Goat Canyon Trestle
February 29, 2004
Larry Clark

Dubbed "The Impossible Railroad", this section of the
railroad has been the fascination of many people. I for one have been interested in this trestle since my dad took me to the model railroad museum in Balboa park. There they had a scaled model of the trestle and I have been interested ever since. The trestle is two hundred feet tall and 750 feet long, it's the tallest curved wooden trestle ever built in the world.
There were only 4 of us that decided to do the hike:
Myself, Mike-G, Brian Masters(AKA John Doe Generic) and Bill (AKA Radical Geezer from Geocaching.com).

We started at the desert floor, and followed a predetermined route, as can be seen on the topo map linked here on this page. The hike was approximately 3 miles in and 3 miles back...approximately.
We started at our parking spot as can be seen in the photos, and started up...and up...and up....and up...
finally reaching our first geocache and about half way, we started our descent into Goat Canyon. It looked easy enough at the top of goat canyon, but as we made our way down, it got steeper and steeper. The distance from top to bottom of the dry falls got higher and higher, we had to find some alternate routes around the falls. As you look in the pictures, you will notice there are no signs of trails. That's because there were no trails. We traveled cross country, and alot of the times were climbing up and down rocks and boulders, weaving thru cactus and agave plants. About 2/3 of the way down, we got out first glimpse of the trestle, the real reason we were there. We kept going down, and down, and down still, and finally got to the place of the third geocache we were also hunting. We didn't find it, and found out later the coordinates were off by 60ft. After deciding to blow off the third cache we crossed the trestle and found the 4th cache of our hunt.
The pictures start at the parking area, and continue thru the climb to the topmost ridge, and then down the goat canyon gully. Again, there was no trail and the elevation changes were intense, the steepness of the trip was at times more than a 45 degree angle. It was grueling. The pictures continue as we were at the trestle. We were debating on walking the tracks back because noone wanted to climb back up that gully. We finally decided to take the southern ridge of the goat canyon back. I don't know which would have been harder, the gully or the ridge, but the ridge was as intense if not more, than the gully would have been. After the pictures of the trestle is the hike back, and you can see some of the elevation changes and steepness of the climb, the picture don't do it justice.
The trip or hike was about 8 hours long, stopping frequently to rest, it was pretty steep and grueling. The round trip was maybe 4 miles round trip, by way of the crow flies (meaning it was probably much longer than that), but it was well worth it.
It was dark when we arrived at the trucks.

Some interesting points:
In some of the pictures you can see two RR cars that had derailed and slide partially down the canyon.
There were, I believe, 2 movies shot on this stretch of the canyon.
I found a very old horseshoe while there, it has signs of extreme wear and it broke in half because of the wear, and is a style not made or used anymore.
I also found a RR spike in the dirt.
We started on the hike at about 10am, and got back to the truck at about 6pm.
The Topo map is here.


P2280156.JPG P2280157.JPG P2280158.JPG
P2280159.JPG P2280160.JPG P2280161.JPG
P2280162.JPG P2280163.JPG P2280164.JPG
P2280165.JPG P2280166.JPG P2280167.JPG
P2280168.JPG P2280169.JPG P2280170.JPG
P2280171.JPG P2280172.JPG P2280173.JPG
P2280174.JPG P2280175.JPG P2280176.JPG
P2280177.JPG P2280178.JPG P2280179.JPG
P2280180.JPG P2280181.JPG P2280182.JPG
P2280183.JPG P2280184.JPG P2280185.JPG
P2280186.JPG P2280187.JPG P2280188.JPG
P2280189.JPG P2280190.JPG P2280191.JPG
P2280192.JPG P2280193.JPG P2280194.JPG
P2280195.JPG P2280196.JPG P2280197.JPG
P2280198.JPG P2280199.JPG P2280200.JPG
P2280202.JPG P2280203.JPG P2280204.JPG
P2280205.JPG P2280206.JPG P2280207.JPG
P2280208.JPG P2280209.JPG P2280210.JPG
P2280211.JPG P2280212.JPG P2280213.JPG
P2280214.JPG P2280215.JPG P2280216.JPG
P2280217.JPG P2280218.JPG P2280219.JPG
P2280220.JPG P2280221.JPG P2280222.JPG
P2280223.JPG P2280224.JPG P2280225.JPG
P2280226.JPG P2280227.JPG P2280228.JPG
P2280229.JPG P2280230.JPG P2280231.JPG
P2280232.JPG P2280233.JPG P2280234.JPG
P2280235.JPG P2280236.jpg  
All Images and Art Gothicsandiego.com 2004
Use is not allowed except with express permission by GSD.Com