San Diego County, California

Hike to the Goat Canyon Trestle

7 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Juan Moreno

Intense Hiking (7 miles Roundtrip). Amazing Views. Carrizo Gorge Abandoned Railway. Longest and Tallest Curved Wooden Trestle in the USAbandoned Railcars. Large Railroad Tunnels. Photographer's Dream.

The main attraction of this hike is the wooden trestle. This engineering marvel was built in 1932 and still remains the tallest and longest curved wooden trestle in the U.S.

This hike is recommended for the physically and mentally prepared. From Mortero Palms, it's a 3.5 mile (7 miles roundtrip) treacherous hike to the trestle over the Jacumba mountains. The hike culminates with a descent down a dry waterfall some describe as class 3 climbing.

Although the hike is challenging, especially in the dark, If you are wiling to experience it, the night sky is stunning here.

Getting There:

Access the Motero Palms trailhead via Mortero Canyon Road (dirt road). It is recommended you take a 4x4 vehicle, but can be accessed by regular vehicles with some creativity. You must be able to cross railroad tracks with your vehicle on this road. Once you are there, the trailhead begins at Mortero palms. The trail ends at the trestle. From here, feel free to explore or enjoy the views.

Read More

Tags

Fitness
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Amazing

It was a jeeping trip I took years ago and the tunnels and ride there are almost as amazing as standing on top of the trestle. Definitely a must for imperial valley.

Best Sunset/ Star Night Hike

We did this but came in a different way and did a 14 mile round trip hike. Timed it to get sunset at the main trestle and a star studded night hike out. Can't beat the stars out there with no city lights. While technically it's not legal to go on the tracks we basically hiked on or near them and hit multiple tunnels and bridges there & back. Amazing pictures and not a soul in sight besides us. We went on a weekday.

Long, Easy Going Hike

I did this hike the long way and ended up going 20 miles round trip (not including hiking to the back of some unfinished tunnels and such or exploring the abandoned trains). The landscape was gorgeous and it was a very nice, quiet walk. We crossed the bridge but I won't be doing that again not only because of my fear of heights but the crossing was also very nerve wrecking with all the creaky wood and in some places the metal walkways were being held up by fraying rope. Our trip back was mostly in the dark and my flashlights batteries weren't the greatest so that made it a little difficult. It also became very windy and cold so bring a jacket if you go at night.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Mount Laguna, California

Wooded Hill Group

Mount Laguna, California

Burnt Rancheria

Campo, California

Boulder Oaks Eqst

Nearby Adventures

Win a Vacation Getaway to Santa Cruz!

Experience all Santa Cruz County has to offer this season! Enter to win a customized “Let’s Cruz” vacation getaway and choose from an array of activities to enhance your visit. 

Grand prize includes a 2-night stay at a three-bedroom condo at Pajaro Dunes Resort, a $150 “Capitola Dine & Shop Experience” gift certificate in Capitola Village, a Craftbar Experience at Annieglass Studios for four guests, four tickets to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and four tickets to Roaring Camp Railroads.

Customize your “Let’s Cruz” vacation package entry by selecting four activities below to include outdoor adventure, dining, beer and wine tasting, family fun, spa treatments, and relaxation.