Explore san diego - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

san diego Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Not a hard hike interns kf the trail, flat and easy. can get bery hot tho, start early and bring PLENTY of water.
Really cool ruins and abandoned trains and what not as well as tunnels.

Great trail! Take plenty of water !! Beautiful scenery.
Mosquito repellent is a must !
10$ fee to park

Yep trails closed. Didn’t see anyone ticketing but once you get to the first tunnel there is a big gate with no trespassing signs!

It’s too late the railroad is ticketing hikers using the tracks. Be warned they are out there and looking for hikers. Could bring a heavy fine with the trespassing ticket. This trail is officially closed by the railroad.

Such a unique place. Challenging but fun hike, we went late morning. It was about 101 when we set out and before we hit the half way point we turned around because of the temps. Back at the car it was 107 and even though we had plenty of water, there were parts of the trail without any shade and we were starting to overheat. Aside from that we really enjoyed this spot and will make a return trip very soon and head out early for sunrise. The mountains and rock formations are amazing here and you’ll have plenty of photo ops in the canyons. Pack out what you pack in... dirt road is a bear coming down Painted Canyon Rd. Be ready for some major vibrations for about 5 miles of unpaved road. Best done in a truck, your pretty luxury car will cry coming here.

This is a challenging hike with quite a few steep inclines.

July 3,2018 : Still Open! No sign of construction starting. If you have been thinking of doing this trail for a while like I have, don’t wait! DO IT! I heard the construction will still likely happen preventing you from hiking this amazing trail. It was in the 90F when we did it mid day. 3L of Water per person was just barely enough water to get us there and back. I would rate the actual trail as easy, it’s flat w no elevation, but each way to the main Trestle is approx. 7-9 miles depending how many detours you take and exploring you do. Our hike totaled 18miles monitored with my Garmin. However due to the length and duration of this hike in the heat I would say it is difficult. The shade of the tunnels provides relief as they are easily 10-20degrees cooler than the exposed trail. Bring lots of food and water. We are athletic and our feet were pretty raw by the end of this hike. We had every Trestle and tunnel to ourselves and walking this trail is like time traveling to the Wild West. It is epic, tons of amazing photos to be taken, and parking at the nudist resort proved to be easy and memorable to say the least.

Was a great hike yesterday here. Definitely a hidden treasure to admire close to the Imperial Valley. Take plenty of water, gloves, hiking light shoes with good traction, sun block, snacks and a beer or two to enjoy up on the canyon. I guess i learned yesterday that the north trail is called The Ropes, and the east trail is ladder Canyon trail. I recommend to go east trail and follow rock arrow into hidden canyon. You can go the other way also, half way there is a hill that will be safer to go down than up for some. I'm going back for sure; Enjoy and stay safe!!

This is a great hike, but as others have said, it isn't marked at all. We relied on information from other hikers and Alltrails to figure out where to go. The ladder and ropes are fun and the hike is mostly pretty. The upper loop to the top of the big canyon is completely exposed. We got an incredibly late start, so this part baked me, but the canyon was worth it. As a bonus, we saw a little gray fox. The road in was rough, but ok for a regular car.

We did this hike Sunday 7/15 and it is STILL OPEN! We got there around 4:45am (we knew it was going to be 105 degrees with no shade during the day) and parked at the dirt patch 1/4 mile before De Anza Resort since they were not open yet. We started the trail at 520am. The sun was starting to come up so we had a little sunlight and started following the train tracks. We arrived at the main trestle around 9am. We stopped and took pictures and chilled at certain areas. Once your at the main trestle you can hop over the chains and scope the other side of the trestle. Looks like you can keep going but we turned around and went back since the heat starting coming around 10am and we knew it was a 2-3 hr walk back. We got back to our car around 1pm. It took us over 6 hours with picture taking, chillin, scoping the trains.

Overall this hike was amazing! Definitely a unique gem. The views are stunning, the tunnels, trains, and trestle have so much preserved history. Its insane! We brought 5 liters of water between 2 people and sandwiches. We also brought an umbrella (helped tremendously with the sun) since we knew there was no shade. The hike back to the car was brutal with the heat and the sun. If we didn’t have umbrellas we would of been burning. Also bring flash lights for the tunnels especially handy for the longer ones. Bring lots of water and some snacks and enjoy the journey of this hike!

Definitely coming back to this hike, lots of trails to explore.

I would recommend coming early to avoid high temperatures (it reached 112 when we went last week) and bring plenty of water.

As of 04Jul2018 trail is STILL OPEN!

