Carrizo Gorge is a 8.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jacumba, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from November until April.

Distance: 8.2 miles Elevation Gain: 803 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

cave

views

wild flowers

over grown

rocky

off trail

historic site

no dogs

Most people associate Carrizo Gorge with the famous Goat Canyon railroad trestle. The boulder-strewn, vegetation-chocked, twisting course will beckon to your sense of adventure and exploration. A north-south trending fault zone is responsible for the series of ridges and canyons at Anza-Borrgo's southern end. Carrizo Gorge, the most dramatic of these, divides the Jacumba Mountains to the east from the In-Ko-Pah Mountains to the west. These mini-mountain ranges are links in the Peninsular Ranges from the Laguna Mountains in the northwest to the Sierra Juarez of Baja California. Carrizo Gorge is best known for the railroad that threads along its eastern wall: the San Diego & Arizona Eastern. Built in 1907-1919, the railroad carried freight, and for a time passengers, between San Diego and Imperial Valley. At its heart it is a remote and rugged wilderness area. A trek down the length of Carrizo Gorge is long, rugged, and memorable. It is one to be taken cautiously, with the right equipment and clothing. Essential are long pants to protect you from the sharp thorns of mesquite, catclaw, and the needle-like tips of a particularly wicked type of bunch grass. Thick growths of tamarisk, cactus gardens, and slippery rocks will all conspire to hinder your progress. Feral cattle used to keep paths through the vegetation clear, but they were airlifted out of the canyon in the late 1980's. The start of the foot travel only trail head is reached via a 6 mile dirt road,often passable only with a 4WD vehicle. An earlier edition of Afoot & Afield In San Diego County described a route through the canyon as a long, rugged, difficult, and memorable one, with bushwhacking, boulder-hopping, and mud-stomping in abundance. However, over the years the route became impassable. Fortunately, the State Park and California Conservation Corps were involved in a tamarisk removal project, clearing out the invasive trees and making it much easier to traverse the canyon. Tamarisk, also known as salt cedar, is an exotic, shrubby tree which was introduced to the western United States for ornamental use, windbreaks and erosion control; however, it has become a dominant, invasive species. Carrizo is a Spanish word or reeds, cattails, or tall grasses growing along watercourses around the Southwest and Mexico. Carrizo Gorge drops in elevation from 2,800 feet at Jacumba along Interstate 8, and descends to 700 feet some 18 miles to the desert floor near Bow Willow along Highway S2. Presumably, one could hike up to Goat Canyon trestle from there or explore any number of tributaries in the area.

hiking
no shade
off trail
rocky
Sat Mar 23 2019

Most people associate Carrizo Gorge with the famous Goat Canyon railroad trestle. Back in my younger, law breaking, trespassing days I would look down from the trestle at the gorge below. The boulder-strewn, vegetation-chocked, twisting course beckoned to my sense of adventure and exploration. This certainly ranks high on my list of favorite areas to explore in Anza Borrego. An earlier edition of Afoot & Afield In San Diego County described a route through the canyon as a long, rugged, difficult, and memorable one, with bushwhacking, boulder-hopping, and mud-stomping in abundance. However, over the years the route became impassable. Fortunately, the State Park and California Conservation Corps were involved in a tamarisk removal project, clearing out the invasive trees and making it much easier to traverse the canyon. Tamarisk, also known as salt cedar, is an exotic, shrubby tree which was introduced to the western United States for ornamental use, windbreaks and erosion control; however, it has become a dominant, invasive species. Carrizo is a Spanish word or reeds, cattails, or tall grasses growing along watercourses around the Southwest and Mexico. Carrizo Gorge drops in elevation from 2,800 feet at Jacumba along Interstate 8, and descends to 700 feet some 18 miles to the desert floor near Bow Willow along Highway S2. I enjoy hiking south from the end of the dirt road, about 5 miles into the gorge. Presumably, one could hike up to Goat Canyon trestle from there or explore any number of tributaries in the area.

hiking
Thu Mar 23 2017

A north-south trending fault zone is responsible for the series of ridges and canyons at Anza-Borrgo's southern end. Carrizo Gorge, the most dramatic of these, divides the Jacumba Mountains to the east from the In-Ko-Pah Mountains to the west. These mini-mountain ranges are links in the Peninsular Ranges from the Laguna Mountains in the northwest to the Sierra Juarez of Baja California. Carrizo Gorge is best known for the railroad that threads along its eastern wall: the San Diego & Arizona Eastern. Built in 1907-1919, the railroad carried freight, and for a time passengers, between San Diego and Imperial Valley. At its heart it is a remote and rugged wilderness area. A trek down the length of Carrizo Gorge is long, rugged, and memorable. It is one to be taken cautiously, with the right equipment and clothing. Essential are long pants to protect you from the sharp thorns of mesquite, catclaw, and the needle-like tips of a particularly wicked type of bunch grass. Thick growths of tamarisk, cactus gardens, and slippery rocks will all conspire to hinder your progress. Feral cattle used to keep paths through the vegetation clear, but they were airlifted out of the canyon in the late 1980's. The start of the foot travel only trail head is reached via a 6 mile dirt road,often passable only with a 4WD vehicle. Fortunately, the California Conservation Corps has been involved in a project to eradicate the invasive tamarisk from the Carrizo Creek watershed. Past forays into the gorge from the north end have been relativity easy due to the removal efforts. Feel free to explore the depths of the gorge until your progress is severely hampered by dense growths of vegetation. A side trip up Goat Canyon can also be made here to view the worlds-famous railroad trestle.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
Wed Jan 09 2019

Sun Jul 22 2018

hiking
Thu Mar 01 2018