The Belly of the Dragon in Utah-Panergy
Where Is The Belly Of The Dragon?
The Belly of the Dragon tunnel is located in Southern Utah about 17 miles north of Kanab, Utah.
The parking area is right off Hwy 89, making this the perfect quick stop on a road trip to or from some of the surrounding national parks.
Directions: parking area
You’ll drive on a well-maintained dirt road for about 1/4 of a mile until you reach the parking area. The road and parking are on the West side of Hwy 89.
There are no bathrooms or water at the trailhead.
Tips And Trail Details
Length: about 0.5 miles round trip through the tunnel and back
Cost: There are no fees to enter the Belly of the Dragon
Difficulty: I would rate this as an easy family-friendly walk. There is no elevation gain, however, there is a roughly 5 ft (about 1.5 meter) drop at the entrance to the tunnel. This is the most challenging part of the walk and it might be difficult for small children to climb down on their own.
It’s also worth noting that the floor of the tunnel is rocky and uneven. When you reach the middle, it can be hard to see, so having a headlamp (or at least the flashlight on your cell phone) is a good idea so you don’t trip.
Best Time of Year: You can walk through the tunnel year-round. In the winter, you may encounter snow and ice which can make things more challenging. I went in the Spring.
Trail Details: From the parking area, you follow a short dirt path to the entrance of the tunnel where you encounter the 5-foot drop. Kids will probably need some help on this part. Then, you walk through the tunnel where the surface is rocky and uneven. It was such a cool tunnel - way longer and bigger than I was expecting!
When you reach the other end of the tunnel, you can turn around or keep walking through the wash until you reach a dead end. Then, simply turn around and head back out the way you came.
Hazards And Challenges:
As I mentioned above, this is a drainage tunnel to divert water under the highway. Do not enter the tunnel under rainy conditions or if there’s a flash flood warning in the surrounding area.
The rocky landscape doesn’t absorb water very well, so even if it doesn't look like it’s raining much, you never know how much water is coming down the canyons from surrounding areas.
This is a popular area to snap some really fun photos within the tunnel.
Below are some tips for photographing The Belly of the Dragon:
Not much light makes it into the tunnel, so you’ll need a high ISO and maybe even a tripod to avoid blurry photos.
On an iPhone, you can tap and hold for 1-2 seconds and then drag your finger up and down to make the photo darker or lighter.
Time of day doesn’t matter too much here because you’re only getting light from the ends of the tunnel.
Summer essential equipment：