July 31st

In our travels of the west, we are seeing amazing works of art made possible by Mother Nature.  From rock formations that are millions of years old to spectacular sunsets, it’s hard to not be filled with a spiritual feeling when witnessing these masterpieces.  This feeling was most powerful for me at Cathedral Gorge State Park in Nevada.

The only reason I picked this park was because it broke up the drive to Zion National Park.  I saw it in my atlas and after looking it up online we decided to stay there for a night.  This made our experience here a pleasant surprise.

On the way to Cathedral Gorge there were these mysterious little trees along the highway that were obviously planted and not native to the area.  We spotted them about every mile or so, and they had colorful ribbons tied to them.  Not sure what they meant, but they were pretty cool.

View from our camp at Cathedral Gorge

It took us a few hours to get to Cathedral Gorge.  I was worried we wouldn’t get a camp site, but upon arrival we could see this was silly.  There were 22 sites and only one was taken by an RV.  I guess the desert is not a popular place for camping in the dead of summer.  We had our choice of spots, and picked the one with the most shade.  After setting up camp, we got back in the car to explore the park.

Space mission? No, it's the Moon Caves at Cathedral Gorge

First stop was the moon caves.  The name was appropriate, because it did look like we were on the moon or another planet.  The temperature in the caves was probably about 20 degrees cooler than the summer heat out in the open.  We explored a few caves then drove to the next point of interest.

Eric and the dogs about to explore inside one of the caves

Miller and Eagle Lookouts were next.  As you can see, this place is amazing.  The reasons why I liked it here so much was because it was somewhere that was out of the way, not crowded with people, but still had amazing things to see.

View from Miller Overlook

After our exploration we headed back to camp and set up the hammock.  It was late afternoon, so it wasn’t as hot and there was a nice breeze.  We sat in the hammock and read for awhile, talked about our next moves, and just enjoyed the scenery.  We were completely content.

Watching the sunset atop a hill

As the sun sank in the west, we took a little walk on one of the trails to take some sunset pictures.  We all climbed this small hill to get a better view of the gorge.  Breathtaking.  We were sitting on top of the world, a gentle breeze was blowing, and the sun was lighting up the gorge.  We sat there for awhile and soaked it all in.  We were filled with amazement at Mother Nature, and also with a bittersweet feeling knowing our travels would be over soon.

Sunset view from camp

Back to camp to cook dinner, take a shower (yes, this park has SHOWERS!), and turn in.  I could have spent a few more days at Cathedral Gorge.  They have a few trails here, the longest at 4 miles and perfect for an early morning walk or mountain biking.  There are also group picnic areas if you can only spend the day.  If you are ever in Nevada, I highly recommend visiting this little out-of-the way park for as long as you can.  Even though we only stayed one night at Cathedral Gorge, we’ll never forget it.

Next stop: Zion National Park in Utah.