Have you ever been to those houses that look like a very average house from the front, but in reality are a hidden beauty. That is kinda what Cathedral Gorge is like. You see from your first view of the park its kinda like that house, it looks cozy, maybe one story tall, and might have an attic. Nothing too fancy but in reality, when you walk into the house the back wall is a 20 foot tall glass wall gorgeously finished that overlooks half an acre of land. Not only that it has a huge loft with a semi spiral stair case leading up to it.
You see, I had heard about this park from friends and the pictures they posted on Facebook. I kept telling myself I was going to go there one day… So I did. It was the last week of school and I had finished all my projects and took a few tests and was tired of being stressed. Finals were the next week, so in order for me to be properly prepared mentally I decided I was going to have fun that weekend rather then hit the books and be burned out by Tuesday.
I called up my buddy Robby who has been featured here in times past and asked if he wanted to go. He said yes. Then a few days before we left, I received a phone call from a friend up in Salt Lake City who wanted to go on a hike, I told him to come down and so he did. He also brought along a familiar friend who has been featured here too, Bruce.
So my raiding party was completed with all of these individuals including my girlfriend and we headed out Saturday morning. The park is located an hour and twenty minuted from Cedar City, right across the border into Nevada. When we arrived we stopped by the visitors center to get some details, maps, and to pay. The guy who greeted us was an interesting individual. He had a four foot beard, and most of his teeth were missing. But he was a jolly enough man.
He told us about some places in the park, and after chit chatting for a few, we headed into it. Looking at the maps we decided to head out on this four mile trail that took us around the park. From the map it looks like a loop, but in reality its a one way trail that ends at the end of the park with a sign that is half buried and hand painted with white paint that says “End of Trail.”
The place is made up of some kind of mud, that is slowly eroding away making it look like the canyon walls are melting. These formations jut out into the main part of the canyon and leave plenty of “islands” of melting earth that are razor thin and look really interesting. There are tons of these formations everywhere, which are interesting, but not extremely exciting. But if you are a photographer and if you come here during the golden hours of photography, they would be extrodinary to take pictures of.
At the end of the trail we decided to go off the beaten path. (really there is barely a trail. There are some green sticks that stick out of the ground the let you know you are on a trail, and a sign that says “follow the stream bed.” It’s kind of a forgotten park) Well we worked our way out to a hoodoo that had formed on the canyon floor that was interesting and had lunch there. After eating, my friends decided they were going to climb the canyon wall. What ever why not.
So we headed up the canyon wall and I was taking up the rear. Well I followed the same path that they did, but encountered something a bit more exciting. As I made my way up the little eroded wash, I suddenly found my left leg punching through the earth trapping my foot. After a moment of shock, I looked down and saw that my foot had punched through a small pocket that had been formed due to a branch that had gotten stuck keeping rocks from filling below it.
Well I tried to pull my foot out, but it wouldn’t budge. So I had to dig a bit and remove some rocks that had fallen around my ankle. It came out after that, but I was a bit bloody, but that’s all apart of the world of hiking, so I was OK with it. After scrambling my way to the top of the canyon I took some photos of the park and just enjoyed the view.
After a few minutes of enjoyment it was time to go back down. Well in order to get back down we had a few options. Option one was go back the same way. I was not keen on this. Option 2 was follow one of the razor thin fins that stick out into the canyon all the way down to the bottom. It did not take any convincing to choose option two so we headed down.
To paint a picture of this is quite difficult. You are walking across a crumbly ridge with 100 foot steep cliff like slopes on both sides. It is only wide enough for single file lines, and there or occasional obstacles that pose exciting moments, especially when your friend slips on one and nearly looses balance and goes sliding down the hill. But it was all good. You can see that moment and more of what the ridge looks like in the video.
After getting down this exciting portion we headed back to the car. As we were going we could see some interesting formations off to our left that were catching my attention. There were some cars parked over by them too so I knew something had to be over there. So we headed off towards them and what we found is one of the coolest things I have ever seen/been too in my life.
But that is next weeks story.