Time to see the ‘Overseer’: Summer sun settles into winter home, Parowan Gap observation event

Parowan Gap at sunrise, Parowan, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of the Parowan Heritage Foundation

PAROWAN – At sunrise on Nov. 3, the public can watch the summer sun pass through the Parowan Gap and into its winter home in a one-of-a-kind viewing opportunity.

Located 12 miles northwest of Parowan and 19 miles north of Enoch, the Parowan Gap has been recognized for its stunning scenery since the pioneer days. While standing inside the Gap looking east, a rock outcropping on the south side that resembles the profile of a human face with a slightly open mouth can be seen. This profile is respectfully known as the Overseer of American Indians.

Each year in the first week of November, as the sun crosses the sky shortly after sunrise, it “sits” in the mouth of the Overseer. Aside from being a spectacular sight, the event was once used by Native Americans to gauge the seasons.

“The Overseer swallows the sun, (signifying) that the summer sun has gone into its winter home,” said Nancy Dalton, a volunteer member of the Parowan Heritage Foundation. “(This tells) the people that they had better (move) south quickly, as winter will soon be here.”

This event has recently been added to the Parowan Gap Observation Series, sponsored by the Parowan Heritage Foundation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau.

The observation will begin at 8 a.m. The sun is expected to enter the mouth around 8:23 a.m. and be “swallowed” by 9 a.m. All who attend are advised to dress very warmly to accommodate for frigid temperatures and wind chill. Due to the primitive setting of the Gap, it is also recommended to use the restroom beforehand.

Event details and contact information

Date: Nov. 3

Time: 8 a.m.

Location: Parowan Gap

Admission: Free

Contact: Nancy Dalton – 435-463-3735

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Submitted by: Nancy Dalton, Parowan Heritage Foundation

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