Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 234 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those who ride Eastern San Diego and Imperial Counties have most likely heard of Carrizo Gorge and the long and troubled road that the CRZY folks have traveled in order to restore the tracks. Over the past two months there have been rumblings in the railroad community about CRZY abandoning the line east of Campo. Emails to [email protected] have gone unanswered, so in an effort to find out what's going on with the gorge, I rode it.

My route started in Ocotillo over to Dos Cabezas then up the gorge. Had it not been for splitting the sidewall of my rear tire, I would have simply turned around atop the gorge and ridden back that way. As it was, I used a small piece of tape and an Abe Lincoln as a patch before riding back via a combination of Old 80 and I-8.

I first rode the gorge 10-15 years ago and have ridden it many times since. This time it felt just like it did long ago. While all the tunnels are open, there are rocks across the tracks in many places along with an abandoned truck sitting at the entrance to tunnel 16 and a general feeling of neglect to the entire length of the gorge.

I imagine that if I/we ever here from the CRZY folks it'll be something along the line of "While it may appear that we has ceased operations, we are simply in the process of reorganizing and will recommence operations in short order… blah, blah, blah". Till then, I'll be riding it on a weekly basis at which time I'll update this thread. My advice is that if you ever had an urge to ride the gorge, take advantage of the opportunity now. The weather up top is a bit nippy and has been windy as of late, but it's still a great ride either as an out and back or as a loop.

Pictures can be seen here

O
 

·
Who's riding today?
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
Always a favorite of mine,...... been thru there dozens of times. Last time was an out and back to the last tunnel and back to Hwy 8. This is a must in early spring when the place "greens" up. Here is an interesting pic taken 3/25/08. The TRAIN was coming thru, I caught a pic as it was halfway across Goat Trestle Bridge. The trains DO run!
 

Attachments

·
Nothing to see here
Joined
·
892 Posts
Ozhoo, thanks for your excellent post and photos. I have always wanted to do that ride. Any plans on a ride during the week of December 29 (assuming the weather is decent)? If so, please let me know. I would love to do it.

Also, it does not appear the trains have been running recently with all that debris. This line has an interesting history and even more mysterious present/future...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Thanks...I've been wondering about that! It's been years since I've been thru there and I want to go again. Last I heard it was active and patrolled for trespassers...obviously no longer the case...another railroad dreamer gone bankrupt no doubt...bad for railroaders, good for hikers & bikers.
 

·
Glad to Be Alive
Joined
·
43,009 Posts
I love trestle bridges since I was a kid....would always draw them or first one was in first grade finger painting....cool shot with train
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I went back into the gorge on Christmas Eve in another attempt to link up Carrizo Gorge with Table Mountain/Mountain Springs. Essentially the same route up until just after the last trestle.



There's an old barely visible trail that leads up the side of the canyon leading in position 32.67323 116.19307. The route would be a real pain to hike, so lugging the Ellsworth up it was a real adventure. Here's the google map where you can see the turning point and the road that will get you ridding again. Once on top, you have access to all the Table Mountain jeep trails. The one you come out on is a complete bastard, but after that it's a mix of steep, rolly and sandy stuff. The final road/trail down to Mountain Springs is a rocky bugger that dumps out alongside the freeway. I had assumed that a big fat culvert was waiting at the bottom that would get me over to the other side of the freeway, but the only option is to ride alongside the freeway against the traffic pattern for about half a mile to the Mountain Springs exit.

All in all, I'd say that if you're looking to make a loop of the Carrizo Gorge even more difficult, this is the way to go. The hike-a-bike out of the gorge is one of the toughest that I've done, but the views from on top make it worth the detour.

And on a unrelated note, I'd like to thank NightRider for leaving me hanging 2.3 ft into the first tunnel. I was forced to use the bypass trails around the long tunnels.

O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
ozhoo are you available to guide a ride?

Hey so does anyone want to ride the Gorge next Saturday 01/03/09? I am doing a bunch of family stuff this weekend but I'm dying to get out there and get some pictures and have some fun. I was thinking about leaving from the end of Dos Cabeza rd around 8:30am. I want to at least ride out to the Goat Trestle Bridge and back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
I finally got to see the Goat Canyon Trestle today! Four adults and three teenagers had an adventure because of your recent ride and report. It was chilly at Jacumba but with many layers we had a perfect day. Turned around after the tunnel beyond the trestle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's a chilly bugger this morning out here. 38 in Ocotillo. Probably 10 degrees "cooler" in Jacumba. I'm waiting for the sun to warm things up a bit to head out.

