Belly of the Dragon has been on my bucketlist for SOOOO long! I don’t even know where to begin. There's just something about crawling through caves that seems so exciting! Be sure to read more about our tips and directions at the end.
First of all, this isn’t a natural cave, it’s actually man made. Belly of the Dragon was carved out to help divert the water, so don't ever go in there if it's rainy!
It was extremely muddy/snowy when we got there, so we carefully made out way to the entrance. The kids easily trucked though the mud in their boots, while I tried to skirt around in my not so good winter hiking shoes in mud.
There are many names carved into the wall, it’s still graffiti, so be sure not to add to the names.
Getting into the cave is just a little tricky for little people. Derek got down in first so he could help the kids down into the base.
Once we got down into the tunnel, we realized we needed to head back up again, so we wouldn’t have to crawl through the steady flow of ice cold water. I would guess there isn't normally that much water but it did just rain/snow like crazy recently.
There were just a few places that kind of freaked us out with kids. (Again, this probably wouldn't have been a problem if there wasn't so much water running.)
While yes, they could have dropped off the side into the crack, it wasn’t that deep…just very wet.
We walked along the side of the cave and there were probably two really tricky spots to try and get by. But after that, it was easy to walk through. We did use our cell phones for a flashlight. It’s only about 50-100 yrds long, so it doesn’t get that dark in the center, but with little kids and tiny babies on our backs, it’s always best to be safe.
Coming out the other side was maybe a 10 minute walk (in toddler legs.) It seems like a completely different world than the entrance.
We took a few quick photos and then headed back. I love seeing all the different colors or rock here.
Our kids are completely fearless in all things, so again, watch them closely.
I found the easiest way to climb back down was to slide down on my bum. The kids thought so too. My husband? Well, he just hopped right down.
Seriously, such a fun and quick little hike. We had 4 kids under 6 with us and it’s totally doable, probably even more doable when there isn't running water!
Belly of the Dragon can be a super short hike or a 5 mile hike. We only went through the tunnel and back again. There was LOTS of snow and slush and mud, so I don't think we would have gone further either way. If you want to read more about what's is beyond (like a sweet slot canyon) head on over to Arika's post from Zion Adventure Photog!
- Take the left dirt road just at the bottom of the hill right before you hit Mt. Carmel. About 16 miles north on HWY 89 from Kanab. After milepost 80. See Google Pin here. You’ll also see a large brown sign for Zion National Park directly opposite to the dirt road. Follow the dirt road around on the left side. You’ll come up to a cement part of the road and here you will have a clear view of the Belly of the Dragon. We just backed up and drove up closer to the entrance.
- It looks like people have had bonfires by the entrance…sounds like a super fun place to have one!
- Leave NO TRACE!
- Please don’t add to the graffiti.
- No Bathrooms, except nature.
- Can be muddy.
- Don't go if there is a chance of rain, you'll see how much the water has carved out of the sandstone...so you for sure don't want to be there during a flash flood!
- You go hike through the tunnel and back or head further on. Check out the map here to see what's lies beyond the cave!