Cathedral Rock Trail

MODERATE 281 reviews

Cathedral Rock Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, Nevada that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
971 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

bugs

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.

2 days ago

Absolutely amazing view at the top. Steady climb up the whole way. Definitely worth it.

hiking
4 days ago

A breath taking view. Moderate sized rocks for trail, steep incline for a good time. High altitude with slight shallow air at the peak. A beautiful trail that someone wouldn’t expect from Vegas. I Highly recommend it

5 days ago

steep and rocky but great views!

hiking
5 days ago

Have hike Cathedral Rock multiple times and always enjoyable. Fairly short hike, takes me about 1½ hours, including a break at the peak to admire the view. The elevation in general and the incline of the trail make for a good workout.

hiking
8 days ago

Walked this challenging trail with my daughter and her boyfriend. I’m 50 and out of shape. This was a great way to test the endurance and strength of a “old man”
The views are awesome and I will be returning to do some of the other trails on the Mt. Charleston range!

9 days ago

Great moderately difficult trail. Beautiful views, great amount of exercise if you’re looking for a short hike. There were multiple boomboxes on the trail, which was kind of annoying. It was also slightly crowded.

hiking
16 days ago

I’m reviewing this from a family with two young kids perspective... and it is a fantastic if grueling hike. Not sure what I could have done it in myself, but it took us 3.5+ hours round trip stopping at every bench and sitting spot along the way and a long cool down up top. Started by about 8:30. 4yr old and 8yr old went up and down on their own. Incredible views. Highly recommended.

17 days ago

Great trail to hike! Some days the parking can be limited so try to get there early. I hiked with my dog and it was even a work out for her lol. It's Very challenging but worthy. It's not a boring straight trail- it curves and peaks up right away! I like that it has several resting stops with large benches. Great view once you complete it! Coming down is easy but steep so be careful with the loose gravel and rocks in certain areas - u can slip or slide which I did

21 days ago

Carried my 4yrold damn near all the way up.. but he made it down the whole way by himself! My 6yrold daughter did it up and back no problem! Great family hike!

hiking
22 days ago

Did this trail on 27 May, the weather was overcast and sprinkling with light rain at times. Trail is well visible, with benches along the way to stop and take in views. Highly recommend to those seeking a little longer of a trail that doesn't require climbing over boulders or anything too extreme.

hiking
23 days ago

Great views. Weather was just perfect.

hiking
27 days ago

Rainy sleet and snow today

hiking
1 month ago

Really nice view once you get to the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views during the entire hike up, and an awesome work out! If you’re not in good shape (I’m not) definitely give yourself a few hours so you can take some breaks along the way. I only gave myself about 1.5 hours and I definitely felt rushed to get off the trail before dark. Take your time and enjoy the trip, it’s something you have to do while you’re in the area!

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite trails. Beautiful sites to see and a wonderful summit.

Amazing trail! Very steep but the views are worth it. The clouds moved in about halfway up unfortunately and while it was fun to hold in the clouds, the view from the top was just grey in every direction. I'll definitely be coming back in the Spring!
March 10, 2018.

hiking
3 months ago

Awsome view! Great hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Nov. 21st. Great warmup to the canyon. I used it as warmup for Griffith Peak. Depending on the time of years, get an early start to make sure you get both in before dark. I'm from Puerto Rico and my pace was off. I finished Griffith on the head lamp.
Wild pack of chipmunks on the peak.

6 months ago

Great hike and not too difficult if you are in moderate shape. It can get steep and times but the view at the top is well worth it. Once you hit the stairs your almost there so push through!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike, loved it, once you get to the top it’s beautiful up there, definitely worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Trail is well kept, a bit steep during some stretches. Great views along the way and from the top.

7 months ago

I found it difficult because I have bad knees but when you get on top of the mountain the view is totally worth it

8 months ago

Amazing view and nice hike.

hiking
8 months ago

The Aspen were spectacular today!

8 months ago

Great hike. Great views. Moderate workout. Some parts more intense than others but not for long stretches.

9 months ago

Very beautiful trail! Easy path to follow!

hiking
9 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous up here!! I'm a beginner when it comes to hiking and was a little intimidated but it was definitely easier than I I had thought!!

hiking
9 months ago

We got caught up in a thunderstorm, but it was still a great hike and our dogs loved it!

9 months ago

Lots of up hill on this short hike. trail is very easy to follow. Awesome views from the top.

9 months ago

nice gravel trail. no boulders to scramble... amazing view at the top

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