Now that I’ve given you a peek at exploring Cathedral Gorge State Park, it’s time for a look the camping facilities.
After the bare-bones, but not quite primitive, offerings of Great Basin National Park, the promise of a shower at Cathedral Gorge was very exciting, as you can imagine.
The nature of the landscape at Cathedral Gorge means the campsites are close together and not at all private. Coming from the lush seclusion of Upper Lehman Creek campground at Great Basin, it was a dramatic change. But I knew that going in so it wasn’t a surprise, it simply required a change in expectations.
Each of the 22 sites is equipped with a fire ring, an aluminum picnic table, and shade cover. There are some small trees that also offer shade but this is largely a very open, exposed, desert campground. All of the sites at Cathedral Gorge are gravel-bedded which makes for a clean and well-drained camp. I got to see that in actuality during a hefty storm. The gravel left me no worries about flooding in my tent.
The entire facility is immaculately maintained by the Nevada State Parks staff. During my time there, I witnessed them consistently moving through the campground, cleaning and prepping them as visitors vacated spaces.
Unlike my maneuvering for water at Great Basin, water is readily available at several locations in the Cathedral Gorge campground. Just be sure to bring a container to haul it back to your site. Firewood is also for sale at the campground via self-serve station.
Cathedral Gorge does have electric connections for a $10 upcharge per night. For RVs or campers that draw a larger load, this is a reasonable value but for a single tent-dwelling person only charging a computer and some camera batteries, that’s a bit steep. But it’s a necessity if you’re working from the the road and your last stop was many days at a park with no electric connection at all. So yes, I forked over the extra cash.
Coming from the minimal facilities at Great Basin, the flush toilets and showers at Cathedral Gorge felt downright luxurious. The campground has one shower stall and two toilet stalls but the group campground next to the disabled campsites has accessible facilities that house even more.
The campground is also home to a small ampitheater for park events. I wasn’t there on a day when any were scheduled but the setting is really groovy. There’s also a bench on the hill in the campground where you can take in the scenery from a higher vantage point. It would be a fabulous spot to watch the sun rise… not that I’m one to drag my night-owl self out of my sleeping bag to do that, but you are welcome to, of course. And be sure to send me a picture. 😉
A few handy things to know about the Cathedral Gorge campground:
- Sites are first-come, first-served. No reservations are available except for the disabled-accessible and group sites.
- The firewood station is not staffed. Be certain to have cash for the payment box.
- Given the proximity of the sites, this is a campground where honoring quiet hours is quite important. Generators, conversations, and general noise carry loud and far in this environment, especially at night.
- As I mentioned in my previous post about Cathedral Gorge, there is very little cell signal on the valley floor. For a chick working from the road, that proved to be a challenge but if you’re looking to disconnect, that could be a bonus. The signal was quite decent up on Miller Point but the best place I found to sit and get some work done was at the Silver City Cafe north of Cathedral Gorge in the town of Pioche.
For a more complete look at Cathedral Gorge State Park, here’s a two-minute slideshow of my visit. Enjoy!
More images can be found in my Cathedral Gorge Flickr album.