Parowan Gap is one of the must see petroglyph panels in Utah in my humble opinion. A short drive off of I-15, it feels a world away.
Ancient peoples found this place interesting, and the gap is covered in petroglyphs. These panels were likely etched by many different cultural groups over a long period of time. It is believed several of the panels were used as a calendar, marking the equinoxes by using a gnomon to cast a shadow on a particular symbol during the equinox. Given the gaps east / west opening, it makes sense the suns path would be very noticeable through the gap. For more information, http://www.parowangap.org/ has very good information. The equinoxes bring many visitors to see the particular sun alignment, and this can be a good time to visit if you don't mind lots of other visitors. Other times you are likely to have the place to yourself or see only a few other people.
The gap is an interesting geological feature in and of itself, where rock was being pushed up from below above the valley floor while a stream wore away at the rising rock. Eventually, the rock won out, creating a gap where the wind and water continued to wear at the rock in the gap, but rose above the valley floor surrounding the gap.
The area was improved in 2014/2015 and should soon have information signs, a pit toilet, and good picnicking area. Be sure to also make the quick stop to visit the dino prints along the way. Be sure to visit the Parowan Dinosaur Prints while in the area.
Take exit 78 off of I-15, at the town of Parowan. Go south off the highway on Main Street, and go right (west) on 400 North. It crosses under the freeway after about 0.8 miles and becomes Gap Road. Continue on for another 9 miles to Parowan Gap. About 9.9 miles total from Parowan.
From the trailhead, follow the sidewalk on both side of the highway to visit the many different panels. Informational panels are dispersed around with more information.
|Parowan Gap Panels||
12S 325550mE 4197626mN
N37° 54' 34" W112° 59' 04"
12S 328482mE 4196180mN
N37° 53' 49" W112° 57' 03"
12S 328602mE 4196181mN
N37° 53' 49" W112° 56' 58"
12S 328560mE 4196214mN
N37° 53' 50" W112° 56' 60"