Gorge itself, where the In-Ko-Pah Mountains rise up from the desert. This Wilderness represents the only ecological transition zone in the NWPS between the low Colorado Desert and the dry California coastal mountains. Peninsular bighorn sheep find this remote, rugged region to their liking, and three herds call the area home. The San Diego coast horned lizard also lives here, eyeing the skies warily for Swainson's hawks, golden eagles, and other birds of prey. California fan palms line the edges of dry washes and narrow canyons, creating oases in the parched terrain. You will not find much in the way of trails from the west side, though several springs might provide water. From the east side, via Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, you can access Carrizo Gorge on a jeep trail, and the Wilderness on foot.
Wonderful view and worth the hike. Started from Dos Cabeza rd. almost at the end of it. Went up the old jeep trail and onto the tracks at the 2nd to last tunnel before it loops back around to Dos Cabeza rd. Very easy hike just bring lots of water. Dogs made it too. Little tough on the paws on the rough rocks but that wasn't too much. Total trip was about 10 miles. Camped out at the end of Dos Cabeza rd. so we could leave early in the morning. Much cooler and we didn't have to wake up 2 hours earlier just to drive there.
The hike from the Montero Palms to the Goat Canyon Trestle (almost 5 miles) ends up being difficult and strenous. Not for those that are afraid of heights.
We started at the trailhead via the Dos Cabezas road, knowing that we were not doing an out and back hike we dropped a vehicle near the water tower that was still a mile or two away from the Montero Palms trailhead. The trail is not well marked, and there's significant elevation gain and loss. At a fork we opted to go to the left, unfortunately we missed passing the Palm trees, but we were able to spot them from above. As we got higher up we opted to climb up the waterfall (that was a challenge) since there was no water. The final decent to the actual train trestle is very difficult and more like going down a rockslide area. Our hike out was along the tracks (approximately 7 miles).