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Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge via Carrizo Gorge Road

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge via Carrizo Gorge Road is a 13.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Jacumba, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and mountain biking.

Distance: 13.9 miles Elevation Gain: 4,202 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

views

wildlife

over grown

no shade

Hikers report that the first tunnel is closed and another one is also gated off. Both of those closed tunnels offer detours. Warning: You may be subjected to fines.

hiking
closed
1 day ago

Rail workers are turning hikers around, stating if we are caught there is a $400 fine.

In my opinion, the only thing that makes this hike difficult is the distance. With exception to bypassing 2 closed tunnels, it is quite flat. I totally enjoyed all of the history that was just left there for anyone to appreciate. The old rail cars where pretty cool, kind of unfortunate about all the graffiti, although some of the artwork is pretty impressive. The large trestle at the end of the hike is truly amazing. I would recommend this one highly.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 days ago

Good hike. Just keeps on going. 4 liters of water was enough. Parked at the resort which was 5 bucks. They buzzed us in at the gate. Tunnels and bridges through out the hike and one close call with rattler in a tunnel.

hiking
6 days ago

Such a good and LONG trail. Very scenic and enjoyable. Tips: pack more water than you think you’ll need, make sure you have good shoes to minimize blisters, headlamps for the tunnels, and some snacks or a full lunch cause it’s going to be a long day. The first tunnel is closed but there is a trail to go up and over. One of the tunnels pretty much half way through the hike is also gated off (I believe do to collapsing) and that detour is off to the left and adds about a mile. Once you get there the trestle is breath taking! Happy and safe trips to everyone!

hiking
11 days ago

Long 7 mile (14 mile round trip) hike to the bridge on an old railroad track in Jacumba going through mountains about 10 tunnels to get the goat canyon bridge. You’ll love the bridge. Walk across if you dare! Park at the nudist colony. It may cost $5 per person. Bring water, food and flashlights or headlamps. One tunnel is almost a mile long.

hiking
13 days ago

Been wanting to do this trail since I moved to SD 3 years ago. Finally got around to it with my SO. It was beautiful watching her overcome her fears of heights and dark, you'll experience both on this long trail. Take plenty of water, snacks, and lunch. We had a good breakfast, 2 sandwiches each, snacks, and lots of water. Tip: Be mindful of the windspeed the day you decide to hike. You don't want to get caught in a 25 mph wind while you're in the middle of a trestle, it's a chilling predicament to be in. When you get to the first tunnel, it will be closed.. you can go either to the left or to the right of the tunnel. As you are coming up to the tunnel, before you even see it maybe 500 feet before, on the right hand side. This is just before the little canyon, there is a path that is a bit longer, a nicer view and path, and not so steep in ascent. I loved this little path. However, if you are pressed for time, go past this one, stay on the tracks, and closer to the tunnel, just before the earth on the left starts to incline upwards you'll find a path that goes along the barbed wire up the steeper and quicker side. This is best if you are just trying to blast through to the end. This path starts about 100 feet before the closed tunnel. The second closed tunnel has the path obviously marked going to the left along the edge of the hill/mountain. It was super windy on the way back, something to take into account because there are some quite narrow corners on this detour.

hiking
14 days ago

This is a great trail. It’s around 17-18 miles depending on whether the gates are closed and if you decide to turn around around at the trestle. There are a total of 11 tunnels to the trestle. 2 tunnels are closed having you to go around the 1st one (can be open at times) and the 3rd tunnel is closed for sure having you to go a little up hill and around. Parking is fairly easy once you get under the freeway bridge there is limited open space on the side of the road or you can pay to park at the resort/hotel. Tips. BRING ENOUGH WATER.m, whatever you think is enough water bring two to 3 more than that. You do not want to run of water in the desert.

