Sunny Day View of Cathedral Gorge State Park Nevada

Where is Cathedral Gorge State Park


Seated right beside Great Basin Highway Cathedral Gorge State park is located in a long and narrow valley which sits in the Southeastern portion of Nevada close to the Utah border. From the center of the park is an hour and 45-minute drive from St. George Utah, and a 2 hour and 30-minute drive from Las Vegas. The closest small town to the park is only a small eight-minute drive, which could come in handy in the event of an emergency.

How Big is Cathedral Gorge State Park

Compared to many of the public lands that dot the Western states, Cathedral Gorge US State Park is a relatively small park which covers 1,792 acres. The four trails combined equal to 5.5 miles, the largest being the Juniper Draw Loop trail which is roughly three miles. The ravines formed by the creek don't reach much further than fifty feet. While you may not get a backcountry experience on this park there is still plenty of room to fully explore the park's features and the magnificent scenery.

Cathedral Gorge State Park Weather

Since the park is located on the Eastern side of Southern Nevada, the park is mostly an arid desert. In the summer temperatures rise up to and beyond ninety-five degrees at its hottest and can plummet to fifty-five degrees or colder during the nights. The winter months often get cold enough that snow falls and blankets the park. The yearly freezing and thawing as well as the constant erosion still shape the park. The area is known to have thunderstorms.

View of Bentonite Clay Formations in Cathedral Gorge State Park Nevada

When Did Cathedral Gorge Become a State Park

One million years ago, a lake covered most of the valley that the park is located in. Year after year sediments piled up on the lakebed. As the lake drained away due to changing climates, erosion began to shape the remaining sediments. The ravines that now exist were formed by water from rainstorms and melting snow that cut into the soft clay shale. People began to recreate on the land in the 1920s and it was made an official park in 1935.

Things to do in Cathedral Gorge State Park

Cathedral Gorge State Park offers a number of activities for those that love to immerse themselves outdoors, especially amongst some unique and unusual scenery. Our State Park Visitors Guide has Some of these listed below.


There is a total of 22 campsites available to visitors of the park, each containing a table, grill, and shade ramada. There are also electric hookups. There is a $5 fee to access the park, to camp you will have to pay $15-25 dollars per night.


Four miles of trails will take you through the most remote parts of the park, the remaining mile of trail connects the picnic area to the Miller Point overlook. The most popular of he trails weaves in and out of the ancient eroded ravines throughout the park.

Wildlife viewing

People assume that because a desert is mostly devoid of a large amount of water that it would be devoid of life, this isn't true for this park. Jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, kangaroo rats, even mule deer, coyotes, and kit foxes can be seen within the park.

When to go to Cathedral Gorge State Park

The park is open all year long to those that want to explore its trails and ravines, as long as they come appropriately prepared for their stay. You will want to consider the weather, specifically temperature, when planning your stay as the summers get blisteringly hot and the winters can be extremely cold. The best times of year to visit Cathedral Gorge State Park would be the parts of the year where the weather patterns and temperatures even out from the extremes. Late Spring and early Fall can certainly be some of the most pleasant times of the year to camp and hike in the park. Look at the forecast close to your intended visit to determine the proper preparations.

View of Juniper Draw Trail in Cathedral Gorge State Park Nevada

Must have things to bring to Cathedral Gorge State Park

Even though there are a number of amenities that are provided at the park (including a place to shower) it can be dangerous to forget any of the following objects.


Regardless of the time of year you decide to visit Cathedral Gorge State Park, List of Parks advises that you are going to need a lot of water. You are not likely to be able to find the amount of needed water while visiting so be sure to bring enough water for you and your family in sturdy containers.

Camping gear

Having a proper shelter from the elements is just as important as food or water when camping. While you can get the job done with as little as a tarp and some rope, you will want to be comfortable so be sure to bring quality gear that will keep you both comfortable and safe.


There are currently no restaurants within the park, leaving anything you bring as the only option to for food. To a lot of people, camp food isn't considered that appetizing, but with the provided grills you can step up and create some quality meals with the right preparation.

Appropriate clothing

You don't have to break the bank on any expensive outdoor clothing to enjoy the trails of Cathedral Gorge State Park. Using appropriate layering techniques will allow you to effectively keep yourself warm and comfortable no matter the time of the day at any temperature.

Hiking boots

A decent hiking boot or hiking shoe is a critical choice to enjoying all that Cathedral Gorge State Park has to offer you. Choose one with a durable sole and with adequate ankle support to help you keep your balance and prevent any potential injury.

First aid kit

Whenever we step out of our house there is always the possibility that we will suffer an injury. That potential spikes dramatically the further into nature we travel, making a first aid kit an essential piece of equipment to bring with you on your adventures.

Soft Bentonite Clay Formations in Cathedral Gorge State Park Nevada

Where to stay in Cathedral Gorge State Park

While being close to town and having fairly comfortable features, the tent camping can provide a pleasant experience that quickly immerses you in the beauty that surrounds the park. After you pay the fee to enter the park it's a first come first serve choice to any of the 22 campsites. If you're not the tent camping type there are electric hookups available for an extra fee per night, otherwise there are places available in the nearby town

Food nearby Cathedral Gorge State Park

There are currently no restaurants within the park, but there are grills available to the campers in each of the campsite. You will have to bring your own fuel and food and practice safe fire handling to take advantage of the grills. There are also a small number of restaurants you can visit in the nearby towns surrounding the park.

Airports near Cathedral Gorge State Park

Despite being in a fairly rugged part of the state of Nevada, the closest airport is the Lincoln County airport, which is only a small 6-minute drive directly south from the center of Cathedral Gorge State Park. You will most likely use the Mesquite Municipal airport when arriving from out of town, a two hour and 20-minute drive away.

Cathedral gorge state parkState parkState park guide