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Goat Canyon Trestle

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A couple of weekends ago, I had a chance to hike to a place that I have been wanting to visit for nearly a year.

Goat Canyon Trestle is located near Ocotillo Wells by Anza Borrego. We drove out friday night after work and camped out near the trailhead at Mortero Palms. The campsite is amazing and it was near new moon phase so we were able to see the milky way clearly and quite a few shooting stars.


There’s a huge wind farm being put up right now in that area


Camping out in the wash

The difference in elevation of the trailhead to the final destination was only 200FT, but there was a lot of elevation gain and loss the entire way to the trestle. The hike itself could be confusing at times but just make sure you head west for a couple of hours before you start heading north.


Mortero Palms is about 15 minutes into the hike. Stay to your right


We called this place fart rock for good reason

After Fark Rock, you head into this canyon area where it splits and you can go left or right. It does not really matter except that you keep heading west. I believe there is less bouldering along the entire trail if you stay on the north side of the possible routes.

After a while, the trail will open up into a large meadow area. This is when you want to head NW into the lower region of the meadow. There should be trails if you head in that direction which enter into a narrow canyon leading you to the trestle.

The first glimpse of the trestle will blow your mind.


You can tell it’s huge even from a distance

Then you realize you have to scale down a very steep, unstable and loose path. Take your time and make sure people are out of the way from under you in case rocks begin to slide downward.


JW scaling a very steep section and a view looking back at the entire last part of the hike.


This thing is a lot bigger once you’re up close to it.


This trestle was built back in 1932 by Chinese workers. This construction was part 2 after an earthquake collapsed a tunnel just south of the existing trestle which you can see sticking out in the middle of the hillside.

I think the bridge sways a bit when you’re walking across it but I don’t know because you’re not allowed to walk across it. And I think it is pretty scary at first to walk across it but I wouldn’t know because you’re not allowed to walk across it. But if I was going to walk across it, I would probably stay near the railroad ties in the middle because it’s more stable than the metal grates along the edges but again, I wouldn’t know because you’re not allowed to walk across it…

The hike back was fun too. And by fun I mean really excruciating.

It was a really rewarding hike for me because I have been wanting to visit this place since early 2012 but the hike is very difficult. I would rate this hike about a 8-9 out of 10 in terms of difficulty and coordination. It is very easy to get lost on this trail if you don’t know how to read a topo map or have a gps. Do not bring your dog because there are sections where it will not be able to get through.

Until the next adventure, cheers!

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Written by jonewantsm3

December 17, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Adventures

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