mountain biking
closed
private property
1 month ago

Great hike today completed on Sunday 3/22/2020 started around 830 in the morning it was beautiful. I just uploaded the videos to my IG for a walk through. If you park where we did it will be literally right under the 8 so you don’t have to pay for parking. Make sure you stay on the same route we took otherwise you’ll walk up to locked tunnels and have to backtrack at the beginning. There are only two tunnels you have to bypass total. IG - meat_the_adventure

hiking
2 months ago

Such a great hike. I parked inside the gate of DeAnza Springs Resort and paid $5, but I recommend parking outside of the gate and saving your money. Just walk West once you park. After less than a 100 yards you’ll hit the railroad tracks that you follow for the entirety of the trek. This hike is almost completely flat despite what the recording says above. You go through 9 tunnels, over 1 and around another 1. It would be almost impossible to get lost on this trail. Most of the tunnels are less than 100 yards with the exception of 1 which is about a 1/4 mile long. You’ll need a light for that one. Other than that this hike is pretty straightforward while being very unique. I definitely recommend.

hiking
no shade
off trail
private property
scramble
2 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails ever. Closed? kind of. Apparently they now monitor it occasionally ( we got lucky and had no problems) and 2 of the tunnels are locked. The first one you must climb over and the other locked tunnel you must take about a mile detour around. However, if you park at the Anza Borrego Resort ( $5pp) or at the pull out just before the resort (free) you can still get all the way to the trestle with ought too much of a problem. The hike is 17 miles round trip from this start point. We went past the trestle to the next tunnel. ( the tunnel just past the trestle is almost completely caved in ( you can get over the rocks if your into scrambling) or you can just do the walk around to the left. The main challenge of this hike is distance. Its a WHOLE day thing and you must bring plenty of water. I killed my camel back about 1 hr. before the end of the trail and it was a cool day ( high 60). This is a really amazing hike for those that like to really get out there. It is fun, challenging, and crossing all the trestles and tunnels really get your blood pumping. Just be prepared as I do know there are a few who have been stopped by boarder patrol, I am not sure if there is any way to tell which days they are out there or not, but just know, it is technically open, but your taking your chances with running into authorities. PS you might wonder, how do they ( boarder patrol ) even get out there? Apparently they drive on the tracks? per a report from another hiker who did get stopped.

hiking
2 months ago

One the the best best trail I’ve ever done. There’s 10 tunnels (I counted). The trail ends at the 11th tunnel, which isn’t fully blasted through yet. I started at hike at 9:30a and made it back at 4p. I took my time taking pictures and checking out the trains interior. So I added 2-3hrs just to gallivant. 2 of the tunnels were locked so I had to go around. But it’s no big deal. Walking around has a great scenic view.

Talk about adventure. Love how this trail flows into endless fun

hiking
closed
private property
5 months ago

Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge via Carrizo Gorge Road (14 miles) Dec 14, 2019 Tunnel, tunnel, and tunnel all the way, I stopped counting after 7 but I believed there are more than 9 of them. Bridges and bridges to cross and some were really too dangerous to step on. Two tunnels were closed out of 9 so you have to go around the hill and one causes Bert and I an extra 2 hours to escape from. We got lost on the way back at night and finding the trail was not easy when it was too dark even with a flashlight. This was one of my most challenging hike, rated “Difficult” by AllTrails. Started late in the hike due to …..hmm. We started around 9:30am and returned to the De Anza Springs Resort, a nudist camp, around 9:30pm, a twelve hour hike and most likely an 18mi day. We didn’t see a single nude dude or galbut that was ok, since we mostly saw older dudes, receptionist were OK. We parked there for $5 per person and they took photos of our Driver’s License and made us sign a paper waiver. People were really friendly and we recommend parking there for the day if you want to take the same route we took. We got to the Trestle Bridge around 3pm since we stopped and took photos and went around the hills. One short detour and one long detour around the two hills. The shorter hill gave us the problem(two hours hunting for the right way!) and we actually entertained the thoughts of sleeping inside the tunnel until the morning. I also thought something or someone was causing us to be lost since we ended up at the same spot several times. It was cold, maybe in the lower 40’s since I have already worn three layers of jacket and two layers of pants. Overall, it was a very nice adventure. We saw what we wanted to see and had so much fun even when we got lost. We were not losing hope and we were prepared to stay overnight since we already talked about doing so. Lessons learned were 1.) bring a long nose pliers with cutter and leather gloves to remove cactus needles off your skin. (it was raining balls of needles when the wind was strong and we were in the target zone) 2.) bring lots of breadcrumbs so you can track your way back when the trails are seldom used. Be creative. 3.) Enjoy the adventure even when you’re lost

hiking
5 months ago

One of the most interesting hiking in SAN DIEGO. I love it. 16.2 miles.

