Several centuries ago Native Americans traveling through the area stopped and pecked designs onto the smooth faces of large boulders found on the east side of the gap. Over the years many of the boulders have been covered with these chiseled figures known as petroglyph’s.
The petroglyphs here are thought to be the work of several cultural groups and represent a long period of use by Native cultures.Related Articles What these designs mean is still unknown. Archaeologists debate that they represent concepts, ideas or actual happenings. Perhaps they were part of a religious activity or hunting ritual. The local Native Americans consider them to be an important part of their cultural history relating stories of their ancestor’s lives.
New dating techniques are being developed that will allow petroglyph’s to be placed in time. While we don’t know the precise age of these petroglyph’s yet, we do know that the agriculturally based Sevier-Fremont lived in the area over a thousand years ago. There is little doubt that some of the designs were made by this group, or perhaps even the earlier nomadic Archaic peoples. Researchers believe that the semi-nomadic ancestors of the present day Southern Paiute also created some of these figures.
The Parowan Gap Petroglyph’s are listed on the National Register of Historic Places signifying its importance as a cultural treasure.
From Cedar City: Go north on Main (or take Interstate 15 Exit 62) to UT 130. Continue north 13.5 miles, then turn east (right) 2.5 miles on a good gravel road to Parowan Gap.
From Parowan: Go north on Main to 400 North. Turn west (left) for 10.5 miles on good gravel road (near Milepost 19).