Cathedral Gorge is a small Nevada State Park on US Highway 95 south of Pioche, north of Caliente, and just northwest of Panaca.
It is a place where just under a million years ago a wet climate washed silts and clays from the weathering of surrounding mountains into a valley that, by the time the climate became dryer, was filled to a depth of 1400 feet. The dry climate stopped the massive inflows of silt and clay, and its occasional cloudbursts and winter storms began to wear a number of paths through this valley, digging out an ever expanding and deepening set of canyons and badlands.
The process continues, and at this point in time we are fortunate to have some spectacular, yet relatively small, and quite fragile, erosion features to look at and excite the imagination. The following pictures enter one particularly nice vertical erosion feature.
The last few photos are views coming back into the main canyon from that feature.
The park is small, a walk from the north to the south takes about 20 minutes, but there is a lot of scenery packed into this small place, and it is well worth the small fee charged by the State for maintenance of the park's restroom and camping facilities. It is perhaps the imagination of someone that saw a resemblance of some erosion features to a cathedral that led to the park's name.
Or maybe it was simply that the place inspires awe and reverence.
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