hiking
no shade
private property
rocky
10 months ago

Was out here on a mini-vacation back in May and tried to get to the trestle via the 3 mile rock scramble via the Mortero Palms route but didn't give myself enough time. Planned this one a bit better and drove from Jacumba Hot Springs where I stayed the night before to the nudist colony (DeAnza Springs Resort) and paid them $5 to park all day. They obviously get a lot of hikers who pay to park and while they do not officially condone hiking along the tracks (trespassing on private property), they basically look the other way (they ask that you do not access the tracks from their property though). I planned on leaving around 7am but my bank froze my debit card and did not bother to call me, so I had to waste an hour of my morning dealing with that before I officially started the hike. It was warm when I started, probably in the upper 80s and heating up. When I reached the 3rd or 4th tunnel, I was debating continuing or not, but after having a break I decided to keep going. By then, thunderstorm clouds rolled in and it cooled off considerably. I reached the trestle around 12:30, so it took me about 3 hours of walking. Hung around another 15-20 minutes, took more photos and turned back. Since I was by myself I didn't bother exploring the abandoned rail cars, just took photos. I was a bit nervous about thunderstorms and didn't want to get caught outside if lightning and thunder started In all, the walk back took me about the same amount of time, and I did not see anyone on the trail today. The other posts here and the gal at the front desk at the DeAnza Springs Resort office made it clear that the rail company which owns the tracks does patrol them and will cite hikers for trespassing. I was pretty alert for this today but I did not see anyone the entire day. I carried 4 liters of water and drank about 3 of them. If you do come during the summer, I would bring at least 4 liters per person. I was nervous about the amount of water I had, and it was not a very hot day out, probably not even 100 degrees today.

Started the trailhead at the DeAnza nudist resort at 730a July 5th (took me 1.5 hrs from Carlsbad to get there). Even though it is technically “tresspassing” I decided to go anyways before it isn’t possible anymore. Very easy trail to follow as you walk on or nxt to the tracks the whole way to the Trestle. As you get closer to the Trestle, the last 2 tunnels are pretty long. I went without a headlamp or light of any kind and was fine. Made it to the Trestle by 930a and stayed there resting/exploring/admiring/pic taking until 10a then started to head back as my 1L Nalgene water bottle was almost half empty and I knew the trail wouldn’t be shaded at all on my way back like it was before 9a. Made it back to the resort by 1140a without a drop of water to spare. Overall, it was a great and unique walk/run. If there is a next time, which I hope there is, I will bring another person or 2, and my 3L water bladder. ;) Total Distance Traveled: 14.5 miles Temp: 73-92 degrees

hiking
11 months ago

great hike to the bridge. I did it in july 2018 and it was fully abandoned. since then the railway company has started to close it up. two tunnels had gates on them requiring you to use a bipass trail. you can still get to the bridge, just takes a little longer.

mountain biking
Sun May 19 2019

This is a trail I've been wanting to do for a long time but felt intimidated by the fact that it is technically trespassing. However, I have never heard of anyone being arrested or fined for doing it so I decided to risk it. A moderately skilled mountain biker can do this trail fairly quickly. I parked off the side of Carrizo Gorge Road just beyond where it goes under I-8. I rode my bike a little further down the road and found a trail over to the train tracks near the entrance to the Anza resort. It took me about three hours to ride out to Goat Canyon and back. My first thrill of the day came about 1.5 miles in as I rounded a bend and spotted three bighorn sheep on the hillside, a ram and two ewes. The ram and one of the ewes ran up the side of the mountain and the other ewe went down towards an old boxcar that had tumbled down the gorge a long time ago. As mentioned in at least one other review the first long tunnel is closed off from the south end but there is a bypass trail around it. This trail is pretty difficult to ride because of all of the cholla cactus that grows along it. I would recommend walking most of it. About 10-15 years ago a mountain biker lost his balance and tumbled over the side of the cliff. There is video footage of his fall on youtube. It looks horrendous but he lived and was able to make it out on his own. There is another long tunnel before the Goat Canyon trestle that is still open. This was a little spooky riding through. Once you are in a little ways it is almost completely dark with strange echoing noises. However I was able to ride down the center of the tracks with just the bump, bump, bump from the railroad ties and only slight debris. Eventually you will see the light at the other end of the tunnel but it is still a long way before you actually exit it. Once out of this tunnel it wasn't much further to the big wooden trestle spanning Goat Canyon. This was really cool to finally see and a little unnerving riding over. There are wood planks and metal grating along each side of the track. Becareful because some sections look rotted and loose. As I was riding over the trestle a strong wind whipped through the canyon and made it even more unnerving. Since it is trespassing I would recommend not doing this trail at all. However, if you are so inclined I would suggest not doing it alone. This is remote and rugged country and very few people traverse it.

