The Cathedral in the Desert
The Cathedral in the Desert, located in the Escalante Arm of Lake Powell, is a breathtaking grotto found at the end of Clear Creek Canyon. The floor of the Cathedral is now underwater, briefly exposed in 2005 due to low water levels. A slow and winding boat ride at the end of the canyon weaves through narrow passages and past water caves, eventually ending at the Cathedral. The ride to the cathedral is worthwhile itself, and these pictures don’t do it justice! After arriving at the end of Clear Creek Canyon climb up the sandstone face and find yourself in a cool oasis with ponds, vegetation and the echo of birds. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb the makeshift ladder beyond the pools and you’ll find towering walls and more room for exploration.
- Hiking Distance: Less than 100 yards.
- Level of Difficulty: Medium – small amount of scrambling up slick rock.
- Nearest Marina: Dangling Rope – 30 miles, Halls Crossing – 30 miles
- Distance to Wahweap Marina: 70 miles
- Distance to Bullfrog Marina: 33 miles
- Special Notes: Very little space to park boats or watercraft – try to come early in the day to avoid potential traffic. Personal watercraft are ideal for the narrow passage. Experienced boaters recommended.
Location: From Bullfrog Marina area travel downlake approximately 30 miles to the “Escalante Arm”, then proceed to Clear Creek Canyon (about 2 miles). From Wahweap travel uplake about 70 miles to the “Escalante Arm”, then proceed to Clear Creek Canyon (about 2 miles). To get to the Cathedral follow the canyon to its end. Near the end you will notice a narrow passage that winds back and forth. After making the switchbacks you’ll arrive at the end. You will need to anchor your boat on the slickrock.
Maps of Cathedral in the Desert:
Sattelite Map and Images from Panoramio: