What Is It?
In Southeastern Nevada, spires of rock reach for the sky at Cathedral Gorge State Park. Stop off Highway 93 to see how soft clay has eroded into unique and changing formations, including tower-like ones reaching nearly 100 feet high.
Forging the Gorge
Cathedral Gorge is also known as Meadow Valley. It is largely composed of ash and pumice from long-ago volcanic activity. Thousands of years ago, the valley was a freshwater lake. Before the lake drained away, water washed away much of the soft bentonite clay, creating the unique shapes. The soft stone still changes today in rains and other inclement weather.
Nearly 2,000 acres of land were set aside in 1924. Cathedral Gorge became Nevada’s first state park in 1935. To help increase tourism after the Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a stone water tower and restroom in the 1930s. Those structures can be seen today near the park’s day-use area.
What to Do
If you want to get out of your car to see the gorge, consider the 1.6- mile Miller Point Trail, which follows one of the gorge’s ridges and has many informational signs. Visitors willing to brave the elements can camp in the park for $15 per vehicle per night.
Cathedral Gorge has an elevation of 4,800 feet. In the summer, the gorge sees high temperatures in the mid-90s, with lows in the 50s. For updated local health guidelines and to plan your trip, visit parks.nv.gov/parks/cathedral-gorge or call 775-728-8101.