hiking
Sun May 05 2019

All tunnels were open and free of hazards. Temps were mid-high 80's and the tunnels were 15 degrees cooler. Bring a small flashlight or headlamp for the longer tunnels. I carried 2.5 liters of water and didn't finish it, but would recommend more for inexperienced hikers. I parked in the vacant lot near the gas station and walked down the dirt path leading to the train tracks. The trail itself is impossible to lose because it follows the tracks. If there was any elevation gain, it was negligible. Easy hike, nice views and a sweet bridge. This is definitely a cool hike for when you want to mix things up a bit, as it isn't a typical 'nature' hike.

hiking
Sun Apr 21 2019

William Elliott’s description is thorough, and our experience matched his except most of our group clocked 16-17 miles on our trackers/pedometers. Fun hike!

hiking
Sun Apr 21 2019

It is about a 14 mile round trip. Many people say to bring mountain bikes to make it easier and I tried that. I do not recommend bringing mountain bikes as they are only usable for about half the time, and the other half you are walking either on a non-bike-able trail or on gravel. The stretch between the 1st and 2nd closed tunnels is perfect for biking (long, flat, dirt, etc..) but the trail going around the second tunnel is very long and you have to walk your bike a fair distance up/downhill with cholla cactus very close to the already narrow trail on the side of a very steep hill. After the second tunnel it alternates between gravel and dirt, with no dirt sections long enough to make it worth biking. If you bring a good light you can bike through the tunnels but watch out for large rocks that you will have to get off your bike to go around. And no, you can't bike on the tracks. Way too bumpy. Also, if you decide to bike you have to watch out for wind. On some segments there is no wind, then you may come across an area where the hill on the east side momentarily breaks away and you get a very strong crosswind pushing you toward the edge of the cliff. The dirt, bike-able paths are on the cliff side of the tracks, so you have to watch out and prepare for the sudden force. The hike itself is not difficult if you know what you are doing. It is just very long. The elevation gain/loss is minimal. The only ups and downs are the trails going around the first and second tunnels. (I don't know where the 4,202ft elev gain/loss idea came from, it's only a few hundred.) I left at around 7AM and got back at 2PM. (7 hours.) On the way back there where still some people on their way too the trestle. Less than a mile down the tracks there are a few train cars parked on an offshoot side track. There are a few passenger cars and one that looks like it might have been a tunnel maintenance car. A few tunnels in there are also some old passenger cars on an inline side track. At one of the tunnel construction areas there are to smashed freight cars halfway down into the gorge. On either end of the second tunnels there is a flat area with tunnel construction materials (steel frame pieces etc..) On the north side of the trestle there is a freight car on a side track and a tanker car placed up on the hill above. (No idea how it got there.) On the south side of the trestle there is a tunnel coming out of the side of the hill you can see the original tunnel that didn't work, which I think is what prompted them to make the bridge. If you stand at the north end of the bridge, facing south, you can see some sort of ladder that goes up the inside of the trestle structure with a series of catwalks in the bridge structure.. I looked, but was unable to find a way to access this ladder from the top of the bridge. If you do decide to bike, bring extra inner tubes, and a hand pump in case you get a flat. And know how to install a new tube. My friend got a flat tire just as we where reaching the trestle, while we where walking our bikes.

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