Tired of the same old hikes at Mount Charleston, Red Rock, Valley of Fire and Lake Mead, my husband and I are on a quest for new day trip hikes from Las Vegas. Today we made the trek to up to Cathedral Gorge State Park in Lincoln County, Nevada.
Cathedral Gorge is about a 2.5 – 3 hour drive northeast of Las Vegas on the US-93. On the way there, you’ll pass the super small towns of Alamo, Caliente and Panaca. All have gas at a reasonable price and convenience stores for a quick stopover. Too bad we were a bit short on time today, because I would have loved to eat at the Knotty Pine Restaurant in Caliente (maybe next time we’re up this road?). The Knotty Pine is situated next to the Shady Motel. Gotta love Nevada place names, but sadly we didn’t see any brothels on this trip.
The best thing about Cathedral Gorge State Park is that, aside from the park ranger, we were the only people in the entire park. There’s a nice picnic area built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and several easy-does-it hiking trails to choose from. We chose the 4 mile loop trail, under a small bit of snow but fairly level. For the not-so-ambitious there are several other trails around 1 mile in length. There’s also fairly nice campground on site. The big natural draw of the park is the cave-like formations and cathedral-like spires carved by erosion into the soft bentonite clay.