While on my hike, I actually encountered a few engineers on their miniature trolley thing and they warned me that they are going to close down the trail in "a few weeks". I quote this because apparently from what the locals have told me, the engineers have been saying this for a long while now. I still encourage everyone to go though! If you are going to start your hike before 8am (you can park your car at the resort for a small fee starting at 8am) I suggest you park your car on the small dirt patch that is less than 1/2 mile from the resort. It'll be on the right, and if you don't park like a fool you should be able to fit three cars.

I started on the trailhead at around 7:30am and brought 3 L of water. Ended up drinking only 2 L. It was very hot and dry and by midday the temp was at around 91°F with a slight breeze. I finished the hike in about 5.5 hours. Make sure to bring a wide-brimmed hat, headlamp, plenty of water, snacks and something sweet to keep your blood sugar up on these hot days. Know the signs of heat exhaustion before going out on this hike! There is very little cover on this trail. The only shady spots you'll encounter are in the train tunnels, especially if you start later in the day.

Walking along the many trestles was a lot of fun. When you get to the actual Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge you'll see two flimsy chains on either end. Hop scotch on over and enjoy the view!

Great hike and a true gem among the many hikes to explore in and around San Diego.

STILL OPEN
we went sunday june 24th we looked like the only ones out there we started our walk at 6:30 so we couldn't park at the resort we parked right under the 8 freeway and followed the tracks from there
i do really recommend lots of water we finished 3 liters per person and a couple watermelon slices ...still felt like we needes more and it wasnt even HOT until our last miles back out around 1:30
the bridge was soooo worth it so get out there early to beat the heat and soon because based on a couple of the last reviews and a few other sites this may close down soon

The trail is open!!!
No construction crew what so ever, looks like they have a lot of repairing to do.
Just park your car at the resort, pay $10,- and you’re off!
Bring lots of water, very hot in June.

This trail appears to be officially dead, if you want to get a look at the trestle you are going to have to do it for Mortero Palms and view it from Anza Borrego property.

The tracks leading to it from both ends are part of the Pacific Imperial Railways right of way through Anza Borrego State Park. I think you can still legally get close enough to see it, you just can't go into the 100 yard right of way of the rail company.

Easily one of my favorite hikes I've ever done. Definitely one of a kind! If you're nervous about the distance, don't be. The other trails to get to the trestle might be shorter, but they require a lot of scrambling and don't feature all the graffiti trains and tunnels. We walked through 13 tunnels one way!

The walk was flat and easy and completely worth all the views. $5/person is worth it to park at the nudist camp. They're all nice people and not creepy- promise. Use great care when playing on the trains and the trestle, but don't make any more excuses for not going. You'll love it.

Fun fun fun!!!!
No problems as far as being stopped by patrol.
Parked at DeAnza, paid 5 dollars EACH. It's getting hot, so if heat is an issue, I'd wait until it cools down.
Headlight, flashlight, and a lot of water. I have 3L camelback and two bottles and drank all of it.
Really interesting trail, with a lot of photo ops, so keep your camera ready!!
If you are afraid of heights, prepare for some adrenaline rushes as you cross bridges, but so much fun, you'll want to push on!

This hike was a lot of fun! Went on Saturday, temps were high, but manageable with shady parts, and the tunnels were nice and cool. Completely flat trail, but fairly long in the heat. Bring flashlights/headlamp for tunnels, but make sure to look up and check out the cool bats! We didn't run into anyone saying we were trespassing, and there are definitely no signs, still a clearly marked trail. We were charged $10 to park, which I thought was odd, but all in all, a great hike!

Absolutely beautiful hike with views in every direction. Parking is crappy with room for only 5 or so cars so go early. there is tremendous variety of terrain from boulders to forrest overhang. it's definitely the prettiest hike I have done yet. we passed a few people but we were the only ones at the top, I actually cried! bring a lot of water. I have a 1.5l pack and it wasn't enough. I was happy that my husband had a 3l. be super careful if you are on the path in what I have now deemed "snake o'clock". when we turned the corner from behind a boulder there was one that was half in the path. we backed away and went over another boulder to avoid it. we warned everyone that we saw on the way down but there was a deaf couple on the hike heading in when we were heading out....I was scared for them. all in all it was very scenic and definitely challenging even just in the length alone. highly recommend!

Hey does anyone know if the trail is closed yet and how would you be able to find out ?

Thanks , hoping to go this Sunday :)

A nice trail! but in a wrong weather - 90 °F with no shadow during the walk - I started at 9:30am and returned around 1:30pm because I played drone there... I would say hiking in June is really not a good idea, lol. I parked my car at Deanza Springs Resort with paid $5 registration fee in the office. Don't forget to bring your headlight because some tunnels are dark and long, don't forget to bring enough water and don't forget to start your hiking early when the weather is cool. Enjoy!

