Nestled in the remote southeastern part of Nevada lies Cathedral Gorge State Park, a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This park spans across 1,608 acres and boasts a dramatic canyon with spires and columns that were formed by millions of years of erosion on the clay-rich sedimentary rocks. It’s a place where nature’s beauty meets rugged terrain, and it’s easy to get lost in its stunning formations.
Cathedral Gorge State Park was formed by the slow erosion of soft bentonite clay and other sedimentary rocks over millions of years. This type of clay is known for its ability to absorb water, causing it to expand and contract and leading to the formation of cracks and fissures in the rock. Over time, water and wind erosion have caused the soft bentonite clay and other sedimentary rocks to erode and create the park’s dramatic spires and columns that can be seen today.
Back when it was under water, this place must have been a sight to behold. Today, it’s a natural wonder that beckons adventure-seekers from all around the world. We didn’t camp overnight, but we did pay the $10 USD day-use fee to explore its wonders. The park offers several trails that provide stunning views of the formations. The most popular hiking trail is the 4-mile loop Cathedral Gorge Trail, which takes visitors through the heart of the park’s canyon. Other trails include the Miller Point Trail, which offers panoramic views of the canyon from a high vantage point, and the Juniper Draw Trail, which provides access to some of the park’s more remote areas.
The park also offers overnight camping opportunities, which we plan to take advantage of next year. It costs an additional $10 USD per night to camp, but the views and the peaceful serenity of the park are well worth it. We loved walking through the slot canyons, which wind through the park’s canyon walls. Some of them are so narrow that the sun never reaches them, making them cooler even on a hot sunny day. It’s an experience unlike any other, and we can’t wait to explore more of the park’s hidden corners.
Overall, Cathedral Gorge State Park is a stunning destination for anyone seeking adventure in the great outdoors. Its natural beauty and unique formations are a sight to behold, and it’s a place where visitors can truly get lost in the beauty of nature. So if you’re ever in the area, make sure to add this to your bucket list, and prepare to be amazed.