Cathedral Gorge

Useful Information

Location: 111 Cathedral Gorge State Park Road, Panaca, NV 89042.
Off Highway 93 (Great Basin Highway), north of Panaca.
(37.818962, -114.409930)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: NV Vehicles USD 5, Other Vehicles USD 10.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Cathedral Gorge State Park, P.O. Box 176, Panaca, NV 89042, Tel: +1-775-728-8101. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1924 set aside for preservation by Governor James Scrugham.
1935 one of Nevada's first four state parks.


Cathedral Gorge is a state park which actually has numerous slot canyons, cracks in the rock which are so narrow that at many places the sky is not visible, and sometimes they are called caves. There is the Cathedral Gorge or Cathedral Cave, and further to the north the Moon Cave. There is a Regional Visitor Center at the park entrance off U.S. 93. There is a campground at the far end of the road, with picnic facilities built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. They also constructed the stone water tower and the stone restroom facility, which are not in use any more. The gorges are accessible on a 6.4 km trail.

The rocks are the result of volcanic eruptions which formed several hundred meters thick layers of volcanic ash. The source was the Caliente Caldera Complex which is located to the south. The soft ash was easily eroded by rain water, but as the area is now in the rain shadow of the mountains and arid, the development is normally at a standstill. Only during the rare rainfalls the gorges are reactivated.