Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Great example of native artwork. Close to freeway. Cool geology. Bathrooms.


Not much else going on.

Pets allowed



Geologically significant


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


Easy access for everyone. It's fun to debate what the petroglyphs mean with your buddies. Just don't add your own :-)
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.