Friday, April 29, 2022

Belly of the Dragon

Isn't the name of this hike enough to pique your interest? All the credit for this gem of a hike goes to my friend Roni who, upon hearing we were heading to Zion National Park over spring break, suggested we tack on this small hike as well. It's just outside Kanab, UT, a quick 14 mile drive away from the East Entrance to Zion.

We still have a 2-year-old in tow, so short and interesting hikes are our go-tos (no Angel's Landing for us this year). Belly of the Dragon fits the bill perfectly; it's a brief hike through a man-made tunnel under highway 89 for water drainage. People grumble online about the "man-made" aspect, and yes, it would be rad if it was an actual lava tube or whatever would create this curious cave naturally. Still, our three boys enjoyed the fascinating scramble through the waving rocks (and so did I).

Happily for us, Google maps did a great job navigating to the dirt access road off the highway and  parking area near the entrance. There is a bit of a ledge to lower yourself (or your kids) down to reach the cave entrance. 

But the ledge is the hardest part, and now you're free to enter the dragon! The cave is short enough that we could see the light at the far end, but we ended up using our phones' flashlights for some extra visibility (and got comments from all our fellow hikers about how great our kids' light-up shoes were in the cavern).

Made it to the other side! Short and sweet. We didn't keep hiking past the cave, though supposedly it goes on for a few miles.

I thought it was well worth the stop on our way to Zion, a perfect little hike with the kids.