I've gotten a few emails asking about things so here goes:

Dos Cabezas Rd is what you're looking for is you're starting out in Ocotillo. Just follow it up the grade till you hit the tracks. Dos Cabezas rd then follows along the tracks till it dead ends at which time you start riding along the tracks.

Coming from Ocotillo
As for distances (+/1 .2 miles or so):
Ocotillo to Dos Cabezas Rd = 4 miles
Dos Cabezas Rd to where you start riding the track = 10 miles
Distance along the track to Goat Canyon Trestle = 5 miles
Goat Canyon Trestle to Nudie RV Park = 8.5 miles
Nudie RV Park to Jacumba Shell/subway = 2 miles
Subway to In-ko-Pah = 5 miles
In-ko-Pah to Ocotillo = 12 miles

There's a parking space up top at the Shell (google map)

The perfect bike to ride the gorge with is just about any full boinger that you can still pedal. Stans, slime, kevlar lines, a load of patches is a good idea. I ride an RP23 equipped Ellsworth Truth and have had no issues with actually riding on the ties. I've ridden as well on my Scott Scale HT and it beat the crap out of me. Two of the tunnels are over 2000ft long so you'll need lites to ride through those, but as I learned just the other day, you can ride it w/o a lite.

Weather can be a real bugger out here. Everyone assumes that it's always sunny, but when the wind starts blowing you had better batten down the hatches. If you plan on riding this neck of the woods check weather in both Jacumba and Ocotillo.

The gorge is as close to singletrack as you're going to find around here. There's no legal singletrack in Anza Borrego and for that matter all the BLM land that surrounds it. What we have lots of is old double track mining roads and atv trails that range from nice hardpack to complete sand pits.

I'm a snowbird that's hanging out in Ocotillo until around March or so. I generally ride everyday except 1 (day varies according to weather) on rides ranging from 30-100 miles w/ the average being 50. So if you're looking for an escape to the desert, feel free to shoot me an email regarding trails or hooking up for a ride.

O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
How tuff is this ride if you are starting at the shell station? I would start there and ride to the trestle bridge and back. Is it comparable to a trail like ATT or something easier?

Thanks for the info.
 

·
Who's riding today?
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
konamack said:
How tuff is this ride if you are starting at the shell station? I would start there and ride to the trestle bridge and back. Is it comparable to a trail like ATT or something easier?

Thanks for the info.
It is virtually FLAT. It is more a ride for the curious and those with wanderlust. As long as it stays moist and firm the desert portion shouldn't be too bad. Very fun, but keep in mind, you are following a rail road grade, and trains DON'T go up or down at steep angles. Think "spin"!! On a scale of 1 thru 10 in difficulty, I'd call it a 3.

Now the flood gates have opened, it's just a matter of time until the CGRW people come out to protect their "right of way". Should be interesting indeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Other area rides...

I got an email asking about other rides/recommendations in the Ocotillo area. If you're coming out here for three days here's what I'd recommend.

Day 1, Carrizo Gorge. Either as a loop or as an out and back, just do it.

Day 2, Dos Cabezas area. In summary, there's 30-40 miles of double track on the west side of S2. Plenty of options and cool stuff to see. Google Piedras Grandes and Dos Cabezas.

Day 3, time to get technical and climb Carrizo Mountain. It's a 4X4 route that will make you earn your paycheck. Not only will you become intimate with your granny gear, but you'll actually move in together and start sharing bills. Best ridden from Ocotillo to give you a little warm up. Google Painted Gorge for the route.

Other options are:

Canyon Sin Nombre and Vallecito, Bow Willow and Carrizo Creeks. I rode them two days ago and they are trashed out from the rains and the 4 wheelers. Recommend avoiding them if possible.

Further north you can ride Pinyon Mountain/Whale Peak area. Either as an out and back (most often to "Split Rock" or as a shuttle down into Fish Creek. I you're looking for more millage, you can ride Pinyon Mountain down into Fish Creek, then climb Devil's Dropoff through Seco del Diablo and out to S2 via Vallecito.

Camping is available all over the place. There's established campgrounds further up S2, but there's dispersed camping everywhere. You simply pick a dirt road and drive up it till you find a spot that someone has made in the past and settle in. Loads of sites along Dos Cabezas Rd.

Lots of options and great weather. Lastly, if you're out here and need more info, look me up at the base of Shell Canyon where the paved road turns to dirt or you may bump into me on the tracks.
O
 
1 - 20 of 234 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top