Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Such a fun trek! Long, but well worth the activity along the way. Bring lots of water.

awesome hike but take lots of water. There is not a lot of shade on the trail. Perfect for groups and family's.

Great walk and not too crowded. The common trailhead is inside De Anza Spring Resort ($5/person) but there are 3-4 free roadside spots on the north side of the I-8 on the dirt road. Don't park by the gas station and subway, that's 2mi away on a boring dirt road with trucks flying down it. That's an extra 4 (boring) miles you'd have to do.
The hike itself has ZERO elevation, the spikes you see are for goal trails on the side of the tunnels, don't take them and instead enjoy the shade of the tunnels. Do the hike to the bridge quickly then take photos of everything when coming back.
Hike in: 2hrs // Hike out: 3hrs (photos and slower pace)
It's a cake walk, we didn't even drink any water until we had lunch at the bridge.

My boyfriend and I are not avid hikers. We don’t have walking sticks or gigantic camel backs and we LOVED this hike. Our first big hike and we survived! We parked at De Anza Spring Resort, which FYI is a nudist resort, but I only saw a couple of old naked guys. It cost $5 per person and opens at 8- totally worth it.

We started hiking at 9am and returned at 4:30pm. We stopped twice for snacks and took a decent amount of pictures. It is a very flat hike which we appreciated. We drank around a liter of water each and brought lots of snacks. Definitely bring a flash light since some tunnels are dark. We also noticed that rattle snakes like to hang out near the entrance of the tunnels so be careful. Overall it was a great hike with many things to see!!

P.S If you’re afraid of hikes this might not be the hike for you. We saw a poor person crawling across the old bridges and holding on for dear life.

Flat trail with not much elevation gain but the views are AMAZING. Being a city guy, I come hiking to recharge. The abandoned train cars are whimsical and something fun to look at. The bridges are wooden and rickety but sturdy enough to hold my 270 pound frame. There are 2 long tunnels which require actual flashlights or headlamps. CELL PHONE FLASH LIGHT IS NOT BRIGHT ENOUGH. Many other small tunnels which you don’t need a flash light. And the world famous Goat Canyon Trestle!!! Sturdy, long, and made of wood. Great end to the hike. Lots of people stopped there and ate lunch then turned around. All in all it was a shade over 14 miles round trip of you parked at the De Anza nudest resort(yes you read that right). I drank 4 liters of water on this trip. Starting temp was 70. Ending temp was 91. Walked for 5.5 hours. This is a great hike. Easy to follow. Take lots of pics because the railroad was just purchased by an investment group out of Baja, Mexico who want to use the railroad again.

Watch out for naked people. Great ride. Breathtaking.

on Canyon Sin Nombre

2 months ago

This trail is the museum of geology.

it was nice day to hike this flat and long 16 miles Trestle along with fellow hikers.

We hiked from Mortero canyon road off of S2 to Deanza springs resort in Jacumba about a week ago. We almost made it to the tracks near Dos Cabezas mine. The two wheel drive small car almost made it all the way to the tracks but we still had to walk some of the dirt road to the tracks. Our total miles for the trail was 17 miles. We didn’t leave until midday but thanks to the clouds it wasn’t too hot. What a great hike. Flat but exciting. Some beautiful desert walking. We did not arrive to the resort until after dark but thanks to the tracks we didn’t need headlamps. After our hike we found the bar at deanza resort was open. We went in for a naked burger and a beer. Oh my god what a great time we had. Everyone was so nice. We party like rock stars and ended up camping. We loved it so much I applied for the bartending job. Highly recommend this hike and the resort. I think it was like $8.00 for us to camp at the resort that night. But know the Bar and restaurant are only open Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. Not open Monday through Wednesday.

To start, this is an awesome hike! It is such an awesome experience going through the tunnels and observing the ruins of trains, tunnels, and work equipment along the way.

We decided to start from De Anza Spring Resort (nudist resort). When you get to the gate hit the intercom button and they will let you in. You will then drive 5mph to the office. Follow the signs and you will find it. It is $5 per person and they will need a copy of each person drivers license. From there you will head back towards the entrance gate to park and you will see rocks lined up and outlining the trail to the railroad.

