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.