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Belly of the Dragon: A Must-Stop Spot in Southern Utah

There are a plethora of places to go in Utah, the home of The Mighty 5, if you’re looking for amazing views and outdoor experiences. One of the coolest places you may not have heard of is Belly of the Dragon. This location is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it, but it is definitely worth the stop Who doesn’t want to say they’ve been to the Belly of the Dragon, after all?

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Located just outside of Kanab, about 20 miles east of Zion National Park sits this man-made tunnel traveling under Highway 89. Originally created to be a water culvert, it is empty most of the time due to the lack of water. When it’s empty, you can go to it and explore.

The Hike through Belly of the Dragon

Image by Keira Ezzo

The hike through the Belly of the Dragon is short and relatively easy after you get down the 5-foot drop. If you are taking kids, they’ll need help with this section. Once you get your footing from the drop, you’ll be greeted with the opening of Belly of the Dragon. At both ends of the tunnel, it is very light, but when you’re in the middle, it can get dark, so bring a flashlight. Of course, if you forgot to pack a flashlight, you can always use the flashlight on your phone.

Depending on when you go during the year and the time of day, the light will be different and change the experience throughout Belly of the Dragon. During midday in the summer, you can really see  the colors in the rock.

From the trailhead and back, the entire hike is about half a mile long. If you’re looking for a quick and free outdoor attraction on a day you might be in the car for a long time, Belly of the Dragon is a great place to stop and stretch your legs.

Where to Go from Here

Image by JTBaskin Photo

If you’re heading into Bryce Canyon Country, make the Belly of the Dragon of pit stop before you continue on into Bryce Canyon National Park. You can also stop in at Moqui Caverns, just a few minutes away from the Belly of the Dragon. Nearby Kanab offers the astounding Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and there’s always Zion National Park, depending on which direction you’re traveling.

It’s hard to go wrong in southern Utah. If anything, you might find yourself with too much to do. However, if you’re looking for a semi-secret spot to break up a drive, check out the Belly of the Dragon. Kids will love to explore the cavern, photographers will love it for the beautiful colors and light, and the average person will love being able to say they were inside the Belly of the Dragon.

Would you make this stop?

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