One-way Distance: 14.6 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 8986 - 9694 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Divide Road MM 22.0
Attractions: Scenic views
Tabeguache (TAB-a-watch) is a 150 mile long trail that has one end in Grand Junction, Colorado and the other end in Montrose. This post covers the 14.6 mile stretch of the trail between the Dominguez Section and the Love Mesa Section that follows the Divide Road. This is probably the easiest out of all of the various sections of the Tabeguache trail.
Measuring from where the Divide Road leaves Highway 141 it is 22 miles to the junction of the Divide Road and the point where the Dominguez Section of the Tabeguache trail meets it. This picture is looking at the Divide Road junction from where the Dominguez Section of the Tabeguache trail comes to an end. If riding the two sections together you would simply make a left and begin following the Divide Road as it heads south.
The Divide Road section goes by fast in comparison to any other stretch of the Tabeguache trail.
The road is hard packed gravel. Finding a track to follow where the gravel is thinned out and there aren't any washboards makes it easy to stay in high gear even going uphill.
The overall trend going from north to south is uphill but it isn't anywhere as steep as the elevation profile makes it look. The overall elevation gain going from north to south is 1,514 feet while in the other direction it is 935 feet.
At the 3 mile point the trail passes California Springs.
For most of the distance the road travels out in the open but there are the occasional aspen grove along the way.
Distant views to the south looking over the canopy of trees and vast meadows have the San Juan Mountains for a background.
To the west the La Sal Mountains are the main feature but the Abajos are visible on a clear day as well as the red rock canyons along the Dolores River corridor between Gateway and Naturita.
Near the 9 mile point the trail passes Monument Hill and at 12 miles it crosses the line between Mesa and Montrose counties.