A strenuous hike along the abandoned Carrizo Gorge Track in San Diego County that ends at Goat Canyon Trestle, which was built back in 1919 and currently towers as an engineering marvel spanning over 600 feet long and 200 feet high.
- With the hefty drive from Los Angeles there are plenty of coffee shops to experience on the way to this adventure. However, it's worth stopping down in La Jolla, CA at this quaint, surfer-inspired coffee shop offering delicious food and coffee. There's also a VONS a few blocks away to pick up any last minute supplies you may need for the rest of the journey.
- NOTE: After thorough research, many websites suggested four wheel drive vehicles as a must-have for driving down the unmarked Dos Cabezas Road to get to the trailhead. Four wheel drive is definitely nice to have; however, the road was successfully conquered in a Jeep Cherokee with front wheel drive during the trip. That being said, do not take a car with low clearance or it will most likely get the bottom damaged by the rocky terrain.
- Heading down from Los Angeles, take the I-5 South to San Diego. After getting to San Diegeo, take the I-805 South to I-8 West towards El Centro. Pass through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and feel free to stop for gas near Jucumba Hot Springs. After Jucumba Hot Springs is Ocotillo where you'll exit and take a left on Imperial Highway. Head north through the village area and take a left at an unmarked street called Dos Cabezas about 4.2 miles from the highway. You'll notice there's a water and power service building entrance from this road that is surrounded by large wind mills. Heading towards the water and power building, the road will be paved for 0.7 miles until a split occurs with a dirt road. Follow the dirt road and continue following the dirt road. At each split, keep to the right. You'll work your way over a rough terrain that will eventually run parallel with the Carrizo Gorge train tracks followed by Dos Cabezas Water Tower where you'll want to park.
- NOTE: According to multiple sources, there are several routes to get to Goat Canyon Trestle. Some mention a trail going over the mountain with scrambling around boulders and others suggest following the tracks all the way around. Taking the track route adds a lot more mileage and there are some sites that flag this route as trespassing. At the time this hike was completed, no trains were operating on the tracks and no other hikers were present. Also, keep in mind this trail is in the desert and the weather conditions can be extremely hot or cold during the year. Hike responsibly and safely by knowing the weather conditions before making this trek.
- Start your hike at the Dos Cabezas water tower next to the train tracks close to mile marker 108.
- Head west walking parallel along the train track and this will be your path for the rest of this hike.
- The first tunnel will occur close to mile marker 106 on the train track along with coming across the first oasis of many located in the canyon to your right.
- As you continue down the tracks, five more tunnels will occur until you reach Goat Canyon Trestle at mile marker 102.