After visiting the historic town of Pioche, I drove south to Cathedral Gorge State Park where I spent the night. During the day the temperature was warm (in the high 50s); however at night the temperature dropped into the high teens making for a cold night in the campground. I woke early the next day to hike the four mile loop trail starting from the campground and photograph the scenery. Needless to say Cathedral Gorge is stunning and a great place to visit.
More information about the park:
Geology: Over 1 million years ago during the Pliocene this area was covered by a large freshwater lake. The lake drained exposing sediment and clay. Over decades rainwater and snow have eroded the lake bed creating fissures and canyons.
Ecology: Desert plants and animals thrive in the park. Common plants include yucca, juniper, saltbrush, sagebrush and rabbitbrush. Common animals include jackrabbits, cottontails, coyotes, kangaroo rats, foxes and deer.
Trails: The longest trail is four miles.
Camping: The campground cost $17 per night and is on a first come first serve basis. Remember during the winter it can get cold at night.
Early morning sunlight in the desert
Old water tower built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)
Cathedral like spires
More impressive desert scenery
Huge eroded cliffs
Very fragile live soil
A look at the power of water
Sandstone cliffs in early morning