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Parowan Gap – Parowan Utah
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Overview
Location

Parowan Utah – Southern Utah – North of Cedar City

Sights

Parowan Gap, petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks

Distance

Less than a few yards from the parking lot

Parking Lot Elevation

5,567 ft

Summit Elevation

N/A

Elevation Gain/Loss

Varies slightly

Time Required

1+ hours round trip starting in Parowan City.

Pets

Pets allowed – keep on leash

Fees

No fees associated with this trek

Water Info

Bring a bottle of water. No water sources nearby

Best Season

All

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Very little shade

Trail Condition

No hiking involved. Parking lot is right next to Parowan gap

Restrooms

None

Visitor Center

None

Camping

None

Food

Bring snacks as needed

Equipment

Camera, flashlight

You will travel through a small suburb of Parowan Utah and drive across town until you come to a small pass or “gap” – a unique geological feature that opens wide enough to allow one road to go through it.  You will see ancient Native American petroglyphs and even a few dinosaur tracks in the area.

GPS Coordinates

Parowan Gap: 37°54’34.03″N, 112°59’5.25″W

Driving Directions

Simply follow the Parowan Gap road all the way from the city of Parowan until the Gap.


The Trail:

There are a few around in the area

There are a few around in the area

Perfect for families or anyone who wants to take a quick side detour and see a high concentration of Native American (Fremont) petroglyphs.  The gap is located about 11 miles to the west of Parowan.

Parowan gap is a very important and interested place as it has many features that interest paleontologists, geologists and archaeologists.

Once you enter town head west until you come under I15.  The road turns into Gap road – stay on this road the entire way.  You will wind your way around farms and cattle pastures until you come between the Red Hills.

I will not post the location of the dinosaur footprint because I have found that vandals have destroyed part of it.

Dinosaur Track

Notice how the middle toe is missing

I had the chance of visiting the Parowan Gap last week (March 2014) and I was startled by what I saw.  The dinosaur track seemed to be missing its middle toe!  Compare the two pictures above to see what I mean.

Parowan Gap

For a size comparison

Keep driving until you come to the actual gap which is pictured below.   On the right hand side you will see a short dirt loop that leads you to the petroglyphs.

Parowan Gap

Here is the actual “Gap” – just wide enough for a road to pass through

Parowan Gap

There is a small place to park your vehicle with a few information kiosks.  There is a fence surrounding the petroglyphs – please always remember to be respectful to the writings and dinosaur tracks and area in general.  I had the chance to talk to a local and they are not happy about people coming and defacing and writing their names on the rocks nearby.  Please observe all trail signs as well.

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

The actual Parowan Gap is located right next to the petroglyphs and is obviously the dominant feature of the area.

More petroglyphs in the same area

More petroglyphs in the same area

To the south and across the street you will find a small cave that has many more petroglyphs inside.  And outside of the cave to the west you will find many more!

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

Parowan Gap

The Return:

Take the same Gap Rd back to Parowan and get back on I-15.

Personal Thoughts:

The Parowan Gap is a very unique place that is definitely worth an extra hour or more to check out.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
1.5
Technicality
0.5
Enjoyment
5.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

5.4
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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