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Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

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On the way to the Great Basin National Park there is a landscape from another planet calledCathedral Gorge not far from the tourist “Extraterrestrial Highway” and Area 51. A place forgotten and little frequented by tourists due to its remote location, even more when it is located in a deep canyon not easily visible.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

Cathedral Gorge State Park, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

Cathedral GorgeState Park It is located in the desert of Nevada, specifically in the Great Basin desert or the Great Basin. A landscape that closely resembles the gullies that we can observe in Spain such as the Paton gullies, the Burujón canyons or Barrachina larambla. In fact its origin is similar, being a landscape forged by the waters when traveling a very dry land.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

The park has two entrances, both from the Great Basin Highway at the height of the town of Panaca, in the state of Nevada, United States. The two entrances are separated 2 kilometers so that any of them is presented as a good access.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

The park has several hiking trails, all of them very short and located between 0.2 miles from the Bulllionville Cemetery Trail and the 3 miles of the Juniper Draw Loop. From our point of view the best are Miller Point Trail and an area attached to the Nature Loop called Cathedral Caves.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

We enter through the parking lot of Eagle point the highest zone. There is a magnificent viewpoint towards a canyon as well as a metal staircase that takes you to the deepest part of it.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert - Miller Point Trail

Both at the entrance of Eagle point like in Cathedral Caves or the camping area, there are some boxes to deposit the 5$ It costs access by vehicle. A really affordable price that helps preserve the park.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

Since our vehicle was parked at Eagle Point, we opted to start doing both the 0.8 mile long Eagle Point trail and the Miller Point Trail, 1 mile one way. The latter leads us to the bottom of the canyon until we find Cathedral Caves, one of the most spectacular areas of Cathedral Gorge.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert - Miller Point Trail

This area is partly bounded by landslides as well as how quickly the earth falls apart under our feet. Therefore it is not recommended that we get off the path.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

The route byMiller Point Trail It is down and really short. We must also tell that we must return for her to return to the car. However, this route is sometimes closed due to weather conditions since it is the first one to flood in case of a storm, which is common in the months of July and August.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

After reaching the end of the Miller Point Trail, we reached a barbecue area, an old tower and a small parking lot where there was not a single vehicle, just like in Eagle Point. This speaks for itself as it is a very rarely visited park. Something similar to the Great Basin National Park.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

In Cathedral Caves there are a series of very narrow caves and ditches where just one person fits and where the light rays barely pass. A spooky area that is worth missing.


Cathedral Gorge - Cathedral caves

It is a maze where getting lost is an adventure without risk. They are not very long and in most of them you have no choice but to return by the same way there.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

At the end of the park there is a tower where water was stored. In a place as dry as this where water comes in torrential quantities, nothing better than a gadget like this to save such a precious element.


Cathedral Gorge, Martian landscapes in the Nevada desert

The visitor center is located 200 meters from here as well as a camping area. From there the longest route of Cathedral Gorge, the Juniper Draw Trail, with 3 miles in length. Something that is only worth it if we choose to spend the night.

Practical Data

Before leaving for the United States

  • United States Planet's Guide
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental in USA with a 15% discount
  • The best excursions in the United States

How to get to Cathedral Gorge?

Mainly in private vehicle. From Las Vegas there is about 2h30 'and from Great Basin National Park about 2h15'. For more freaks, say that it is less than an hour from the Extraterrestrial Highway.

When to go Cathedral Gorge?

Cathedral Gorge is located at an altitude of 1400 meters. Winters are hard and summers are hot. It is best to visit it in the afternoon and take advantage of the last two hours of light. Importantly, in summer there may be a risk of storms that may force the park to close.

Where to sleep in Cathedral Gorge?

There is a camping area inside the park with 22 pitches to 15$ each day of them.

How much?

The cost is 5$ per vehicle

Additional Information

Thanks

To Joaquin and Michel for joining me on this trip.

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