With more winter storms on the way, students often choose to escape to Las Vegas for warmer weather. However, they might not know the hidden hills of Cathedral Gorge- an adventure wonderland perfect for hiking and basking in the sun.
Located a few hours west of Cedar City, Cathedral Gorge State Park allows SUU students to experience more of Iron County as well as visit Nevada while avoiding the Las Vegas traffic.
The state park is located only one mile north of the small town of Panaca, Nevada. When first entering the park, the visitors center is available to guests who wish to have more information, as well as pick up a map of the park to various trails.
The geology of the park was formed by a freshwater lake that covered the land nearly one million years ago. As the lake dried, erosion took effect and gave the park its cathedral-like appearance
One of the most rewarding trails is the Miller Point Trail, located about halfway into the park. Although the trail can be accessed from the road, driving through the park and hiking through the south end provides a more scenic route.
The trail winds through several passes between the hills, and eventually ends with metal stairs to the top. Once on top, a slight bird’s eye view of the park can be seen. The Eagle Point trail, which can be accessed in the northern entrance of the park, provides a fuller bird’s eye view.
Information on the park’s other trails are found here.
To get to Cathedral Gorge State Park, turn west on 200 North and follow the road all the way to Panaca. The road will end on Nevada Highway 93 and then turn north. The south entrance with the visitors center will be on the west side of the road about one mile up.
The park will cost five dollars to enter and may require a self-pay service if no staff is available. Camping is also a possibility, costing only 15 dollars a night, with an additional ten dollars a night for utility hookups. The park is also open seven days a week all year long.
For more information on Cathedral Gorge State Park, visit their website, or call 777-728-4460.
Story By: Kurt Meacham
Photos By: Kurt Meacham