Near the Utah town of Kanab, To ascend the “Belly of the Dragon”

Near the Utah town of Kanab, To ascend the “Belly of the Dragon”

April 24, 2023 0 By Karen Nickson

This one-of-a-kind path, located approximately 20 miles east of Zion National Park, is perfect for families and has a short journey through a tunnel that was constructed by humans. The “Belly of the Dragon” tunnel, located under Highway 89, was originally built as a water culvert. 

The girl is waiting in the tunnel just outside of Kanab, Utah, in the area known as the belly of the dragon cave. Water erosion in the upper canyon has shaped the sandstone walls over time into a beautiful rippling tunnel that is just begging to be explored. Bring the kids, since this is the kind of fun activity that everyone in the family can enjoy together. 

  • This tour is a must for anybody visiting Zion National Park, Kanab, Orderville, or Bryce Canyon. 
  • Kanab is well situated as a stopover for visitors on route to either Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon.
  • Belly of the Dragon is worth the short detour from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon if you’re already there. It will take you no more than 5 min. Also, if you’re looking for a fun distraction, the Moqui Caverns and Kanab Sand Caves are worth a visit.
  • The length of this explanation is relatively short. Take a 5-mile round-trip walk. 


This is an easy, pleasant trek that’s perfect for families. The first five feet of the path are the steepest since that’s how far you have to descend before entering the tunnel. There is no drop in altitude, but the tunnel floor is rocky and uneven, so bring a flashlight or use your phone’s torch to illuminate the path in the middle.


Just 16 miles north of Kanab, or half a mile south of Carmel Junction on Highway 89. The unpaved section of the road is located between the two fences on the western side of the pavement. About a quarter of a mile down a well-maintained dirt road, you’ll find a modest parking area on the left. Follow this link for a location map and driving directions.

Specifics Of The Path

 From the parking lot, you may walk a short distance on a gravel trail to the tunnel entrance. The entrance to the tunnel may be found after a quick fall down a drop that is five feet in height (the younger ones may require help with this portion). Since the tunnel isn’t too lengthy, you may afford to spend your time exploring it. 

Regardless of the time of day or the amount of light that is available outside, you will probably need some extra light in the tunnel to prevent stumbling on the rough and uneven floor. After emerging from the tunnel, you’ll need to traverse a wash until you reach a dead end. 

The last rock wall is worth seeing, and here is a great spot to rest, have a picnic, or let the kids run about and play. If you keep scrolling, you’ll find some further information and tips.