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Goat Canyon Trestle Trail

Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, California

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Goat Canyon Trestle Trail

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  • View from the Goat Canyon Trestle Trail.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Goat Canyon just west of the trail.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • One of many tunnels along the way.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • The tunnel framing the mountainside.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • One of several trestles crossing over a small canyon.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Another view of the trestle.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • The first of many tunnels along the Goat Canyon Trestle Trail.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Inside of one of the tunnels.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Beautiful view of Goat Canyon looking northwest.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • There is a train along the trail a few miles in.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Stunning vista of Goat Canyon.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • The trail meanders next to the abandoned tracks.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Inside one of the tunnels.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Another tunnel along the Goat Canyon Trestle Trail.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • The tunnel entrance framing the mountainside.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Vegitation is sparse in this arid environment.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • View of Goat Canyon.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • The longest trestle on the Goat Canyon Trestle Trail.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • The longest trestle on the Goat Canyon Trestle Trail.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • Crossing over the trestle.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • View to the west from the trestle.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • View to the southwest.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • View to the southwest.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
  • A trestle along the Goat Canyon Trestle Trail.- Goat Canyon Trestle Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Stunning vistas. Solitude. Trestles.
Cons: 
Very hot. Extremely difficult.
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Region:
Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,791.00 ft (545.90 m)
Parking Pass: 
Other
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
14.60 mi (23.50 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,590.00 ft (789.43 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Goat Canyon Trail is an exciting 15-mile trek through the wilderness of the Anza Borrego desert. The trail follows the abandoned Carrizo Gorge railroad tracks, which were completed in 1919 and connected San Diego to Yuma. At the end of the trail is the famous Goat Canyon Trestle, the largest freestanding wooden trestle in the world at 600 feet long and over 100 feet high. There are seven other smaller trestles along the way. Many other remnants of the region's history can be found along the trail, including several train cars and old campsites. In addition, the trail goes through nine tunnels of various lengths, the longest of which is around half a mile.

This region of the Anza Borrego desert is extremely desolate, and summer temperatures often reach 120 degrees. However, certain species of animals have evolved to thrive here including cave bats that live in the tunnels, lizards, rattlesnakes, and quail. In addition, many barrel and cholla cacti dot the landscape.

It is important to note that there is little shade to be found along this trail apart from the tunnels, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Also, due to the difficult and potentially dangerous nature of this hike, all visitors are required to check in at DeAnza Springs Resort clubhouse located near the trailhead.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

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