• Cathedral Gorge

    Isolated Photo Op in Cathedral Gorge

    Isolated Photo Op in Cathedral Gorge

    The sun is starting to shine again in Las Vegas, while I know most of the United States has some snow falling to the ground. However, just because Las Vegas is on the verge of a heat wave doesn’t mean all of Nevada is warming up. Just under 2 hours north is Cathedral Gorge State Park. Now, Cathedral Gorge is usually very dry and is colored red and pink from the ground to the top of the rocky peaks. It also usually features some slot canyons that are ideal for exploring and hiding from the sun. HOWEVER…. I didn’t know that in the winter there it snows… a lot. This wouldn’t sound like such a crazy idea… (snow.. in the winter?? Who would have thought?!) except for the fact that it only snows in southern Nevada maybe… once every two years if we are lucky. So I was shocked to think that a place like Cathedral Gorge, that didn’t feel much higher in elevation had their ground completely covered in the white stuff.

    The drive out of Las Vegas to Cathedral Gorge is easy enough. You drive north. Simple. I noticed on the drive there that there weren’t many people heading the same way. That was totally cool with me since I love an open road and less people in my photographs. Also fun perk, I can take all my middle of the road photos that I love so much! See below to know what I mean. 😉

    Photo of me taking a photo of snow. Middle of the Road, outside of Cathedral Gorge.

    Photo of me taking a photo of snow. Middle of the Road, outside of Cathedral Gorge.

    The drive takes you through so many small towns and I loved it!! And when I mean small towns.. I mean if you blinked or sneezed, you would miss it. However, the snow made it look lost in time and I love moments like that. My favorite part was the park… .no soul around to show you someone was there except for tiny foot prints.

    Somewhere in Northern Nevada.

    Somewhere in Northern Nevada.

    After you soak in the small town liife, you will finally find a small sign that directs you to Cathedral Gorge State Park.

    So… I mentioned snow earlier… well at the park there was so much snow we couldn’t get much further than a mile within the entrance because we lacked snow chains and wanted to err on the side of caution since it’s been over an hour since we located another human.

    Cathedral Gorge 3

    It was of course a bummer we could not explore further in to the park… it was another bummer that the snow was so deep I couldn’t get to the slot canyons!! 🙁 🙁 🙁 I was highly disappointed that I came all that way and couldn’t even snap a good instagram pic. BUT that was all left at the wayside when I stopped to apprciate the beauty of the snow and the quiet of my surroundings. The white snow looked exceptionally white against the pink rocks and the snow was undisturbed with the exception of bunny snowprints. <3 … oh and my phone marks in the snow as I tried to set up my camera phone for a photo… and then I failed. But I think it still turned ok…

    Accidental Photo when trying to have my phone stand up in the snow!

    Accidental Photo when trying to have my phone stand up in the snow!

    After some time of trying to walk through the snow and taking tons of fun photos, it was time to move on. I didn’t want to get caught in the snow in the dark… the drive home was just as lovely and allowed the opportunity to stop next to some lakes for a snack.

    The Road Leading out of Cathedral Gorge.

    The Road Leading out of Cathedral Gorge.

    Overall, even though I did not have a chance to hike the area as much as I would like to, I think seeing it in such a way that can only be described as rare made the day completely worth it. Sometimes magical things happen when nothing goes as planned.

  • Lehman Caves – Great Basin

    Greetings from Lehman Caves in Great Basin

    Greetings from Lehman Caves in Great Basin

    There is a little known National Park called Great Basin and it is home to the Lehman Caves. Never heard of them? You need to know about them. Especially if you are remotely located to Nevada. Great Basin is in east-central Nevada, near the Utah border. It’s about a 4.5 hour drive from Las Vegas. Up in the mountains, Great Basin offers great views of the surrounding desert while offering it’s own beauty in the forms of green trees, natural creeks and lakes and some quality hiking for those who love the outdoors. As beautiful as it is, that is not the main draw of this National Park.

    Great Basin

    **I apologize in advance for some of the pictures. The lighting was very dim and they only allow minimal photography items into the caves!**

    The main draw of the park for many, including myself, are the Lehman caves. I’ve always wanted to visit something like these since reading Tom Sawyer, but those caves are all the way out in Kentucky. Lehman Caves are much more accessible for someone located in the southwest. (Even closer than Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico). Only accessible with a guided tour through the park for the low cost of $10 per person. You can tour the Lehman Caves for 90 minutes. The tours do sell out during the peak summer seasons. Purchase at least a day in advance.

    Lehman Caves, Great Basin - Nevada

    Lehman Caves, Great Basin – Nevada

    The caves are something out of this world! The guides are great in giving additional information information about the caves. My favorite part is when they turn out all of the LED lights and show you how dark it is. By dark, I mean pitch black. It was a little creepy to think about what it would be like to be lost in there forever. Luckily, the caves are now well lit and even have a paved path to follow. Even though the National Park Service has made it more tourist friendly, there weren’t that many tourists to be seen. Our tour group was small, only about 15 individuals total. It makes it an intimate experience and really easy to take as many pictures as you would like.

    Lehman Caves, Great Basin - Nevada

    Lehman Caves, Great Basin – Nevada

    After exiting the Lehman Caves, my friend and I planned to sneak in a quick hike to see the lakes. The weather was perfect, so why not right? Well, we had to drive about 30 minutes up the mountain to start the hike and boy, did the weather change. It was overcast when we left the car and truly thought we could complete the 3 mile loop before the weather really changed. Mother nature did not agree with our endeavors. We made it about a half mile when it started to rain. We tried to power through for another quarter mile and then it started to hail… that’s right. It was 75 degrees and sunny at the base of the mountain but it was 40 degrees and hailing where we were. Sadly, we were unable to complete the hike. But it’s always nice to have something to look forward to for another time.

    Rain falling in a clearing

    It’s hard to see the hail and rain.. but this is it as it’s starting to rain near a clearing.

    While I was at Great Basin, I learned that “half the park is after dark”. The area is one of the best places to star gaze. Since it is located in such a remote location, there is limited sky pollution which leads to a beautiful cosmic display. I love star gazing so Great Basin is definitely on my priority list to return and experience their astronomy program first hand.

    Great Basin 7

    Lehman Caves, Great Basin. I would not want to be stuck here for a night!

    Great Basin and Lehman Caves was such a random experience, it has truly motivated me to see what other untapped treasures the state of Nevada has to offer! The state is so large, I know there are some secret gems waiting to be found. Stay tuned to see what I explore next. Who knows where the lonely road may lead? I know I can’t wait to find out!

    Until next time...

    Until next time…