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Cathedral Gorge and Regional Visitor Center

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Cathedral Gorge and Regional Visitor Center
Highway 93
Panaca, Nevada 89042
Voice: 775-728-4460

1 mile North of the Panaca Junction, along U.S. Highway 93
(turn at the sign)

Cathedral Gorge State Park is one of the most unique landscapes in Nevada. Sediments that were at the bottom of a freshwater lake around a million years ago, have been carved by running water into a maze of slot canyons along the eastern rim of the Gorge, and free-standing spires of mud remind visitors of the Gothic architecture of the world’s great cathedrals. Ten inches of rain in an average year, and snow between November and February, help to shape this constantly-changing landscape. While early morning and late afternoon provide the best lighting for photography, mid-day visitors may also find angles to get good photographs. The cliffs and spires take on a whole different aspect when Rangers lead moonlight hikes during the summer months. Clear skies and few lights from the small towns nearby provide some of the best viewing conditions for star-gazing; the Las Vegas Astronomical Society has been coming to the Gorge every September since 1986 for their annual "star party."

The developed campground has 22 campsites, with two handicapped-accessible sites at the Group Area adjacent. Drinking water is available at frost-free hydrants year-round although winter temperatures may dip to 10 below zero in January. Two restrooms are available, with flush toilets and showers (coin-operated at the new handicapped-accessible facility at the group area). Trees provide shade during the summer months, when as many as a dozen days may top 100; nights cool down forty to fifty degrees over day-time highs, and early mornings are pleasant for hiking. A network of trails leads through out the Gorge, with the longest trail looping four miles through Juniper Draw (to the north of the campground). Most of the trails are flat, with the only elevation gain just below Miller Point Overlook. ATV’s are not allowed to be used in the park, which enhances a visitor’s feelings of solitude.

This park was one of Nevada’s first state parks, created in 1935 though it had been used casually by local residents as far back as 1911. Open-air plays and pageants were popular entertainments of the 1920-1940’s, and Cathedral Gorge’s cliffs provided an impressive backdrop in the natural amphitheater where the picnic area is located today. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed the first facilities for the new park, in 1934-35, and some of these are still standing, such as the picnic ramada and the stone water tower and restrooms.



Pictures and information were provided by Barbara Rohde of the Nevada State Parks

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