Carrizo Canyon

Total Miles


336.86 ft


1.5 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Carrizo Canyon is a 13.2-mile out-and-back trail rated 3 of 10 within the California Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Street-legal vehicles are only allowed off-road within the ABDSP. Carrizo Canyon starts at State Road 2 (S2) and runs south along Carrizo Creek and through Rockhouse Canyon. The trail dead-ends as a park barrier. Hiking is only allowed beyond the barrier. Carrizo Canyon is one of several access points into the Carrizo Gorge Wilderness Area (just west of the trail end) and the Carrizo Gorge. For many, this is a destination trail to hike down the Carrizo Creek bed for roughly 7.5 miles into the Carrizo Gorge to get views of the Goat Train Trestle and tunnels. The trestle was built in 1933 and is the world's largest all-wood trestle. The rail line was purchased by the Baja California Railroad (BJCR) in 2016 with the idea of refurbishing the rail section. The project was abandoned in 2020. Hikers be warned, the BJCR states there is a 100-foot right-of-way on either side of the rail line and entry is considered trespassing. Both State Park and BLM Rangers patrol the area and will ticket or detain individuals. There are a total of 16 trail tunnels in various conditions as well as several rail cars abandoned on the tracks or in the gorge. All of this is considered private property and individuals are advised to observe but not to enter the restricted area. There is no cell service and the nearest services are in El Centro.

Photos of Carrizo Canyon

Carrizo Canyon
Carrizo Canyon
Carrizo Canyon


The trail consists of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with some slick rock surfaces and mud holes possible. No steps are higher than 12 inches. 4WD may be required, and aggressive tires are a plus.


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a California State Park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th-century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, which literally means "lamb" but is also used to describe the desert bighorn sheep. With nearly 600,000 acres, it is the largest state park in California as well as the 48 contiguous states. The park has varied topography that includes dry lake beds, badlands, and mountains that rise above 5,500 feet (1,675 meters). Two-thirds of the park's area is designated as wilderness, and cactus, yucca, and ocotillo are abundant throughout. Among the park's attractions are groves of California fan palms and a profusion of wildflowers that bloom in mid-to-late winter. Deer, kit foxes, iguanas, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, eagles, and the endangered desert bighorn sheep are all found within the park.

Technical Rating


Status Reports

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