Mortero Palms to Goat Canyon Trail is a 4.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ocotillo, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
Beautiful hike, but too difficult for me. We made it to the second saddle past the palms before turning around. I am still not sure if we had already tackled the most difficult part, however we had to turn back to return by dark. I would definitely not want to tackle the boulders in the Mortero Palm Oasis in the dark. We probably only hiked 2 miles round trip, but it took us 4 hours because we had to backtrack to find boulders that we could tackle on the way down. I am a weekend hiker and in average shape for a 40-something. My husband had to brace me to get me down the taller boulders because I am also a bit afraid of jumping. We will not be tackling this one again, so it is as complete as it will be for me. My big disappointment was that we did not see any Big Horn sheep. Note, the trail is extremely difficult to follow, so bring a topo map and navigation. I checked Afoot and Afield AFTER we returned and think it would have been a helpful preparation as he recommends a route to avoid the slippery stones in the midst of the canyon.
Attempted this hike twice to get to the Goat Canyon Trestle. The first time we started off at the trailhead for Mortero Palms but ended up loosing the trail. There is a lot of scrambling over large boulders and is easy to loose the trail. We ended up starting off late in the day which was our biggest mistake and didn't have time to complete the hike. The second time and determined to make it, we went north and hiked across the desert to the railroad tracks and walked south until we got to the trestle. The train tracks are technically private property and you are not allowed to walk on them. The train tracks are definitely NOT used and has fallen into disrepair. Came across quite a few other people out there hiking as well!
Definitely worth the trip, a little hard to keep on the trail, but would recommend. While you don't have to have a truck I would highly recommend. you can't get across the railroad tracks in a car so it adds an extra few miles.