- Monday, February 06, 2023
Southern California Trails
Carrizo Gorge - #CarrizoGorge
Socal - San Diego County - Jacumba NickNames: #CarrizoGorge
Take I-8 east out of San Diego to Jacumba exit. Less than an hour drive. There are two gas stations where you can park and ride the dirt road or take the dirt road about 1 mile and park under the overpass of I-8. Enough room for 3 cars. No parking signs beyond that mark the clothing optional rec area. Where the dirt road crosses under the freeway you'll see the railroad tracks on the left. Just follow them north. Thomas Guide page: 1300
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- Last update
- Trail UpdateCarrizo-Glad it is available again (wether open or not officially), it has so much to offer, a slice of time gone by.
jckloth a 56 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ibis from San diego E-mail: jckloth@cox,net
- Trail UpdateRode it last Saturday
- Trail UpdateThere is always some young snot nosed kid that cannot resist saying something ignorant. Maybe you should read once in a while and you might learn something. My name is NOT "dude".
- Trail UpdateArticle from Dec 7th about trains running? More
like Welcome to last April dude. Scroll down.
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge-An article regarding running trains through the Carrizo Gorge was published in the Union Tribune dated December 7, 2003. The article included a photo of an engine and one rail car crossing the Carrizo Bridge. I guess the days of riding this trail are over.
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge Railway Correction-The correct telephone number for the General Offices of the Carrizo Gorge Railway (CZRY) is (619) 983-1943.
Please, call us for any information that you may like to have. This is very much an active railroad. PLEASE DO NOT come to the property! We will be offering excursions as time permits. Thank you to those who have heeded our warnings to stay clear of the railroad, as we do not want to see anyone injured or killed by fast moving trains and rail equipment, that operate 24/7.
Carrizo Gorge Railway
- Trail UpdateRecent Gorge Update-While a few miles south of the Sea to Sea Trail, we’re helping to advise hikers and bikers that the Carrizo Gorge Railway is now an ACTIVE railroad. Dave Slater, spokesperson for the Carrizo Gorge Railway, contract operators of the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway, said “We run trains throughout the system as well as in the Gorge at all hours of the day and night. We’re in the process of reopening the tunnels and the line through the Gorge, and all the way to Plaster City where we interchange with the Union Pacific Railroad." Dave said they’ve had many near misses with people on the property, and on and along the railroad tracks. “When people pit themselves against trains and other rail mounted equipment, they lose, every time," he said. “We’ve come very close to running over people on bridges, in tunnels and just along the tracks. Our first concern is safety." For further information, visit their Web site or e-mail the general manager, Geoffrey Scheuerman. The number for the main office is (619) 943 1943.
Gorgehead URL: Sea to Sea Trail update on the Gorge
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Conditions-See link. URL: http://www.seatoseatrail.org/index.cfm/CurrentNews
- Trail UpdateQuestions...-Who did you get the info re; the website from? Just curious...
E-mail me please with any info about the canyon (latest ride report!) at;
- Trail UpdateTrain Are Running Now-Trains have started running in Carrizo, so it is no longer safe to ride. Too bad, it was a really good ride. See link. URL: http://www.carrizogorgerailway.com/
- Trail UpdateEasy Rider?-
Dude this ride can't be easy. DT fall and bust ankle on tracks. Chirs think it easy, but why DT falls I don't know.
Trestle was cool. I liked hoping the boulders in the dark caves. No bats too bad.
Too bad DT not mutant like me. Sometimes it pays to be mutant, especially on flat rides.
Ride rating: Beginner
Ride distance: 20 miles Elevation change: 0 meters
Chirs a 32 year old Weekend Warrior riding a santa cruz from French
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge - No Shuttle-As with most rides, there is no need to waste gas doing a shuttle on this ride,
since it is a very easy and smooth grade the whole way.
Starting from the Dos Cabezas area near the old water tank, you can ride uphill (very early in the morning on a warm day)
and then back downhill to your car.
Or start from the parking lot at the end of the road by the tracks, another mile west.
Watch out for the gap in the metal grill on many of the small trestles, as well as rocks in tunnels.
