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Set in a narrow valley, Cathedral Gorge State Park is a wonderland of jagged clay spires and rugged slot canyons. The ethereal landscape is tens of millions of years in the making and was formed when volcanic explosions from the Caliente Caldera Complex fractured the bedrock and deposited thick layers of ash in the newly formed valley. Over time, forces of wind and water eroded the ash deposits and shaped the cathedral-like spires and winding caves you see today.
After being awarded state park status in 1935, Cathedral Gorge quickly emerged as one of the top outdoor recreation areas in Nevada. Today, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the park, whether you're exploring hiking trails, picnicking at historic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) sites, or taking in fiery sunsets. Planning a getaway to the Southwest? Book an RV in Lincoln County and you're perfectly placed for visiting Cathedral Gorge, as well as other Nevada state parks like Valley of Fire, Beaver Dam, Cave Lake, and Echo Canyon. At two and a half hours from Sin City, Cathedral Gorge State Park is popular with urbanites looking to camp in an RV near Las Vegas.
Start your visit at the Cathedral Gorge Visitor Center, where you can hash out a game plan for your time in the park. Rangers are happy to give you the scoop on the best trails and current park conditions. The four-mile Juniper Draw Loop Trail is one of the most popular routes, taking you to remote corners of the park and revealing some of the most whimsical spires and caves.
Alternatively, the Miller Point Overlook commands sweeping views over the park and its unique rock formations. It's also a starting point for a handful of easy hikes that meander through the narrow slot canyons. Watch for black-tailed jackrabbits, kangaroo rats, coyotes, kit foxes, and other desert wildlife. For a gentle hike and a history fix, walk the half-mile trail to Bullionville Cemetery, which was founded in the 1800s.
The dramatic landscapes of Cathedral Gorge have been attracting picnickers since the 19th century. In the 1930s, the CCC built a series of picnic facilities, with most still in use today. The striking spires also make Cathedral Gorge State Park a photographer’s seventh heaven. The park is especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset, when the spires take on a golden glow. Eastern Nevada boasts some of the darkest skies in North America, so be sure to switch off your lights and enjoy nightly stargazing sessions. If your trip coincides with a meteor shower, you're in for a treat.
RV camping at Cathedral Gorge State Park offers a unique chance to sleep among soaring columns and rugged rock spires. The campsite is surrounded by badlands cliffs and offers just 22 sites, which makes for an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. You'll enjoy electric hookups, as well as picnic tables and grills. There are also shade ramadas offering respite from the blazing sun. A short stroll from the campground, you can also take advantage of public shade ramadas, picnic tables, and grills.
Sites can't be reserved and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Like most state park RV campgrounds in Nevada, Cathedral Gorge treats campers to modern bathroom blocks with flush toilets and hot showers. There's also a dump station a short drive from the campsite. You're welcome to stay for a maximum of 14 days, so why not plan an extended motorhome camping getaway to Cathedral Gorge State Park?
Cathedral Gorge State Park is the perfect base for exploring the captivating Eastern Nevada region. Head 30 minutes south and you'll hit Kershaw-Ryan State Park, a desert oasis set in a 700-foot-deep canyon. It's fed by natural springs which support a lush ecosystem of white oaks, willows, wild grapevines, and fruit trees. Enjoy a sun-dappled picnic, explore the trails, and cool off in the crystalline pools. For a taste of Nevada's quirky side, head to the small town of Rachel, a.k.a. the UFO Capital of the World. It's a stone's throw from the notorious "Area 51" secret aircraft testing facility and a gateway to the Extraterrestrial Highway.
A ten-minute drive up the U.S. Route 93, the county seat of Pioche is a convenient place to stock up on gas and groceries. For more choice, head to St. George in the southwestern corner of Utah. It's a little closer than Las Vegas and is a great place to rent a camper near Cathedral Gorge State Park and kickstart your Southwest adventure. Fifteen miles south, the former railroad town of Caliente offers a good mix of cafes, diners, and restaurants. You'll also find a good selection of RV rentals. Don't leave without snapping a photo of the historic Mission-style railway depot.