Little Known Las Vegas Haunt: Cathedral Canyon

Cathedral Canyon is a “small natural canyon which has been transformed into a rambling grotto of icons, statues, and text panels,” notes the Center for Land Use Interpretation — an on-line database of “unusual and exemplary sites” in the United States.

Roland Wiley, a Las Vegas lawyer, purchased 15,800 acres in the desert and called it Hidden Hills Ranch. For the next thirty years, Mr. Wiley would drive out from Las Vegas and work on Cathedral Canyon, which has a variety of sketchy theme park-like items with religious, social, and political undertones. “No nation or race can prosper,” reads the sign posted to a fence, “until it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling the soil…. as in writing the poem.” (This is almost a Booker T. Washington quote.) Many bizarre sculptures and statues exist throughout the “park,” including what looks to be a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge (above).

Cathedral Canyon is open to the public. It’s located 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas, and 15 miles southeast of Pahrump, Nevada. For exact directions on how to get there, check out this site.

Apparently it’s best to visit at night. Creepy.