- Trail UpdateParking At Jacumba Side-Just as an FYI, the owner of the De Anza Springs Resort (clothing optional resort at the end of Carrizo Gorge Rd - Jacumba offramp from I-8) has told me that if you want to park inside his property (WAY more secure - safe than parking underneath/alongside the freeway) he'll let you park on the backside of his property (which will also save you about 2 miles of riding, and from riding over one bridge that doesn't even have handrails) for the low cost of $5.00. I'm not sure if this is his "per day" rate, but I believe it's for however long you're going to be there! I first came to camp at this place (sounds WEIRD, I know...) because I wanted secure parking and figured what the heck, I'll have showers/pool/nice bathrooms for when I get done with the hike, nobody there is a weirdo, and it's the best place I've EVER camped at!
- Trail UpdateCorrizo Gorge-Most of this ride is very easy. We did it on April 5, 2001. We parked the shuttle at Hwy 98 and I-8. It took about one hour to get there from El Cajon. We launched from Jacumba, under the bridge at I-8 at about 10:10. The weather was sunny and cool. Most of the ride is very easy. It does get frustrating at times having to dismount to get around obsticles. However, there is a lot to see- abandoned train equipment, wrecked train cars, old tunnels and trestles, unique scenery, etc. The bridges are a little hairy. We had wind gusts up to 30-40 MPH. The tunnels are great. Two of them are collapsed at one end. The first one has a huge unlocked gate. It is about 1/2 a mile long and very dark and wet, you cannot get through. A flashlight is required, although there is not much to see. The trail around the tunnel is easy except for the "jumping" cactus grove. Again we had to dismount to not risk hittng the cactus. One of us still hit it. We had to pull the quills out with tick tweezers. Slime tubes are required. The views on the ride through the canyon to Dos Cabezas are awe inspiring. God's creatin is awsome. We met four guys on a gas powered rail-car about two miles before Dos Cabezas, they were cool. Beginning at Dos Cabezas the ride sucks. The sand is blown over the tracks and road. We had to walk about 1-2 miles through sand. Where there is road it is wash-board and almost as bumpy as the tracks. The last third of the ride almost ruined the ride. It requires a lot of stamina and patience. I would recommend Dos Cabezas as the shuttle point. We got to our shuttle truck at 3:20. The ride took five hours, but we stopped a lot to take pictures and enjoy the scenery. We could probably cut 1-2 hours form the ride. Take lots of water and extra supplies. Plan for a flat. Remember you are in the middle of nowhere. I got a topo map from Adventure 16, it helped keep our bearings. We will do the ride again soon.
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: miles 26 Elevation change: 2000
Singletrack=80% Dirt Road=15%
Joker a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Gary fisher kai tai from Santee
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge-I rode this trail a week or so ago and it was quite an adventure. First off, let me put in my two cents regarding the trails difficulty. It is easy, and I do mean easy, riding. The thing is, a lot of that "easy riding" is within inches of either sheer cliffs or drop offs so steep they would be called cliffs by 90% of people you asked. They are pretty darn high too. One member of our party actually went over at one of the most critical points and luckily landed on a ledge about 6 feet down. If he'd tumbled over the ledge I think the outcome would have been quite grim. Another thing, if you are afraid of heights the Goat Valley Trestle is pretty hairy. I'll admit, I am a complete wuss and walked it. Sorry. I am deathly afraid of heights and this sucker is in the 200 foot high and 650 foot long range, and the walkway (or trail depending on how you look at it) is nothing but metal grating on the side of the track. Think "Stand By Me". There are a number of smaller trestles but those are cake to ride over, even for a height sissy like me. Don't forget a light because there are large rocks in the tunnels. I went over the bars pretty good due to one of those suckers. Technically it is not challenging. Stamina-wise it isn't all that challenging either (We totaled 30 miles from Jacumba gas station to the end point in Ocatillo). The Gorge section is mostly down hill at a very slight grade. You definately want to pack a windbreaker if you go in the winter. We got rolling at about 9 am and it was pretty fricken cold in the Gorge. I wouldn't recommend going in the Summer at all. Your goose would be cooked. Over all, it is a lot of fun. It's almost like going on a field trip if you or anybody in your group happens to know anything about "The Impossible Railroad". It's the type of ride that is fun if it's your first time or if it's the first time for somebody in your group. Have fun, be careful. It would be quite easy to pedal into the abyss!