Once you get to the railroad, take a right (away form the freeway) and follow the train tracks until you reach the trestle.

We decided to go through all of the tunnels, so our elevation gain was approx 2,000 ft. You could easily add distance and elevation gain if you go around the tunnels (there are trails, not sure on the quality).

Make sure on the hike you bring plenty of water, a bright flashlight or two, and comfortable shoes. This is not a good hike for warm weather and we found it very enjoyable right after the rain.

Another recommendation, as you see all the ruins and cool things to check out, do it quickly on your way out, then when you are on your way back, spend more time checking out and taking pictures. If you spend too long looking at this stuff on the way out, it is very possible to end up walking back in the dark.

Finally, after the hike we started researching the history and there is so much cool stuff to learn about. Might be worth learning the history before hand so you can understand the different ruins you are seeing.

Enojy, this is a long one, but so many unique experiences that I will never forget. This is on the top list for hikes.

Did this as a day hike in windy conditions. The trail is mostly in good shape, only as it passes by Mt Wilson does it get a bit more ambiguous to follow, then completely peters out as the low desert comes into view. The scenery itself is reason enough to hike this trail, and by itself it is enjoyable as well.
Access to the trailhead is via a dirt/sand road barely the width of a pickup truck. Badly rutted, with a few minor boulder crossings. Tried both parts of the road, from Montezuma Valley road S-22 near the switchbacks leading down to Borrego Springs to the trailhead, and then out to S-22 via the other leg, for the final mile crossing over to Old Wilson Road which is in much better shape. I recommend only using the first leg, it is manageable for high clearance vehicles whereas towards Old WIlson Rd there are long ruts about 18" deep which are difficult to avoid. Also note the trailhead can only accommodate 2 vehicles for parking, however 1/4 mile West is a cluster of campsites with more room to park.

This was a great 15 mile out and back trail. The day was Beautiful, but we started late. On the way back to our car we encountered killer chilly winds. Depends on what side you enter, be prepared to scramble over rocks to get through tunnels. Overall great fun exploring.

Flat hike out through tunnels, and over numerous smaller trestles ending at the large trestle. Beautiful scenery - reminded me of old western movies the way the tracks snake though blasted out rocks. OUSTANDING VIEWS NONSTOP.

There are side trails around most of the tunnels (which appear to have been used for the elevation chart for this hike). They provide more canyon beauty but the trails are over grown with cacti in places and make for a challenging walk around. I recommend taking the side trails around the smaller tunnels.

Entire hike was 9:45AM - 3:30PM (5 hours, 45 min) and included a 30 minute lunch break, lot's of photos and two "walk arounds" of the tunnels.

Park at the Nudest Colony - but the bar is closed Mon - Thursday - so you will need to have post hike beverage somewhere else.

Male, 35 (and female companion, 29)
6', 240 lbs
Fitness level: average
Hiking experience: intermediate
Date of hike: 02/17/18
Pace: moderate
Total time: A little under 5 hours (app clocked us at 4:43 movement time)
Weather temp: 39F when we left by 9am, 68F upon returning to our car by 3pm

Ok, so I'm on the chubby side and we finished this hike in under 5 hours (movement time). This hike wasn't really that hard. The only thing that bothered me was my bum ankle from an old hockey injury, but other than that, it's not very demanding on cardio as long as you are not in horrible shape.

I prepared for the worst and was carrying a bunch of stuff in my pack that I didn't use at all, including 4 lts of water. I only drank 1lt during the whole trip with little to no transpiration. I should say though, that the weather was nice and cool so that played a big factor in not using up a lot of water. It got a little hot on the way back but it was nice overall.

Other than the obvious preparations for a long hike (water, food, aid kit, etc), I would like to emphasize the importance of wearing comfortable gear, shoes and clothing. It is a very long hike so any little nuisance from your bag, shoes, shorts, socks, underwear, etc that you think it's minor, will start to feel like a huge pain in the ass after a while. So make sure nothing is bothering you before you begin.

This is definitely one of the most interesting hikes around the San Diego area. There is a lot of cool things to see and great spots for photo ops. I highly recommend it.

