Cathedral Gorge State Park

Facilities & Amenities
  • Camping
  • RV Dump Station
  • Flush Restrooms
  • Group Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Group Picnicking
  • Visitor Center
  • Trails
  • Nature Study
  • Historic Sites
  • Max. RV size: 40'
  • Pets allowed

Cathedral Gorge is a long, narrow valley cut into the soft bentonite clay of the Panaca Formation (sediments and gravel that built up over time on the bottom of a large freshwater lake that covered much of this area about 1 million years ago). Erosion has left many dramatic cave-like formations and cathedral-like spires in this canyon. Hiking trails run everywhere through the canyon, allowing those who are interested to easily explore some of these fantastic creations.

An eroded formation on the side of Cathedral Gorge

The bentonite clay erodes so quickly that it's hard for vegetation to take root close to the escarpment. However, once you get away from that clay, yucca, sagebrush, juniper, greasewood and saltbush flourish. Because of the wide variations in temperature, most cactus doesn't do well at all. For wildlife, you'll mostly find small mammals: cottontails, jackrabbits, coyotes, kit foxes, gophers, skunks and mice. A few mule deer also use the area for winter range and summer can bring in a few Great Basin rattlesnakes.

There are 22 developed campsites available on a first come, first served basis. Each campsite has a shade ramada with picnic table and fire grill. Running water, restrooms and showers are nearby. The picnic area has 3 picnic tables, each covered by a large shade ramada. The park's shaded picnic areas and campgrounds are open year-round.

Cathedral Gorge State Park and Visitor Center is comprised of 1,608 acres located just west of US 93, 2 miles north of Panaca, 1 mile north of the intersection of US 93 and State Route 319. Just north of the park entrance on US 93, the Miller Point Overlook gives you an excellent view into the scenic canyon with its' buff-colored spires and cliffs. While precipitation varies all through the year, summer sees regular thunderstorm activity.

Group picnic ramada at Cathedral Gorge State Park
Group picnic ramada in Cathedral Gorge State Park
Top photo of Cathedral Gorge copyright © Wikipedia userid MojaveNC, CCA 2.5 License
Other photos courtesy of Nevada State Parks  
Great Basin Scenic Byway area map

Related Pages

Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!