If you’re looking for a fun spot to explore in between Zion and Bryce Canyon national park. You should check out the Belly of the Dragon tunnel just off the 89 hwy. Popularized on tok tok and Instagram the Belly of the Dragon is a man-made drainage tunnel that water has eroded over the years, creating the interesting multi-tiered throat look at its entrance.
See The Full Detailed Video Below
Belly Of The Dragon Visiting Information
- GPS coordinates:
- 37.211565732867435, -112.6850863798576
- The tunnel is located under Hwy 89.
- Be sure to download the map to use offline before heading out, just in case there isn’t any cell phone reception in the area.
- Dates & Hours:
- Open 24 hours, but we recommend coming during daylight hours.
- How much we spent during our visit:
- No cost.
- Free parking on a dirt lot.
- Adventure through a short man-made tunnel.
- Time spent:
- 30 mins.
- Places to eat:
- Thunderbird Restaurant (4530 State St, Mt Carmel, UT 84755) – 0.9 miles away
- Subway (4490 S State St, Orderville, UT 84758) – 0.9 miles away
- Pet allowed:
- Stroller friendly:
- No but there is a Chevron gas station (4580 Chev South, State St, Mt Carmel, UT 84755) less than a mile away. We used our portable toilet and handwash.
- What we observed:
- We visited in March 2022.
- Great place to make a stop if you’re in the area.
- There is a 5-foot drop that you need to step down to get to the tunnel, and the hike is about 0.5 miles round trip (out and back).
- Our girls (ages 5 and 2) enjoyed exploring this easy uneven, and rocky tunnel.
- We recommend bringing a light sweater and flashlight. It does get dark and cold in the tunnel.
- Great place to take photos. We went early in the morning, and the lighting was nice.
- We don’t recommend exploring during rainy conditions since water does drain through the tunnel.
things to bring
- Check the weather before you go. The weather can be changeable; layered clothing and closed-toe shoes are recommended.
- What we packed:
- Jackets, flashlights, headlamps, portable toilet, and Suds2go portable hand wash.
- You can get the links to all our travel essentials here: Travel Essentials | Califoreigners
- Where we stayed:
- We camped at Watchman Campground.
- Other places to visit in the area:
- Recommended itinerary:
- Belly of the Dragon Tunnel
- Knab Sand Caves
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
- Pls pack in, pack out and leave no trace.
- Follow us on Instagram @thecaliforeigners, Youtube @Califoreigners, TikTok @Califoreigners
What We Said In Our Belly Of The Dragon Video
While it isn’t a natural wonder, it’s extremely easy to get to, located only a few minutes south of the Mt Carmel junction.
Once parked it’s a short walk to the entrance with a short step down to its floor. While it only takes a few minutes to walk through it, you’ll quickly notice a couple of things. The first is the almost immediate drop in temperature, which plummets the further you walk in. It’s fun to feel the temperature difference in person, and it makes for a memorable walk.
The second is how quickly it gets dark in there, while it’s possible to make it through without a light, we recommend at least having your phone light with you. The girls loved breaking out our headlamps and flashlights to make their way through.
Once you get to the other side that’s about it, so after a couple of minutes, we just turned around and made our way back to our Van.
The only real drawback to the visit was the crazy amount of cravings into the sandstone throughout the tunnel. While it’s not a big deal since the tunnel’s manmade with no significant historical value, it is still something to mention so you can decide if you want to make the stop or not.
Similar Options That Might Interest You
From the Belly Of The Dragon, there are a few other fun stops we enjoyed heading south towards Kanab. If you want to learn about those and more, you can find them here
Zion National Park: Things to Know Before You Go With Kids (YouTube Video)
4 Easy Trails At Snow Canyon State Park | Utah (YouTube Video)
See you again with more around California with kids.