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: 30 miles Elevation change: 2500 ft?
Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
BW a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT i-Drive from San Diego, CA
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge-QUICK NOTE - If you ride this ride and have to play with the track switches please put them back in the open position. The tracks are still used by train-buffs who ride down in old work cars. This last weekend my father and I were cruising down when a small (only 800 pounds) rail work car came up behind us. The driver, looking at my father, didn't notice the closed switch and the car jumped the track throwing three of the four passengers and nearly ran over my dad. Luckily all from the car were only bumped and bruised but it could have been much worse. Just something to think about.
LaRock a 29 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 2000 K2 Zed X from Pine Valley
- Trail UpdateDon't Worry About Arrests-This trail hasn't been patroled in 10 years. Some people here are just trying to scare you away so they can have it to themselves.
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: many miles Elevation change:
Railroad car jumper a 32 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a used shoes
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge-What a bunch of wussies, scared of this trail.
Superbly easy and fun, just don't do this ride after
April 30th, the heat will kill ya. Phooey on the
snakes and rocks. I have done this ride at least 6
times and will continue to go back during the winter
months. This has got to be one of the most interesting
and fun XC desert rides in San Diego c
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 28 Elevation change: ?
Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=50%
RastaMTB a 42 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a on a kick ass Catamount MFS from San Diego....where else?
- Trail UpdateThe Strongest Will Survive-Yeah, when I clean this puppy and come out grinning, I'll think of the weak like you that Darwin identified.
- Trail Updatepotential Darwin award winner
- Trail UpdateGotta Try It Now-Due to that last post, I just have to check this one out!
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge-Not only is this trail illegal it's very dangerous. This is some of the most rugged terrain in San Diego County. The tunnels are up 1/2 mile long and can be very dark. They are also littered with large rocks that fall from the ceiling without warning. Then there are the numerous rattlesnakes, that like to hang out in the tunnels, reports of killer bees and cactus everywhere. The riding surface over the trestles consists of two 18" wide steel grates which tend to grab at your tires and move you in unpredictable directions. If you loose control, it's a long way (250+ ft.) down. I know of two people that suffered life threating injuries on this ride and another that had the wind blow his $3,000 mountain bike over a cliff.
The directions for starting this ride are very good but they don't teel you how to get out of the gorge, unless you want to go back uphill the way you came. It's 28 miles one-way to Ocotillo, where you can park a 2nd car and at least another 15 miles back up (2,500 ft) to Jacumba if you want to make it a loop.
I've averaged about 100 miles a month on a bike over the past seven years and I can tell you that there are a lot of much more interesting, safer and legal trails in San Diego Countythan this one.
Ride rating: Expert
Ride distance: 28 miles Elevation change: 2,500
Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=20%
a Cross-Country Rider from El Cajon
- Trail UpdateHey!-This is an illegal private area. Posting it makes it sound like it is legal. All you are doing is creating a bad scene for mountain bikers. Hopefully some law abiding rider doesn't ride this trail and end up having his bike taken from them and getting arrested. Hopefully the web master will see fit to remove this posting.
- Trail UpdateCarrizo Gorge-This trail follows the old San Diego to Arizona railroad so you're riding single track along the rails or on them. You'll pass through a number of tunnels (some very long and dark) and across trestles. One tunnel caved in and you'll have about a two mile single track around the mountain. There are some steep drop offs here and lots of cactus so we walked alot of it. Two tunnels had rocks in them to ride around. Bring your light! We had lunch by the Goat Canyon Trestle. 200 feet high and 750 feet across. Great views of the gorge most of the way. Still a few train relics along the way too. This is a desert area so lots of water and sunblock. We saw a few well done bright red tourists hiking the rails.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: miles 20 Elevation change: slight
Singletrack=99% Dirt Road=1%
TR_in_SD a 43 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Haro Escape A2 from Escondido, CA