Cactus Canyon

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Cactus Canyon
Cactus Canyon.jpg
Basic Information
Map type: Payload
File name: pl_cactuscanyon
Version: Beta 10
Developer(s): Valve
Map Info
No. of Stages: 2
Environment: Desert
Setting: Daylight (sunset), Sunny
Hazards: Train, Pitfall
Deep Water: No
Map Items
Healthico.png Health Kits: Smallhealth.png ×<13  •  Mediumhealth.png ×<13  •  
Largehealth.png ×2
Ammoico.png Ammo Boxes: Smallammo.png ×<11   •   Mediumammo.png ×<15   •  
Largeammo.png ×<8
Map Photos
Loading screen photos.

Cactus Canyon is a beta Payload map consisting of two stages.

As with other Payload maps, the BLU team's goal is to escort the cart through the map to the final terminus while the RED team has the task to stop them. Due to the map being in a developmental state; there are multiple incomplete fences around the stages, parts of the map appear blocky, some areas are unbalanced for particular teams, and some buildings don't have textures.

The map has not received any updates since the September 15, 2014 Patch, and is not currently playable in Casual Mode.

Overview of stage one of the map.
Overview of stage two of the map.


  • Stage One – The cart starts in a small basin some distance away from the BLU spawn room gates. It goes through a building and up a hill. Then it comes to the first control point. Here, flanking options become available. There is a small building both teams can go through to get to the final point of stage one. The cart's tracks go around a sharp curve, and nearby is a cliff that players can fall or be airblasted off of. The final point area is wide open, with spaces for Sentry Guns. The small building, which is entered from near the first point, has windows overlooking the final point that Snipers, Demomen, and Soldiers can fire through.
  • Stage Two – This stage of the map features almost no setup time, so both teams must rush as fast as they can to the cart. A major feature of this stage is the train that comes through frequently, killing players as normal. Unlike the trains on Well and Freight, however, this train has multiple boxcars behind it, which act as a temporary wall that neither team can pass through. Touching the boxcars as they pass will not do any damage, just the front of the train. There are also flatcars that a player can temporarily ride on and jump off, but if the player is still on the flatcar when it reaches the exit gate, the player will be instantly killed. There is a gate in the middle of the map on the tracks that only the train can pass through. When the Payload cart reaches the penultimate control point, it goes into a wooden shed, moves on its own inside up a small hill, and then comes to a stop on the other side waiting to be pushed onto the train tracks. When BLU is able to successfully push the cart onto the train tracks, the game will be won and the final point capped once the train next comes through and hits the Payload cart, causing it to explode, killing anyone nearby, but the train itself seems to be unaffected by the bomb, as it keeps moving through the explosion and will continue to kill anyone in front of it. Unique to this map, RED is able to push the cart back in the area near the train tracks on the final point, marked by the small red-colored lights on the Payload's tracks. The cart must also be held in place by the BLU team, or it will roll off the tracks.

Prior to being removed in the August 27, 2014 Patch there was an additional stage between Stage One and what is now Stage Two.

  • Removed Stage Two – The original second stage started near a small pool of water and went up a hill. The cart then turned left and went down a hill. It would then roll down this hill on its own if it was at the top. Turning right, it came to a shallow dip of water, and a final turn leading to RED's final point of the stage. The cart would have then needed to be pushed up a hill, which in an even earlier update, could roll back down on its own.


See Community Cactus Canyon strategy

Update history

July 8, 2014 Patch
  • Added Mann Co. Beta Maps - Early Access program.
    • Added 2 new beta maps: rd_asteroid and pl_cactuscanyon.
    • Beta maps can be accessed via the Quickplay menu by checking the "Play Beta Maps" option.

