San Diego, California
4,202 ft / 1281 m
6 / 10
No - Private Property
2 / 10 (Very Light)
Goat Canyon Trestle is a railway that stretches across the Carrizo Gorge referred to as ‘The Impossible Railroad’. The railroad is technically private property so hiking this trail is illegal and runs the risk of a fine. However, should you want to hike the trail anyway, here is everything you need to know. There are two start points, the coordinates listed above and these coordinates. Both trails are about equal distance and are fairly similar, you park right next to the tracks and just follow them all the way to the trestle. There is also a third trail that goes up and over the mountains, but doesn't save a ton of time and is more technically challenging.
Just follow the railroad tracks all the way to the trestle. There will be areas where the tracks may be blocked, however an obvious secondary trail is usually visible. There are many tunnels that the tracks pass through and a couple of the tunnels have collapsed and will be obvious spots where you need to find the secondary trail usually along the outer edge of the tunnel.
There are some cool areas underneath the trestle you can explore, but it should go without saying, this bridge is super old and proceed with caution. You're also out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service, so do not fall off this trestle.
The tracks are also attractive to rattlesnakes and we have seen two rattlesnakes the 3-4 times we have done this hike, so always keep your eyes up and in front. It is easy to start looking straight down trying not to misstep, but this gives you less of a buffer to spot any potential danger noodles.
Danger Noodle Risk
Rattlesnakes are known to sun themselves on the tracks so keep your eyes up.
Considered trespassing to be anywhere within 100ft of the tracks.