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bentonite formation at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Located within the eastern part of the state, about 2 and a half hours north of Las Vegas, Cathedral Gorge State Park is one of the more impressive Nevada state parks.

Featuring unique geologic formations created by volcanic ash and sedimentary rock deposits, the park is known for its deep canyons, towering cliffs, and narrow passages. All of which provide a breathtaking backdrop for a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, picnicking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

Visitors to Cathedral Gorge State Park can explore several hiking trails, including the Cathedral Gorge Trail, which winds through the park’s scenic canyons and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. There are also several picnic areas, where guests can enjoy a meal and relax in the shade of the towering cliffs. For overnight visitors, the park offers a number of camping sites, as well as cabins for rent.

In addition to its geological wonders, Cathedral Gorge State Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, mountain lions, and a variety of bird species. Visitors can enjoy bird-watching, wildlife photography, and stargazing in this pristine and remote natural environment.

Whether you’re a hiker, nature lover, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Cathedral Gorge State Park is a must-visit destination in Nevada.

pavilion at Miller Point Overlook at Cathedral Gorge State Park


The park provides visitors with several opportunities to engage in a myriad of recreational outdoor pursuits.

Outlined below is a brief rundown of some of the main things you can see and do during your visit there.

Hiking at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Hiking is a popular activity at Cathedral Gorge State Park. Throughout it, the park has several trails that offer breathtaking views of its unique geologic formations. These trails range from easy, leisurely walks to challenging hikes for experienced backpackers.

The latter takes hikers across several backcountry trails that explore the remote and rugged terrain of the surrounding desert.

These trails offer a more strenuous hiking experience, with rugged terrain and steep inclines, but reward hikers with panoramic views of the park and the surrounding landscape.

Stargazing at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Due to its remote location and lack of light pollution, stargazing is a huge drawcard. Its dark skies and clear views of the night sky make it an ideal spot for stargazing and observing the stars, planets, and other celestial objects.

Visitors can take advantage of the park’s open spaces and clear skies by bringing a telescope or simply lying on the ground and looking up at the night sky. Many visitors choose to spend the night camping in the park in order to fully appreciate the wonder of it.

In addition to its dark skies, Cathedral Gorge State Park also offers visitors the chance to see many interesting celestial objects, including the Milky Way, shooting stars, and various other constellations.

Those interested in stargazing at the park should check local stargazing guides and resources for information about the best times and places to observe the night sky.

person stargazing at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Picnicking at Cathedral Gorge State Park

The park’s scenic landscape makes it a splendid spot for a picnic.

Located within several different parts of it, the park offers visitors a variety of picnic areas, each with its own unique view of the park’s stunning rock formations, canyons, and valleys.

All of these designated picnic areas, are equipped with picnic tables and grill pits. Some also offer shade and cover, making it a terrific spot to escape the hot sun during the summer months.

Those planning to picnic at Cathedral Gorge State Park should be mindful of park rules and regulations, including the park’s quiet hours and areas that are off-limits to visitors.

Additionally, visitors should take care to minimize their impact on the park’s environment and to pack out all trash and litter after their picnic.

Birding at Cathedral Gorge State Park

If you are into birding you will definitely want to bring your binoculars to Cathedral Gorge State Park as it is a noted destination for this activity.

The park is home to a variety of bird species, including desert-dwelling species like the Greater Roadrunner, as well as more rare species like the Peregrine Falcon.

One of the best spots to see them is on the park’s trails, which provide birders with access to different habitats, including desert scrub, riparian areas, and open grasslands.

Visitors can also take advantage of the park’s bird blind, which is situated near a pond and provides birders with a close-up view of waterbirds and other species.

hiking trail through a valley at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Pets at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Pets are allowed at Cathedral Gorge State Park, but there are some rules and regulations to keep in mind.

For a start, all dogs must be kept on a leash throughout their time at the park. They are also not allowed on park trails, in park buildings, or in designated swim areas. Additionally, owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and properly disposing of pet waste.

Camping at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Camping is a popular activity at Cathedral Gorge State Park with several camping options available to visitors.

Tent camping is available at several designated camping sites throughout the park. These sites are situated in scenic locations and offer picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restroom facilities. Some sites offer electricity and water hookups for RV campers, and there is a dump station available for use.

For a more unique camping experience, the park provides several cabins available to rent. These cabins are situated in secluded locations and offer stunning views of the park’s unique geologic formations. They range in size and amenities, from simple one-room to larger cabins with multiple bedrooms and full kitchens.

Park Location

Cathedral Gorge State Park
111 Cathedral Gorge State Park Road,
Panaca, NV 89042
Phone: 775.728.4460

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Cathedral Gorge State Park: