PAROWAN – Kids and adults alike will gather for the annual Summer Solstice Sunset Event at Parowan Gap Saturday night.
The event will include an activity where kids can create their own rock writing, as well as watch the sunset down the middle of the Gap as depicted on the “Zipper Glyph.”
This year’s event will reveal upcoming development plans for the site.
Over the past two years, the Cedar City District Bureau of Land Management has updated their management plan for Parowan Gap which included participation by community land users, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, local government agencies and the public, said Nancy Dalton, member of the Parowan Heritage Foundation, one the co-sponsors of the annual event.
The new developments will involve the creation of new trails along both sides of the gap, featuring interpretation panels.
A new parking lot will also be constructed along with restrooms and sitting areas.
One of the main objectives was to develop a plan on how best to interpret the site and protect the natural resources.
“Those participating in the planning process concurred that multi-use interpretation was needed,” Dalton said, “but they would like the development to be minimal so as to keep the natural appearance and beauty of the area intact.”
Dave Jacobson, Recreation Specialist for the BLM, will discuss the development plans at the event including drawings of how the site will look after construction is completed this fall.
Summer solstice program
The program will begin with the BLM presentation, followed by Nal Morris, solar engineer, who will discuss how the “Zipper Glyph” and other rock writings can be used as a calendar system.
The Parowan Gap, a natural passageway through the mountain pass, features hundreds of rock writings with various interpretations of how ancient cultures survived, their hunting and water sources, and their traditions.
The Gap also holds a number of outcroppings that cast shadows at different times of the year, signaling a change in the season.
Morris, who has studied and researched rock writings throughout the mountain west including the Parowan Gap, will explain the solar interpretation of the most notable writing, the “Zipper Glyph.”
Participants will walk about one mile to the back summer solstice carin – a rock monument – to watch the sunset down the middle of the Gap onto the mountain horizon.
The public is encouraged to bring their own chairs, drinking water and good walking shoes.
This annual program is co-sponsored by the Parowan Heritage Foundation, Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau and the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah.
- When: Saturday, June 21, 7 p.m.
- Where: Parowan Gap
- Admission: Free | Telephone: 435-463-3735
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