July 9, 2014 Patch

  • Prevented players from shooting over the fences by the mid building in stage 2
  • Prevented players from shooting between spawns in stage 2
  • Fixed a bug which prevented Blu team from winning upon a successful capture
  • Fixed players getting under the terrain near the first Blu Spawn in stage 1

July 17, 2014 Patch

  • Redesign of the first half of stage 2. Blu team now pushes up the first hill
  • Removed the death pit in the first barn building of stage 1
  • Ammo increased in stage 2
  • Fixed Red building in the spawn room of stage 2

July 24, 2014 Patch

  • Redesigned the alternate window route over the choke point by stage 2 capture point 1
  • Window overlooking second stage final capture point is now a doorway
  • Removed stairs leading to back barn in stage 2 near final capture point
  • Back alley behind water tank in stage 2 is now a 1-way drop down
  • Added small health pack in the small room off the back stairwell flank near stage 1 capture point 2
  • Fixed players building in spawn rooms

July 30, 2014 Patch

  • Added stage 3
  • Limited Red flanking route near cliff to Blu spawn in stage 1
  • Added health and ammo inside underpass by Blu spawn in stage 1
  • Adjusted spawn times in stage 2
  • Adjusted health and ammo packs

August 7, 2014 Patch

  • Removed rollback leading to the final capture point in stage 2
  • Reworked fence position on forward spawn building in stage 2
  • Expanded back alley near the final capture point in stage 2
  • Expanded back pathway near the final capture point in stage 1
  • Added small room inside building half way up the zig-zag in stage 1
  • Adjusted health kits and ammo packs
  • Adjusted spawn times in stage 1 and 2

August 21, 2014 Patch

  • Stage 1
    • Reworked the geometry of the back stairwell route leading to the final cap
  • Stage 3
    • New design of back yard underpass area
    • Added new building and route near the underpass
    • New geometry for Red battlements and spawn exit by the first cap
    • Added new exit from Red spawn leading to the raised middle rock outcrop by the barn
    • Reworked Red spawn exit by capture point 2
    • Removed rocks and added a new structure by the final cart push
    • Cart now takes longer to pass through the building at the end of(sic)
    • Adjusted spawn times
    • Adjusted Health and ammo packs

August 27, 2014 Patch

  • Stage 2
    • Removed from the sequence so stage 1 links to stage 3
  • Stage 3
    • Added rollback to cart while in the train collision zone
    • Cart is now unavailable to push for a short period at the start
    • Adjust spawn times during the final push-pull
    • Pushed spawn gates forward in the right-side exits of Blu spawn
    • Adjusted cover surrounding the middle exit of Red spawn

September 10, 2014 Patch

  • Stage 2
    • Completed permanent removal of previous stage 2 from the map
    • Removed the rollback hill, and adjusted neighboring u-turn
    • Adjusted the right-hand spawn exit for Blu
    • Reworked Sniper window above underpass
    • Adjusted spawn times
    • Added flatcars to the train
    • Blu side path from cart spawn to underpass is now a drop-down
    • Widened a doorway along the cart-path

September 15, 2014 Patch

  • Increased amount of time the middle gates remain open before and after a train passes in stage 2
  • Adjusted spawn times at end of stage 2


  • If a member of RED stays on the Payload at the last point of Stage 2, while in Overtime, the game counts this as the cart being pushed forward and does not allow the game to end until any player has been away from the cart for the usual 5 seconds.
  • If stickybombs are launched at the gate in the middle of the map, which only the train can go though, the stickybombs become suspended midair. They do not explode if the gate opens or if the train runs though it.
  • In Stage 1 of this map, there are 3 areas under the map that are accessible and players that are in these areas can still fire onto enemies walking above them but cannot be fired upon.
  • In Stage 2 of this map, occasionally the 2 Checkpoints are not included, but the holographic logos still appear.


  • A cactus has been added to the map in each update. As of September 15, 2014 Patch, there are currently nine cacti.
    • There are six cacti of various sizes on a pair of rocks to the right of the map, near the BLU team spawn in stage one. Five of them are visible from the cliff face, while the smaller sixth one is hidden behind a larger cactus.
    • In the August 21, 2014 Patch, a cactus "wearing" the Milkman and the Dangeresque, Too? was added behind a fence between a rock and the building behind the first point, if following the route of the cart.
    • In the September 10, 2014 Patch, a cactus was added to the side of the front car of one of the trains that go by in stage two.
    • In the September 15, 2014 Patch, a cactus was added to the bottom of the resupply cabinet in the RED team's spawn room in stage one.


External links