Recent snow and rain have caused many trails to be temporarily closed. Please check with the local agencies for the most up-to-date information.

Mortero Palms - Anza Borrego

5/5 (3 reviews)
Ocotillo, California (Imperial County)
Last Updated: 03/22/2023

Trail Information


In the lower part of Anza Borrego desert is a small area with an abundant amount of natural springs and a heavy population of palms. Mortero Palms is a popular hiking trail known for the amazing views and springs, but it also is the closest point to the famous Goat Canyon Train Bridge. The trail to the bridge is said to be a goat trail and only for the more experienced hikers.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

5/5 (3)
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/22/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

I was out remapping the area, such a cool place. One of these days I will hike up to the spring and little waterfall.
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/03/2021

If you’ve made it this far, this trail is nice and easy. Didn’t have time to make the hike to the palms so I’ll have to be back!
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/20/2018

I've been along this route nearly 10 times and my sole reason for heading this way is to hike up the mountain, past Mortero Palms, to the Goat Canyon Trestle along the Carrizo Gorge railway. As the original reviewer mentioned, this is a very strenuous hike with a very scanty trail, so this should not be attempted without advance planning, and only during the coolest 7 months of the year. It is only 5 miles round trip, yet is so strenuous that, at best, you will do 1 mile/hr and it will be an all-day trip including exploring. Note that you will be bouldering and clambering more often than just hiking. That said, a trip just to Mortero Palms is worth the investment of a couple hours. The palms grow straight up in a steep canyon and are wonderful to explore. The dead fronds cover the canyon floor to a depth of, it seems, at least 5-10 feet. Very cool. And the canyon walls themselves are worth exploring, too. I've enclosed a few of pictures of the palm grove itself and some of the surrounding mountain vistas, including the railroad trestle.

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial