Mortero Palms to Goat Canyon Trail

HARD 11 reviews

Mortero Palms to Goat Canyon Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ocotillo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until March.

4.4 miles
1,604 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

trail running



wild flowers




no dogs

7 months ago

Great trail. Highly recommend to wear hiking shoes with good grip. You’ll also be climbing a lot of boulders and few crevices. Somewhat tough to navigate but definitely use this app to know the way you came. There’s a lot of split offs where it’s easy to go different ways so this app came in clutch for that. We took our dog, he’s a boxer and was able to handle it with help climbing up boulders from time to time. Don’t take your dog unless it is athletic and you are able to carry it in some spots.

i loved this trail though it was definitely one of my favorites near San Diego. It was tough but very fun.
It took 4 hours.

rock climbing
9 months ago

Great trail but this is not for the faint of heart. This took us over 9 hours. It is about half trail and half rock and boulder scrambling. This does not lead all the way to the bridge. It does however lead to a great view of the bridge within Goat Canyon. The trail dead ends within a deep gorge at a 100ft drop off. The trek is fun and the views are great. My favorite part is dense population of Palm Trees at the trail start.
Cell signal pretty good for the first 2/3rds of the trail.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Went up Doz Cabeza Road past Indian Hill, just followed the railroad tracks..
To be completely honest, pretty straight forward hike. No obstacles this way. No train cars to see. Fairly boring.
Trestle is something to see - quite simply amazing.
We went back through Mortero Palms way to loop back.
You need to scale rocks - climb up and down.
+ navigation because the trail is NOT clear at all.
Completely easy to get lost.
If you need an excitement in your life try it, if not try following the railroad tracks back to loop around.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

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.

Monday, March 21, 2016

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!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

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.

3 months ago

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016