EPIC! This hike speaks to the mischievous kid inside that wants to explore the abandon trains cars, dark tunnels, and cool bridges that your mom would never let you play on. I felt like I was on my own adult desert ‘Stand by Me’ adventure.
I hiked with two other in shape athletic guys and we did 3 hours out ( with lots of exploring and pictures) and two hours back from Deanza to the bridge.
Great opportunity to face your fear of the dark, heights, tight spaces, graffiti trains, whatever.

What a fun hike, easy but long 16 miles...FYI - De Anza Springs Resort doesn't open until 8am, if you plan on parking there...

It is a long hike, a little bit over 16 miles to be exact. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Completed this trail for the first time today. The trail is mainly flat, so aside from the distance, I would actually rate this as easy, not hard. It was HEAVILY trafficked by other hikers and bicyclist. There are more than a handful of bridges and tunnels. Some tunnels are approx. half a mile long and dark, so I recommend to bring lighting. The weather was perfect! About 75° today, which is nice for the desert area.
Overall this was an awesome hike with plenty of exploring!

First thing, park in the nudist colony instead of at the gas station. You’ll be thankful when heading back to your car. Go to the office and it’s $5 a person. Well worth it! The trail is flat for the most part, but it’s still a hard trail. Feet and legs are sore! Two tunnels were long and dark so I highly recommend a flash light especially if you’re going just girls. The trestles were not my favorite but I had to cross them. There’s several but the main one was safer to me than the little ones. Once you get to the end it’s worth it. We saw a lot of people on this trail! Weather was in our favor. Take plenty of water and snacks. We took our 50l bag and 75l bags to prep for Havasupai Falls. Overall, we did it and loved it!

loved this trail. so interesting with lots to see and the history of this trestle. loved it.
the trail is exposed the on my shade you get is from the tunnels so start early or check weather when planning.

Pros: Tunnels, train cars, possible wildlife spottings, bridges, trestle. All opportunities for great photos with the right time of day.
Cons: train cars have been ripped apart as more and more people find this place; unnecessary tagging of rocks (not art); bridges, in my opinion, are not safe enough to bring children or pets; flat 16 miles takes a toll.

bike packing .Overnig bike camping

One of the best hike in San Diego period. Long but flat. Great western movie hike. Tunnels were awesome. Bridges were scary but cool. Bring lots of water and food. Long hike again

This was one of the most gratifying hikes I’ve done near San Diego. We parked at the DeAnza Springs Resort, which is a clothing-optional campground with a small restaurant and bar. We buzzed ourselves in the gate and paid $5/person for the safety of leaving our car. The desk clerk pointed us in the right direction, and we were on our way. We left the trailhead around 10am, hiked about 7.5 miles to the bridge in 2.5 hours, and spent about an hour exploring the trestle. We made it back before 5pm as the sun was going down and decided to stick around for a few beers at the resort. Everyone was so friendly and respectful. It was not weird or creepy in the least, and we had a very nice time talking with the folks there. Mostly everyone was dressed because it was cold, but the occasional old man with no pants on was more comical than anything else. I recommend this route over the others because of the safety and relative ease of the logistics. I attempted the Mortero Palms Canyon route two months ago, and the rock scrambling was too treacherous. All in all, this is a long walk along the railroad tracks reminiscent of the movie Stand By Me. Pick a cool day and a cool friend, and bring plenty of water and a flashlight for some of the longer tunnels along the way. 15 miles round trip, approximately 6 hours at a steady pace with an hour to explore, and a beer with some nudists if you’re up for it!

Rough terrain, but flat. it was awesome. Worth the ass, leg and feet soreness you are going to feel. I hiked with my dog. If you do make sure your dog has shoes, plenty of water and snacks. We started at 10:15 and it was hot, but just when it feels too hot you hit your first tunnel. Tunnels helped immensely with the heat and there are several. On the way back at 1:30 It was perfect. Tunnels kept us cool and there were only a couple of hotspots. We ended the trail as the sun was going down and wind started to blow. Easy to find. few dirt spots to park which is where I did. Then the cross over the street to the tracks and start the adventure.

off road driving
4 months ago

This was a fun trail done in a Jeep. Trail was done mostly in 2wd. Will definitely head back in the spring the flower should be cool out here.

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