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Exploring the Southern California Desert with a Rail Cart

A man with a homemade rail cart has one of the most unique ways to explore the southern California desert. The best part is that he shares his adventures on YouTube.

There are miles of old railroad tracks through places like Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The YouTube user Ryan Randomness is taking advantage of that by riding on a rail cart through miles of open desert, abandoned tunnels, and long-standing bridges like the Goat Canyon Trestle.

In this 20-minute video, Ryan says he rode his rail cart down the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway, ending at the trestle. In the clip, he goes through several tunnels and open desert landscape. 

On his Instagram, he mentions some areas with washed-out tracks, but overall, it seems like most of the area does not give him any trouble.

Hear more from Ryan, and learn about pedal carts and rail trails here:
• Exploring the Outdoors By Rail Cart: A Closer Look at this Unsanctioned Hobby

Surprisingly, Ryan is not alone in this hobby. Plenty of other YouTube videos explain instructions to build your own rail cart. The important part is knowing where there are abandoned rail lines. Judging by this map, it looks like there are plenty of them.

rail cart
(Source: abandonedrails.com)

Anza-Borrego is the largest state park in California and has hundreds of miles of roads to explore. Usually, picturesque spots like Goat Canyon Trestle take a long hike, but Ryan’s rail cart seems like a nice alternative.

gps for hiking
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  1. This is illegal, and can be dangerous… (but romantic) Many rail lines are underused, but occasionally used. Fines if found using these lines can be significant.

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