Sept 16, 2017
Cathedral Gorge State Park
This year’s Cathedral Gorge State Park Cook Off is the 3rd Saturday of September 3pm – 7pm.
Last year several members of our local Las Vegas Dutch Oven group participated in the event and had a great time. This is a friendly non sanctioned event.
The actual cook-off is on Saturday. Many of us go up and start camping Thursday then leave Sunday mid-day. The Cook-off is in the group area in the campgrounds.
For those camping: Campsites do have power. But sites are limited and first come first served. You can not reserve sites. For this weekend the rangers normally work with everyone and allow overflow camping in the parking area’s near the “Group Area”. But if that is where you end up it is totally dry camping. The camp sites and bathroom/showers have been the cleanest I have ever seen.
There is a centrally located Bath/Shower house. This is a small campground so expect to wait if you shower at a popular time of day.
Sites do have power but no sewer or water hook ups. Great for those needing power to run air conditioners and appliances. There is water located at faucets scattered around the campground but that means you have to have a container and carry it to your site. No hose connections allowed.
Sites are very clean. Gravel surface RV spots that are nice and level.
There is a dump station for draining your RV/Trailer Black/Gray tanks. But it is down the road within the park quite a ways on the entrance road. It is kind of inconvenient if you have to drive your RV/Trailer down there to dump while camping. Conserve and use the camp showers if need be. The dump station is even kind of far to tow a portable tank that doesn’t have a real heavy duty set of wheels and a hefty axle. You will trash it easily. So conserve if you are staying a few days. It is conveniently located for dumping when you first enter the park, or as you leave on departure day.
Most tent campers for this cooking event tend to group up around the west end of the Group picnic area. An area that normally is not used for camping.
Many sites are out in the open with no shade from tree’s. The sites with shade go first. Each site does have a picnic table that has a metal shade cover over it.
Each site has a lantern pole out away from the picnic table and shelter. If you want to hang a lantern under the shelter bring s section of light chain and some “S” hooks.
Each site has a metal fire pit, and a raised charcoal BBQ grill. Fires are normally allowed. It is wise if you bring your own shade/EZ up. The sun can still be hot in Nevada’s September weather. Also walls or some type of wind break is advisable.
Firewood is normally available for purchase…and normally far more reasonable than buying it in Vegas at a grocery store. Buy it here and help support the park.
There is a small market within a short driving distance (Panaca). They are stocked really well with almost anything you might need, though it might be in smaller packages and a bit higher in price than you are used to.
If you are entering in the cook-off you will want your EZ up, prep & cook tables, water container, 3 station dish washing, and perhaps a wagon/cart of some sort to shuttle your gear to the cooking area.
There are endless hiking trails. I like taking my mountain bike and either trail ride, or ride the paved roads within the park. Just north of the campground is the caves area. Accessible by a trail from the campground or driving over on the road. Within the caves area there are enough eroded passageways to spend the weekend just exploring these. The early morning and evening sunsets are spectacular. The caves area’s could just as well be on another planet. The whole landscape transports your imagination into a science fiction tale.
We usually are sung to sleep by the coyote songs. So be sure to but your trash up at night. This also means keeping your pets close too you so they don’t wander off and become part of the food chain. They are lower in the chain out there. Coyotes are used to hunting as a group. They are quick and silent. Don’t let your small fido out for a morning run unleashed and unattended while you are distracted doing something else.
The cooking event is a fun day. But expect a long day too. Cooking, judging, eating, raffling, prize awards, and clean-up. Bring your cart/wagon and flashlight.
Much of the cooking space is in full sun. If you plan to participate be sure to bring your own shade, Prep tables, water containers, and dish washing pans.
The Park normally supplies cook tables and the charcoal. You may want to bring both of these for yourself though. Last year we starting prepping and cooking before they started handing out charcoal. If you have to start cooking early for long prep items, you might run into trouble if you rely on their charcoal.
They do not provide food prep tables. You also may want to bring tables to serve from? Or do double duty with your tables. You need to bring your own tables for these purposes. The picnic tables around the area normally fill up with people showing up to eat and are not to be used by those cooking. Don’t set up in such a way that you use the pavilion tables.
You will want to also have your own way of having hot water for cleaning hands etc. Plus any other requirements to practice safe food handling. You own trash container avoids having to run it to one of the parks receptacles that might not be handy while prepping and cooking.
The Cooking Competition area is enough of a distance from vehicle parking or drop off, that you might want to bring some type of wheeled device to shuttle your tables, gear, and food. Several of us use the folding type 4 wheeled wagons.
The judging, eating, raffle, and prize awards goes on until after dark. So be sure to bring lighting/flashlight/lanterns to aid in breaking down gear and cleaning up your cooking area.
As with all of our outings. You are responsible for you and your families Reservations, Payment, Security, Safety & Well being. In addition you are responsible for any damage you, family members, or invited guests, may cause. No other members, this group as a whole, nor trip organizers, accept any responsibility or liability other than for their own individual actions.