Kanab, Utah - Belly of the Dragon


What? :

In the southern Utah you can find some of the most beautiful US National Parks, as Zion and Bryce but today with the Instagram age we are leaving in one of the more “famous” location here is actually a man-made – a short drainage tunnel underneath the road.


Belly of the Dragon is a short drainage tunnel, passing through the local sandstone rock underneath the highway. This short tunnel got it name from the internal wall wavy / ripple structures that resemble to internal organism.


This is only a short walk, probably no more than 15 minutes visit.



Where? :

Located 16 miles north of Kanab on highway 89, or 1/2 mile south of Carmel Junction.

The entrance to the side dirt road leading to the parking is on the west (left if you are coming from Kanab, right if you are driving south from Carmel Junction), you can miss it.

Very short drive on this well-maintained dirt road for 1/4 a mile and you can see the parking lot on your left, the tunnel opening is underneath the road ramp.


Google Map Link



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When? :

The location is open year-round.

Need to remember that this is a creek drainage, do not enter when there are running water of flashflood warnings.

In winter it can be covered with snow, do not drive offroad if conditions are not good.



Due note 1: There is no cost or fees to walk here, I think that the parking is on BLM land.


Due note 2: This is a very short dirt road, and it looks like it will not get muddy to much in rain. You can find that it covered with snow after winter storm.


Due note 3: Please DO NOT add to the carvings in the sandstone walls.


Due note 4: As it became famous many are stopping here when they are traveling in the area, you will probably not be the only one here.



My thoughts:

This location is not a destination by itself but rather a perfect quick stop on your road trip in this part of Utah. Stop to starch your lags, take few pictures of you in the tunnel and after 15-20 minutes you are back at your car.




The Visit:


I will not call this this as a hike, a very short easy walk, good also for family with kids.


From the large parking lot, a short walk will take you to the tunnel entrance.

This man-made short tunnel was created to divert water under highway 89.


An easy climb down a 5-foot drop and you will be at the entrance level of the tunnel.

The tunnel is short, about 200 ft long, but you will probably need to bring a flashlight or use your cell phone to light it in the middle.


The floor is uneven so watch your steps.


Once you are in the far end of the tunnel, turn around and walk back.

You can continue to walk up the wash but not sure it worth it.



Additional Pictures: