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Cathedral Rock Trail

MODERATE 639 reviews

Cathedral Rock Trail is a 2.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Charleston, 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

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

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.

with Curt C

hiking
3 days ago

We got a late start (10:30 ish) trail wasn’t crowded at all! Beautiful fall colors all through the trail.

hiking
3 days ago

Easy recognizable trail. Nice crisp air as we head into fall. 10/10 would recommend. Earlier the better since it does get a little crowded in certain areas

hiking
4 days ago

beautiful

hiking
10 days ago

Fantastic hike this morning with the Aspen trees in their golden glory! Great scenery! It's pretty cool in the morning warms up in the Sun.

hiking
12 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous with the Aspens turning yellow. Make sure to take a light jacket and to watch the signage. We end up on the wrong trail, but it was still a great hike on a beautiful day.

Beautiful fall hike!

hiking
16 days ago

a good workout, for someone who enjoys hiking, but works a desk job (i don't really, but the analogy fits) well marked trail, lovely scenery. nice hike for my dog, who's a large, rather cumbersome fellow. most definitely will hike again

hiking
16 days ago

Cathedral Rock Trail

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail. Pretty steep but a good workout. Great view at the top! We took our dogs and they loved the spring

hiking
17 days ago

Easy moderate hike. Great views from the top and going up. Easy to follow trail. Clean, serene. Enjoyed this hike.

Awesome hike. The way up takes the longest, the way down is like half the time since it is all downhill. Check the weather, we went up on Sunday at about 9am and it was a cold 45 degrees. Worse a sweater most of the way up and all of the way down. View from the top is awesome, definitly worth it.

hiking
bugs
19 days ago

Great hike and views, had to pick up a couple empty plastic water bottles on the trail, other than that it was beautiful and fun.

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

hiking
bugs
24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

Not crowded, got to the top at 10:30am, nobody there. Amazing view, beautiful!

hiking
26 days ago

This one is always so busy but it is such a great little hike.

hiking
27 days ago

The aspens are beautiful in the fall. A great hike to do at the end of September/beginning of October to see some fall color

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike - not marked well. Hint: at the top there is a Y - go right.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

The views are not my favorite in the area but it is a nice trail to switch things up.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Depending on what time of the year you go in, the conditions of the trail are different. For ex, we went in May and the trail was snowed in so it was blocked off but we did get to see a mini water fall from some of the ice melting when you half way there. We went back yesterday and the trail was perfect. We stargazed at the top and it was beautiful! There are bathrooms but they’re super dirty.

I forgot how wonderful this tail is. Not too challenging, not too crowded, fantastic views.

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely birthday hike!

hiking
1 month ago

amazing trail with great views. natural spring water about 1.2 miles into the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail, not overly crowded during the work week. There is not a lot to see along the trail, at ground level.

hiking
1 month ago

We love this trail. It is Challenging, but well worth the work!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Another beautiful hike in Mount Charleston I will consider this hike moderate the entire hike is uphill almost 3 miles round trip staring on the upper parking.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Awesome hike, still family friendly and ends with an amazing view overseeing the little towns. Great for sunsets/sunrise. Definitely has a kicker uphill hike in order to get up to the top!

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