“A desert trail through amazing eroded clay formations with access to gorgeous slot canyons.”
— Stephanie Reed
Cave · Views
This short run through this beautiful state park lets you see many of the amazing things this park has to offer. The trail is very new and very well made, and even though it's not very technical, it is very enjoyable. From the start of the trail, you get great views of the canyons that make up this gorge (that look a lot like Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyons in Utah), and near the end you get to enter some of the tiny slot canyons - called caves - that make this park famous, where the temperatures can be refreshingly cool compared to the hot desert that surrounds them.
It can get pretty hot here in the summer and there aren't any natural sources of water in this area, so bring your own.
From the trailhead at Miller Point, pass the gazebo and descend the trail down through the amazing formations that make this state park one of the most beautiful places in Nevada. Starting from above gives you the opportunity to see these spectacular formations in a very neat way, and as you descend the trail you get the opportunity to see them up close as well. The trail drops down some stairs, crosses a couple of bridges, and then eventually drops into a dry wash that carries the sediment that is being eroded from the formations out into the valley below. As you follow the wash, you emerge from a more narrow canyon into the wide valley and before long, the trail reaches the picnic area and parking area where there is access to a lot of other trails within the park.
Once you have reached this picnic area, you are close to three sets of "caves" - the Cathedral Caves, the Canyon Caves, and the Moon Caves. The best part of this run is going into these "caves" (slot canyons, really) and exploring them to their ends, where they usually end in really amazing dry waterfalls. If you are lucky, you'll find hidden treasures, like underground passages eroded by the flood waters that lead to even more spectacular slot canyons (there is at least one in the Moon Caves). All of these sets of slot canyons have fun places to explore, and they are a great break from the desert heat on a summer day.
Once you've explored the caves, finishing at the Moon Caves, you can return back the way you came along the dirt road that leads back to the picnic area, and eventually back to Miller Point. Make sure to take a look at the abandoned water tower that sits between the Cathedral and Canyon Caves, it is another famous landmark in the area and is a beautiful addition to the landscape. Unfortunately, returning the way you came means you need to go up on the last quarter mile, but the ascent is pretty gradual and only lasts for about 150 vertical feet, so it's not so bad, especially if it's not too hot outside.