A Glass of Wine Sparks an Itinerary Change

Cathedral Gorge State Park -- one of Utah's hidden gems.

People often ask me how I plan my press trip itineraries. How do I decide where to go and what to cover? Well, usually it involves a lot of research and reader feedback; but sometimes I just think outside the box.

Such was the case yesterday when Charles and I were chatting about the next days itinerary over a glass of red wine. The next thing you know it, there was a spill and my Nevada map was covered in dark red liquid. Seeing as that was our only Nevada map, and that we are going to be pretty rural for a few days, I jumped into action to save it.

As I was dabbing wine off of Eastern Nevada, the name Cathedral Gorge State Park happened to catch my eye. I just liked the sound of the name, and lo and behold, we were passing right by it the next day. So I made a unilateral decision to add it to the itinerary. I mean, what’s the worse thing that could happen? If it turned out to really suck, we could just move on; and who knows, it might actually be pretty cool.

Fortunately, the latter was the case.

Located off of highway 93, about 15 miles north of Caliente, Cathedral Gorge State Park is one of Nevada’s hidden gems. The Visitors Center is located just inside the south entrance, and it has a small information desk and a nice unisex accessible restroom. Just down the road, you’ll find the CCC picnic area, which is surrounded by these massive spires carved out of the clay and ash buf-colored rocks. There is one accessible parking spot on a cement pad, with level access to the pit toilet and an accessible picnic table. After that it’s a bit difficult for wheelers as there are no real pathways through the rock formations. That said, you’ll get your best view from afar, so definitely make the stop. There are also a lot of good windshield views along the way, so if you don’t want to get out of the car, then that’s doable too.

For a different view of it all, head up to the north entrance and drive out to Miller’s Overlook, where you’ll get a bird’s-eye-view of the gorge. There’s no striped parking up there, but you can park parallel to the curb in the asphalt parking lot. Take a gander below – the view is magnificent.

The down side of this site? Well it’s really windy. I mean really, really windy. But don’t let dissuade you, as it’s really a beautiful site.

The moral of the story is, although advance planning is essential for accessible travel, sometimes impromptu stops can be fun too, so try and mix it up a bit. Or put another way, red wine is a great itinerary planning tool.