Cathedral Rock Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, NV that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From the signed trailhead the trail starts in a westward direction at a slight grade. It winds through thick patches of aspens and evergreens before passing by the alternative trail. The trail turns south and heads toward the magnificent Echo Cliffs. The Cliffs have a sheer drop of almost 1,000 feet. As the trail snakes to the west of Echo Cliffs, a side trail leads to a small seep. Water flows from the seep in the spring. Once past Echo Cliffs, the trail heads west and the grade becomes steeper as it makes its way across a slope. As you traverse the slope, you can see the destruction an avalanche can wreak on a mountain. Many trees and boulders are still misplaced by an avalanche that happened years ago. The trail flattens out as it heads toward the backside of Cathedral Rock. This is the easiest and most enjoyable part of the trail, a cakewalk through a forest, and you forget that you're 8,000 feet above sea level. Save your energy for the last quarter mile of the trail-it's steep. When the trail divides, go right on the unmarked footpath. About a half-dozen switchbacks leads to the top of Cathedral Rock. The view becomes more spectacular with every step. On the far NE side there's a place to sit and admire the view. Mt. Charleston Lodge lies 1,000 feet below and farther to the east you can see the desert floor. To the north is Mummy Mountain; to the NW is Mary Jane Falls, and to the west is Charleston Peak. If you eat lunch, you may have a visitor or two. This is the only place in the world you'll have the opportunity to see the Palmer Chipmunk. As hard as it is, resist feeding them. By feeding them they become dependent on humans for their food. In the winter the chipmunks must rely on their food-gathering skills or perish. Watch children closely at the top; the drop-offs are more than 500 feet at the edges. Railings have been erected, but they seem to entice people to climb down to them.
I am a 60 year old guy who has had three heart attacks and quadruple bypass. To me, this is more of a hard hike than moderate. I did not make it to the top on my first try. This is a very beautiful trail. Thin air was a little much. I am giving this one another try.
Love this hike!! It has beautiful, nature scenery!
Fantastic short hike with a spectacular payout at the top. Trail can get crowded on the weekends but the crowds don't spoil the fun. It's a constant gradual incline all the way to the top so if your not in relatively good shape you'll feel the burn in your legs and your lungs. Pack a lunch and enjoy the views.
Short, but demanding hike. It is worth the views at the top. Keep in mind, if you want a spiritual, quiet experience in the wilderness, this is not your hike. Lots of people on the trail. I even had the distinct pleasure of taking photos from the top standing next to a wailing baby in the process of a ripe diaper change. Legs will burn, lots of places to take brakes if you need/want.
Overall a fantastic hike! I will do it again. I would agree with the moderate rating on this trail if you are moving at a descent pace. I originally missed the the trail head and travelled down a different trail that was near the upper trail parking area. Once I got myself back on track it was great! Beautiful views and plenty of options to sit and rest. It is very rocky so wear supportive shoes if you have weak ankles. This first weekend in October was great for catching the turning leaves with a little chill in the air.
Hiked this trail earlier today and loved it. Scenery is beautiful. A bit chilly in the morning but warms up. Definitely recommend. View is beautiful
My favorite hike so far, beautiful views
Great hike definitely go early the temperature does get warmer and it can be a bit more difficult. This is a constant incline going out. The rocks on the trail will be tough on the feet going back down.
Not too bad of a hike. There are some areas where the incline is more difficult than others and the high elevation makes it difficult to breathe at times but the top is definitely worth it! Scenery going up was also beautiful as some of the leaves were starting to change colors. I do think Mary Jane Falls is harder but that's just my opinion. Happy Trails!
Beautiful hike. I always make sure to take a sweater and sunscreen. With the elevation it gets quite cool, even though the sun is beating down on you. Can be a little hard as you get close to the top since the air gets a little thinner.
Great view and a challenging trail. But too much loose rocks. Still, an excellent experience.
I enjoy this trail in fall, the colors are changing and really pretty. It's a great overlook at end.
excellent trail in great condition
Arrived early, only one other car in the parking lot, happy to find flushing toilets! Nicely maintained trail, clearly marked, no water on trail, but there is drinking water available before you get to the trailhead. Beautiful views at the peak. I found the trail to be easy.
The view you get from a relatively short hike is amazing. Worth it.