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Parowan Gap to host spring equinox sunset observation

Published: Wednesday, March 19 2014 1:13 p.m. MDT

The intriguing petroglyphs and pictographs in southwestern Utah's Parowan Gap, up to a thousand years old, and the canyon itself may comprise a prehistoric solar and lunar calendar used by pre-Columbian Indians. An interpretive tour of Parowan Gap followed by watching the sun set from the equinox carins will be held Saturday, March 22, beginning at 6 p.m.

, Ray Boren

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PAROWAN — An interpretive tour of Parowan Gap followed by watching the sun set from the equinox carins will be held Saturday, March 22, beginning at 6 p.m. "Even though it's the day after the official spring equinox, people can still watch the sun set down the center of the gap opening," said Nancy Dalton, interpretive guide and secretary for the Parowan Heritage Foundation which hosts the event.

The event will start with a guided interpretive walk through the narrow gap opening, which will include how the gap was formed and interpretation of several solar and lunar calendar petroglyphs.

At 7 p.m. the group will walk four-tenths of a mile along the paved road to the trail to the equinox carins, a rock pile monument. From there, the group will hike two-tenths of mile up to the equinox carins. With dry weather conditions and fragile vegetation, all those who can walk to the carins are encouraged to do so.

"Again, the sun sets down the middle of the gap, but at a different angle than the Summer Solstice, as the gap opening is slightly smaller," Dalton said.

Those attending the event are encouraged to wear hiking shoes and dress warm, in case the wind is blowing.

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