Cathedral Gorge State Park is a beautiful and unique natural area located in the east-central part of Nevada. The history of the park dates back to 1924 when Nevada Governor James Scrugham set the area aside for preservation. Eleven years later, in 1935, the park officially became a Nevada State Park. A number of park facilities were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and many of those early improvements can still be explored today.
But the history of the landscape dates back millennia. The spectacular spires and cliffs of Cathedral Gorge are the result of tens of millions of years of geologic processes. Beginning with volcanic ash that covered the landscape, followed by geologic shifts that formed a lake that once covered the valley, and finally, after the lake drained away, the silt that had formed beneath the waters, called bentonite clay, began eroding away. The action of wind and water flowing over the clay created the other-worldly landscape visible today.
One of the most popular attractions at Cathedral Gorge State Park is the Cathedral Gorge Trail, a 3-mile long hiking trail that takes visitors through the heart of the park's stunning canyon landscape. Along the way, visitors can explore a series of deep, narrow canyons, walk through dark, winding tunnels, and marvel at the towering cliffs and spires that rise up from the canyon floor.
In addition to hiking, the park also offers a range of other outdoor activities, including rock climbing, picnicking, and birdwatching. The park is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, including many species of birds and small mammals.
There is a campground at the park, picnic and group areas for day use, and endless places to explore. The entrance fee is just $5 for Nevada residents and $10 for out-of-state visitors and fall and spring are the perfect times to visit.
Overall, Cathedral Gorge State Park is a truly unique and breathtaking natural area that offers something for everyone. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a nature lover looking for a peaceful place to relax, you're sure to find something to enjoy at this beautiful park in Nevada.
To get there from St. George, head north on state Route 18 towards Enterprise and continue on to Beryl Junction. Turn left on state Route 56 in Beryl and continue on past the Nevada line to Panaca. Turn right onto US 93 on the other side of town and the main entrance to Cathedral Gorge is just a couple miles northwest of Panaca on 93.
For more information on the park and for details on what to expect when you visit go to http://parks.nv.gov/parks/cathedral-gorge