UT, Western Utah Desert, GPS

Parowan Gap Petroglyphs

Parowan Gap is a narrow pass in a low set of hills that must have served as a natural corridor. The rocks at the narrowest part are covered in petroglyphs. The site is easy to reach but not remote. Still, it is an interesting spot to visit as a few of the petroglyphs are quite unique. The place seems very plain at first, but it has a spiritual feel if you stop and relax for a while.

Most of the petroglyphs seem to be from the Archaic period, but Fremont and Anasazi styles are represented as well. There is an interesting article on the site and some of the stories and legends associated with it in a 1940 edition of Desert Magazine.

There are a couple of different theories on the prominent "V" glyph.  One is that it is a solar calendar, and the tick marks are for each day.  Another story comes from the Utes and says the glyph tells of a great migration where the tribe came from the northwest and came to the Colorado River where they couldn't cross and traveled northeast until they could find a good ford.  Ticks mark stops along the way.

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About Guy Starbuck

Guy has hiked the deserts and mountains of the southwestern U.S. for more than twenty-five years. In that time, he has found hidden and remote locations that don't see many visitors.
  • Nevada
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