Overseer rock swallows the summer sun at Parowan Gap

View at Parowan Gap, Parowan, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Brian Head Tourism Bureau, St. George News

PAROWAN — The Overseer rock outcropping will swallow the summer sun beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Parowan Gap located 12 miles northwest of Parowan and 19 miles north of Enoch.

While standing inside the Gap looking east, a rock outcropping on the south side, known as the Overseer or protector of the American Indians, looks like a facial profile featuring a slight open mouth.

“The sun sits in the mouth, and sits, and sits, and then gulp as the Overseer swallows the sun, thus signifying that the Summer Sun has gone into its Winter Home, telling the people if they have not prepared for winter, they had better be moving south quickly as Winter will soon be here,” said Nancy Dalton, interpretive volunteer and member of the Parowan Heritage Foundation which co-sponsors a series of archeo-astronomy events at the Parowan Gap.

Shortly after sunrise, as the sun crosses the morning sky, it appears in the mouth of the Overseer.

“This awe-spine tingling, one of a kind event occurs annually November 6-8,” said Dalton, adding that before or after those dates, the sun just passes through his mouth.

Petroglyphs and view at Parowan Gap, Parowan, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Brian Head Tourism Bureau, St. George News
Petroglyphs and view at Parowan Gap, Parowan, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Brian Head Tourism Bureau, St. George News

The informal interpretive program will start at 7:30 a.m., with the sun entering the mouth beginning about 8:03 a.m. and the process completed by 8:23 a.m.

Those attending the observation event are strongly encouraged to dress extra warm, as the wind and winter temperatures make it icy cold in the Gap, said Dalton.

This is an annual event for the Parowan Gap Observation Series co-sponsored by Parowan Heritage Foundation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau.

Event details

  • What: Sun is swallowed by the Overseer
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 7, 7:30 a.m.
  • Where: Parowan Gap
  • Contact: Dalton at 435-463-3735 or
  • Parowan Gap website

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @stgnews

 

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