“This section of the Tabeguache Trail descends to Cactus Park then drops down to Highway 141.”
— Bill Harris
The Cactus Park Section of the Tabeguache Trail initially climbs out of Dominguez Canyon, passes through a Pinyon juniper forest and clearings before dropping down to Cactus Park along the flanks of Horse Mountain. The route then climbs out of Cactus Park before dropping steadily to meet highway 141 at the bottom of Nine-Mile Hill. There are some great views of the Bookcliffs and Grand Mesa along the way.
This section consists of two-track roads whose surface varies between smooth, hardpacked dirt, loose sandy stretches, and lots of rock gardens. Brown carsonite posts mark the trail. After crossing Dominguez Creek and passing the campground, follow the two-track up and out of the red rock canyon.
At 1.9 miles from the creek, turn right. The road travels through a pinyon forest and, at 3.5 miles, bear left and cross a cattle guard. At mile 5.2, bear right and pedal towards some low hills. Climb over a saddle and turn left at mile 7. At mile 9.8, the two-track begins to descend into a broad valley called Cactus Park.
After reaching Cactus Park, bear right at mile 12. At mile 13, the Dominguez Trailhead is encountered, turn left. Ride through Cactus Park, then at mile 15 cross a cattle guard. Turn right and head for some low hills. As you climb, the road becomes a rough 4WD route. The two-track reaches the rim, then begins to descend at mile 15.1.
The road bends left and follows the rim until reaching the rim of East Creek at mile 17.7. Turn right as the two-track joins a gravel road and go to the microwave tower at mile 19.6. Follow the obvious road down the ridge to where it reaches a short section of pavement. Bear left and descend to Highway 141.
No water along this section, and the landscape is much drier.