Mortero Palms to Goat Canyon Trestle Hike: November 22nd, 2014

BorregoWrangler

Adventurist
Founding Member
#1
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Steve and I are planning on our annual hike to the Goat Canyon railroad trestle in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I consider this to be the best hike in San Diego county. Its an adventure! The Mortero Palms trail head is located here: 32.720187, -116.146669

This hike involves scrambling and some bouldering with 3 miles of tough terrain and some substantial ascents and descents. Anyone participating should be physically and mentally prepared for a full day's hike.

Update:

Date: 11-22-2014
Meeting Time: 7:30 - 8:00AM
Meeting Location: We will be meeting right off the highway since we'll need to set up a shuttle arrangement between the trail head and where the hike ends. At a sign for Mortero Wash, turn south off Highway S2 about 0.2 miles west of mile post 56. This point is 8 miles northwest of Ocotillo at Interstate 8. Mortero Palms trail head is here. (32.720187, -116.146669)

I found some great directions HERE at this website.

Explorers:
1. thatsalexus? (Steve & Tammy)
2. BorregoWrangler
3. DaveK
4. Herbie
5.
6.
7.
 
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bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#5
You mean hike, like WALKING, hiking? I've got two Jeeps and a 4x4 truck why would I want to hike?:D

Just kidding...one of these days I may get myself in good enough shape to give that hike a try. I can't remember for sure, I think it was Trump, posted a trip report about that hike. Seemed like something I'd like to do then too.

I need to try some shorter hikes in my neighborhood (Iron Mountain, Cowles Mountain, etc), see how I do. I'm somewhat skeptical of the accuracy, but my daughter works for AT&T, got me one of the Jawbone exercise monitors. According to that thing, I walk 6-8 miles a day at work. Even if it is only 50% accurate, I'll still take 3-4 miles a day and count it as exercise! One of these days, when Santee gets a little further from Hell, and weekend temps are out of the triple digits, I'm going to go over to the high school and walk the track, that's about the best accuracy check I can think of.

My biggest problem is :beer is heavy, hard to carry a full days supply!;)
 

Mitch

Adventurist
Founding Member
#8
You mean hike, like WALKING, hiking? I've got two Jeeps and a 4x4 truck why would I want to hike?:D

Just kidding...one of these days I may get myself in good enough shape to give that hike a try. I can't remember for sure, I think it was Trump, posted a trip report about that hike. Seemed like something I'd like to do then too.

I need to try some shorter hikes in my neighborhood (Iron Mountain, Cowles Mountain, etc), see how I do. I'm somewhat skeptical of the accuracy, but my daughter works for AT&T, got me one of the Jawbone exercise monitors. According to that thing, I walk 6-8 miles a day at work. Even if it is only 50% accurate, I'll still take 3-4 miles a day and count it as exercise! One of these days, when Santee gets a little further from Hell, and weekend temps are out of the triple digits, I'm going to go over to the high school and walk the track, that's about the best accuracy check I can think of.

My biggest problem is :beer is heavy, hard to carry a full days supply!;)
I might join you on those school walks. It might be more interesting scenery if we went to Santee Lakes.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#9
Only going to walk the track once, check the accuracy of the Jawbone monitor thing.

Measured with a bike odometer, It's roughly 5 miles if you walk ALL the way around Santee Lakes, or I'll give Cowles Mountain over in Mission Trails a shot with you, on weekends.
 
#11
Now I want to do this just because you think its the best hike in San Diego County. But while I don't doubt that I can do it, I think I would probably be too slow to hang with you guys. I haven't tested myself on anything strenuous or moderate-strenuous in a while. Looks like a neat hike. I found someone else's write up here: http://www.ihikesandiego.com/mortero-palms-goat-canyon/

Seems I recall reading there is a slot canyon in Anza-Borrego as well. Could be a fun overnighter trip for me, considering I would have to drive a little further.
 

BorregoWrangler

Adventurist
Founding Member
#12
I'm glad to see that we'll have some more company along for this. We usually like to get to the trail head around dawn to start the hike. If the weather cooperates, setting up an overnight camp nearby sounds like a good idea.

I haven't been doing anything too physical myself lately, so in preparation I'll be hiking up Cowles Mtn a couple times a week.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#13
I'm glad to see that we'll have some more company along for this. We usually like to get to the trail head around dawn to start the hike. If the weather cooperates, setting up an overnight camp nearby sounds like a good idea.

I haven't been doing anything too physical myself lately, so in preparation I'll be hiking up Cowles Mtn a couple times a week.
If you do Cowles Mtn on a weekend, drop me a line, I'd like to give it a shot, if you want some company.
 
#16
We did this trip years ago. Just a suggestion I would camp at Bow Willow at W32 053224 N116133339. Only facility is a bathroom no water. Dry camping and

use this as a base camp? Camp sites first come first served. Next I would drive pass Indian Hill Bridge at W32 452787 N 116093205 On Dos Cabzeos Rd to the end of

the road at W 32 455730 N 116095907 and Mountain Bike along the tracks. It's a very slight up hill grade with great views. Be very careful some areas are very

narrrow and a fall would be not a good thing. Most of the area bewteen the tracks is filled with sand so you could ride in between the rails. This would be a

awesome ride on a honda CT 70! No climbing over rocks just a nice easy walk I think it was 6 miles in. Bring a flash light for the tunnels and watch for

Rattlers. Bring plenty of water! Gps locations taken off of Google Earth.
 

BorregoWrangler

Adventurist
Founding Member
#18
You gotta traverse the rough terrain to get the full experience! We only hike a small portion of the tracks on the way back and then cut over into a valley where you can check out the construction camp ruins from the early 1900's. You can also spot native American pottery shards scattered about the area if you pay attention. The Blue Sun cave is also located nearby.

There are a couple of nearby spots along Dos Cabezas Road that would make for some good back country primitive camping.
 

Herbie

Adventurist
#20
Ooh, this sounds fantastic. I'm tentatively in as well. I don't know if I can get clear for two nights, so I might bug out after the hike, but I think I could manage a Friday evening arrival to somewhere nearby in order to be at the trailhead at dawn.
 
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