Love this app

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Can’t wait to bring my kids on this one!

I did this hike for the first time on 5/27/18 and REALLY enjoyed the hike. This is definitely not a "Hard" hike and should be considered "Moderate" since there are some steep parts but there are just as many level or mild incline parts so it doesn't kick your butt too much. I did this as part of the Tardigrade Tough 8 Challenge which comprises 8 of the hardest hikes in the San Diego area. If you are interested follow @tt8challenge and/or @resilientsquad on Instagram.

Here are the main details of the hike:
Name: Corte Madera in Alpine, CA (east of San Diego)
Distance: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft
Elevation at Peak: 4,657 ft.
Duration: 3-4 hrs
Difficulty: Moderate

*I used the directions from the All Trails App...basically the 8 East to Exit 51 Buckman Springs Rd, turn right and in 3.3 miles you will turn right on a small side road named Morena Stokes Valley Rd which is a narrow somewhat paved/dirt bumpy road and in 4.8 miles you will see a green metal gate with a red cross on it...parking for about 5 or 6 cars on the left of the road and the hike starts at the metal gate

We arrived at 6:15 am and we were the first to park in the parking area. We saw no one on our way to the peak and saw less than 10 people on our return from the peak. I really enjoy hikes where there are little to no people and there are no sounds of cars or noises except for nature.

For the first .7 miles of the hike you are on an access road lined with oaks provided cover until you reach a metal garbage can with a wooden sign that says Espinosa Trail on the left, this is the way you need to go and you will now be on a narrow single file trail.

At 1.5 miles you will come to an official metal sign which indicates Los Pinos Peak to the left and Espinosa Trail straight, just below this sign is a handmade looking wooden sign with "Corte Madera Mt" and an arrow pointing to the right...follow this sign.

At 1.9 miles you will see an official sign indicating you are entering a nesting area for birds of prey with a wooden handmade sign pointing the way to "CM" and an arrow...follow this sign.

At about 2.6 miles you will see the destination off to your left and you will see why it is called by some the San Diego Half Dome. The final .9 miles to the peak will curve around to the left and you will make a half circle to the peak when you reach about 3.4 to 3.5 total miles. There was no sign at the peak but there was a green metal container with the name and elevation on it.

There is a variation to the scenery on this trail with some shaded and some exposed areas and some cool rocks and there was a nice variety of colors (green, yellow, and violet), but most importantly were the great views at the top. On the day we hiked it was misting in the beginning and lots of fog/low clouds, but by the time we got within a mile from the top we had hiked high enough to be above the clouds and it was clear and beautiful up there. It is definitely worth the drive to do this hike and I highly recommend it.

We did this hike on Memorial Day. Needed to get out of the cold weather we’ve been having in San Diego so didn’t mind the 100 degree heat at noon when we hit the trail. There was actually a nice breeze blowing most of the time so the heat wasn’t oppressive. Brought plenty of water and some calories with us and just went at a steady pace. Boulders a bit hot but still manageable and plenty of shade in the palm grove the closer you get to the top. Nearly impossible to get lost since all trail derivations go in the same direction. Saw a couple of bighorn sheep near the top. You definitely want to be mindful of the cactus that jut out onto the trail but otherwise it is an easy and well marked and maintained trail. Cold beer at Carlee’s afterward was a must. I would do it again for sure when there is water flowing.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this hike! I did it twice it was so much fun and full of little trails to explore. A must do when you visit the area!

It as mid 90's by the time we got going. We took lots of water, but only made it to about 200 yards beyond the big rock. My sweetie can't take the heat and altitude. She had the drumming heartbeat and had to stop to rest often. I guess you can't beat youth. We're on the high side of 60. Lots of wildflowers. Not a lot of water in the creek. A younger couple told us that the 'falls' were pretty weak. If you're going to hike this trail at this time of year, start early.

Great walk! We started a little before 9 AM so the hike there was fairly cool, but the way back was brutal sun/heat. Definitely bring lots of water! Echo what other posters have said below- the construction crew told us the trail would be permanently closed in 2 weeks and anyone walking would be cited for trespassing. Recommend getting this in before it’s gone.

Also- bring a flashlight! Some of the tunnels are very dark and you need to watch for possibility of snakes (we didn’t see any).

Get it while you can. Crew working on tracks said within 2-3 weeks everything will be off limits due to explosives, rebuilding and ultimately tracks put back to use. Well worth the trek.

Load More