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Goat Canyon Trestle Trail Head

General Information

This trail has many old train trestles, bridges, and tunnels to hike through. The total distance of this hike would be approximately eight miles (16 miles round trip), so I would suggest perhaps camping out for the night at the abandoned passenger train cars (mentioned below). The trail and train tracks go much farther than the abandoned boxcars, but they are really the last thing worth seeing before it's just you and the desert (and railroad tracks).


Approximately half way through the hike you will probably come across a set of abandoned passenger train cars with a lot of interesting graffiti on them. I think this would probably make for a really interesting spot to camp overnight.

I'd guess it would be worth visiting if you combined it with a hiking trip in this area of the mountains. I've seen some pictures of people climbing in and around the boxcars so I'm guessing you could do the same.


There's also pictures of a set of apparently abandoned passenger train cars that have lots of grafitti now and look like it would make for a great overnight camping spot while hiking this trail. See the link below for more pictures and where the trail head starts.

History / Background

The boxcars at the end of this route have been abandoned next to a set of railroad tracks since at least the mid-2000's. Since I was first told about this place by a friend of mine, it seems the tracks are now inactive and have been turned into a mountain biking and hiking trail, as there are a lot of pictures of mountain bikers out here online.

Entering & Exiting

I've attempted to drive up to this area from the east side of the mountains from Ocotillo, and it's not possible. At one point you will probably reach a tresle that is too low for your vehicle to get under. A better route would be to park just south of the De Anza Spring Resort - Goat Canyon Trestle Trailhead. That link also has some photos to give you an idea of what to expect.

Safety Hazards & Security

I have no idea what the overnight parking situation is at the lot south of the trail head, so if someone would like to update this please do. I don't believe there is any security or anyone preventing you from hiking the trail.

I think it would be a good idea to bring some kind of bear spray though, in case you run into a mountain lion or something.

External resources


This looks amazing. Wikipedia says the Baja California Railway was looking to repair and reopen this line in 2018. Id love to go and visit at some point. (but Id rather ride it ;) )
Found another video today that covers this location pretty extensively. I would say definite spoilers in that vid if you're wanting to explore this area yourself.

They look like Caltrain commuter cars. I totally see a trip a coming up. Anyone been there recently?

Item information

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Matt Derrick
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