Cathedral Gorge State Park in east-central Nevada (near U.S. Route 93 at Panaca) covers 1,608 acres The park was established in 1935. A majority of Meadow Valley (along Rt. 93 from Caliente to Panaca) was covered by a freshwater lake nearly 1 million years ago during the Pliocene Era. The richly colored canyons of Cathedral Gorge (called the Panaca Formation) are remnants of the ancient lake bed. Erosion exposed portions of sediment and gravel that once composed the lake bottom. Rainwater and melting snow carved rivulets in the soft siltstone and clay shale, splitting tiny cracks and fissures into larger and larger gullies and canyons.
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