Cathedral Gorge State Park: Hidden gem, breathtaking sights

Photos of Cathedral Gorge State Park by Andy Blanchard

The landscape at Cathedral Gorge State Park, located a few hours from Las Vegas, features magnificent eroded clay formations. Photos by Andy Blanchard.

When it comes to geological wonders near Las Vegas, you’ve probably heard of Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire and, of course, the Grand Canyon. But did you know there are several more natural attractions in the not so far off distance?

Approximately two-and-a-half hours north of Las Vegas via Hwy. 93, you’ll discover five stunning Nevada state parks in Lincoln County.

Pictured here is Cathedral Gorge State Park, which feels like an otherworldly type of place. Upon entering, you’ll realize how it got its name. The topography – a long, narrow valley forged from volcanic activity and millions of years of water and wind erosion – boasts dramatic colors as well as formations that resemble the towering spires on Europe’s famous cathedrals.

Established as a state park in 1935, Cathedral Gorge has a number of walking trails providing great views, including one that leads to Miller Point for a scenic overlook. You can also explore slot canyons and caves, enjoy picnics and observe a variety of wildlife from black-tailed jackrabbits and kangaroo rats to mule deer, coyote and lizards.

For more information on Cathedral Gorge and the other state parks in the vicinity – Spring Valley State Park and Echo Canyon State Park (near Pioche), Beaver Dam State Park (near Panaca) and Kershaw-Ryan State Park (near Caliente) – visit or call (775) 684-2770.


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.