Cathedral Rock Trail

MODERATE
#4 of 124 trails in Toiyabe National Forest
true
Cathedral Rock Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, NV that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from May until November.

2.7 miles 1013 feet Out & Back
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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.

Richard Crofts
2 months ago

13 Completed0 Reviews

One of my all time favorite hikes in the Vegas area.

There used to be no parking available, & the cops just salivated waiting for you to 'illegally' park so they could ticket you. That was always such a downer. They now have parking available. The trail was closed for many years after a nasty Avalanche took out a bunch of the trail. Since it reopened they have added nice benches along the trail for resting. There's a seasonal waterfall about half way up. The trail splits off. To the left about 100 feet in is the waterfall. You can't get lost. Back there by the falls you can do some minimal rock climbing if you're interested. It's low impact, & fun. The main trail continues on to the right. The trail is well marked, & easy to navigate. It does tend to have an abundance of loose rock, & rolling gravel, so watch your step. The incline on the way up can be a bit tedious at times, always be mindful of where, & how you step, & take breaks along the way. The elevation catches you quickly too. Be sure to have lots of fluids, & a snack or two in a backpack. The final ascent to the peak is rough on the thighs, but well worth the rewarding view. This is a trail that I have done many times, & will continue to return to. It has spectacular views, & it feels great to hike it. The way down is pretty quick because of the grade. You'll find yourself sliding on the gravel, & almost running down at some points because the grade is pulling you down. Nothing too serious though, & a lot of fun, just be careful, & enjoy!

Tara Meirs
3 months ago

4 Completed3 Reviews

This was great! A little bit of scrambling and some narrow trail parts but I was able to take my crazy huskey who pulls me off cliffs and we did fine we got to the top in two hours and the VIEW was FANTASTIC!!!! SO worth it!

Lala Atuatasi
6 months ago

4 Completed4 Reviews

Maria France C.
7 months ago

It was a hard trail for a beginner! The elevation was taking my breath away ! But the journey to the top was pretty amazing! And the reward of the beautiful view once your at the top was just sinply amazing!

Heather McCourt
7 months ago

26 Completed15 Reviews

Jennifer Aleman
7 months ago

7 Completed4 Reviews

The trail was pretty easy, up hill most of the way up but coming down is a breeze! The view is amazing when you are at the peak!

Rony Estrada
8 months ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Heather Rose
8 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Weather was perfect (lots of clouds; 77F) which made the hike a good workout on the way up and relaxing jog on the way down just as it started raining

Brad Dixon
9 months ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Rebecca Isselin
9 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Gerard Bonfils
10 months ago

64 Completed45 Reviews

I hiked to Cathedral rock a day after going to Charleston Peak via the Trail Canyon trail; this was a way for me to "cool down" progressively after a fairly taxing climb to the peak for my 60 years old legs.

The ratio of difficulty to rewards certainly makes this hike a must do for those visiting the Mt Charleston area. You will likely not be alone on the trail as Cathedral rock if understandably the most popular hike around Kyle Canyon; however the trail is well maintained enough and the 'summit' is wide enough to accommodate a sustained stream of visitors.

The views are many and stunning (view of the "rock" itself as you go up, of the "Mummy" to the North, of the South canyon walls, of Kyle Canyon in its entirety, of Charleston Peak to the West... so much in such a short walk).

Should I return to Kyle Canyon at some point, I will likely do this hike again. I would start early to avoid a bit of congestion and see the valley in the more interesting morning light.

Cynthia Murff
10 months ago

29 Completed7 Reviews

Hike is now open. All up hill with a beautiful view of the Mt. Charleston valley. Short trail with a rewarding view.

Surrounding hikes (Little falls, Echo, and Griffith) seem to still be closed from the fire.

Mary Z.
10 months ago

This hike has re-opened! Great view! Strenuous, high altitude.

Jack Mabry
1 year ago

4 Completed2 Reviews

Cathedral Rock Trail is closed, due to fire.

Henry Pratt
1 year ago

15 Completed3 Reviews

I heard that this trail is closed due to the fire last year.

Brian Mejia
2 years ago

10 Completed2 Reviews

Great hike. Prepare yourself though because you're pretty much climbing the whole wa y. Enjoy!

Janelle Meredith Wilcox
3 years ago

8 Completed4 Reviews

View is great! Short, nice hike. Some lengthy inclines on part on your way up but not difficult.

jeremy leinan
3 years ago

5 Completed4 Reviews

this was a great hike to spend a few hours on... we went up to start tackling some of the trails on the mountain and to get out of the valley's heat of the summer. the trail was pretty well kept and it sort of surprised me (pleasantly) to see the change in types of foliage as we ascended. haven't been out hiking or keeping up on the fitness much this year so tackling this trail was a bit more strenuous than it should have been but the view was worth every moment and the feeling of accomplishment was great at the end. even with numerous stops on the way up and a short lunch taking in the view we completed the trip right about on time with what the trail head states. definitely will head to this trail again...

James G.
3 years ago

W O W the view from the top is AWESOME. This is my favorite of the three I did that weekend.There is a 15 minute "guided tour" podcast which can be downloaded to make the hike more interesting. Unfortunately I could not get it down loaded at the traihead. I will do it in advance next time.

Y. M.
3 years ago

13 Completed10 Reviews

Great trail with great views throughout. It is an easy trail with a few spots where a bit of moderate climbing over rocks is required. The trail is very well maintained and you will not get lost. Beautiful little flowers and butterflies are everywhere. We also took a peak at the "waterfall". It was great to get away from the 100+ degree weather in Vegas and the view at the top was worth it.