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Parowan Gap Petroglyphs

Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, Utah

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Parowan Gap Petroglyphs

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  • There are many interpretive signs at this site, and they all teach you a lot about the history and geology of the area.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Detail of the petroglyphs in the first main section on the east side of the gap.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • The small cave covered by a simple barrier.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • The petroglyphs continue along the road through the Parowan Gap.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • The middle section across from the cave.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • There are a wide variety of markings from many cultures and time periods.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • The major carvings of the western side.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
  • Looking from west to east through the gap.- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great example of native artwork. Close to freeway. Cool geology. Bathrooms.
Cons: 
Not much else going on.
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Region:
Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, UT
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Utah is home to several very impressive native rock art panels, and many are not far from major roads. Located about an hour north of St. George and just a few minutes from Cedar City are the Parowan Gap Petroglyphs. The "gap" is a missing section of the Red Hills, carved away by a river that has since dried up. The river exposed the Navajo sandstone that the Fremont, the Hopi and the ancestors of the southern Paiute have carved symbols into over several distinct periods. The most recent symbols date to about 700 years ago, but the oldest could be from several thousand years ago.

Some of the symbols carved into the sandstone are interpreted as a physical description of the area and of the people's day-to-day life, while other symbols are obviously more ceremonial or abstract. There is a small cave entrance here with a barrier in front of it, which is very intriguing considering that the Hopi say this area is sacred and that they first came into the world from a cave. There are potential astro-archaeological links due to the fact the gap has an east-west aspect. Studies have been conducting claiming some of the carvings are meant more as a seasonal calendar then a story. For whatever reason, many people found this place to be geologically or spiritually significant enough to repeatedly take the time to carve these symbols over millennia.

This place is not far from the freeway, and it is worth checking out at least once. There are a ton of different petroglyphs located at several spots all within walking distance of each other. The petroglyphs are found at both ends of the gap and on each side of the road. There are many informational signs marking the major carvings sections.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

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