National Parks / Natural World
Dismals Canyon Phil Campbell
Where is it at?
901 Highway 8
Tel: 205 993 4559
Where are we going today?
If you want an incredible experience in stunning Alabama wilderness, and Dismals Canyon is a must for families - especially if you LOVE the outdoors!
Dismals Canyon gives you a private experience, with pristine surroundings. It's one of the state's last secret hiding places - a real unspoilt oasis!
Tucked deep within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Dismals Canyon is 85 acres of nature privately owned and operated. In 1975 it was designated a National Natural Landmark, so you know it's going to be pretty special!
When you arrive, you will be surrounded by incredible sights, from the winding stream that enters the canyon through the roaring Rainbow Falls.
For those who like to get out on the trails, there are 1.5 miles of hiking trail across the canyon floor, where you will pass thundering waterfalls and skyreaching boulders, leading you into a secret world of ferns, giant trees and moss.
During the summer time, Dismals Canyon is cool and inviting. If you love to make a splash during summer, swimming is available too, which is always great fun!
Recreation is all natural here! There are no spots for RVs, and you won't find man made pools. It's all taking you back to a time when the water was clear and the earth was clean!
Dismals Canyon will let kids experience how the canyon has looked for centuries, and it's waiting to be enjoyed!
Gone twilight, the canyon lights up with tiny bioluminescent creatures called Dismalites. Guided night tours allow visitors to see these unique insects so make sure you don't miss out!
Amazing natural wonders in Alabama that you won't want to miss.
How much does it cost?
- Adults$8 guided night tour. $10 self guided day tour
- Children$5.75 guided night tour. $6.75 self guided day tour
When can we go?
Monday to Thursday noon to 5pm; Friday noon to 8pm; Saturday 9am to 9pm; Sunday 9am to 5pm.
Season opens for day guests March. Tours and cabins 365 days.
There are group tours available, as well as discounts for schools and scouts. The tours are an amazing way to teach kids about nature, so don't miss out!.
You can pick up food in the Old Country Store, which is great for hikers and campers. It's your first stop in the cayon.
It's always a great idea to take healthy snacks and bottled water with you to ensure you stay hydrated and energized!.
Any Top Tips?
The temperature on the canyon floor during summertime runs some 14 degrees below Alabama's summer average. There are no mosquitoes, flies, or poison oak..
Doing our bit
The area is protected, so make sure you really look after the surroundings by picking up litter, and not taking away any thing you find..
Need a little extra help?
Speak to staff about accessibility as it's very natural and no paved areas.
Can I get one of those?
Shop at the Old Country Store in an atmosphere as old as the dust between the floorboards. Find glistening jars of candy, Indian wares, gifts, postcards and food for hungry campers!.
They offer rustic camping, as well as cabins if you wanted something more like home. Make sure you reserve a spot in advance..
What people are saying?
by Antonio Felguerez
Cabin was nice and the canyon was beautiful and interesting. Great mini-vacation destination
by Erica Benderman
by A Google User
Easily one of the most unique and gorgeous hidden natural wonders to be found across the state, and indeed the southeast in general. It's almost impossible to believe that such a tiny wonderland exists amongst the criss-cross of farmland and second growth forest west of the Bankhead NF, but this privately-owned little area is an experience you won't forget. The trails themselves are rough going at some points, and in varying degrees of shape and difficulty (it's a privately-run natural area, don't expect anything fancy) but to the careful hiker,...Read More
by chang liu
by Tommie Goodwin
by A Google User
Easily one of the most unique and gorgeous hidden natural wonders to be found across the state, and indeed the southeast in general. It's almost impossible to believe that such a tiny wonderland exists amongst the criss-cross of farmland and second growth forest west of the Bankhead NF, but this privately-owned little area is an experience you won't forget. The trails themselves are rough going at some points, and in varying degrees of shape and difficulty (it's a privately-run natural area, don't expect anything fancy) but to the careful hiker, this is a lovely place well worth the visit, especially in hot summer months as the the temperature is rather pleasant down in the canyon year round. Also of note, the EF-5 tornado that passed a mile east of the Canyon on Apr 27 2011 apparently did little if any damage to Dismals Canyon's facilities and forests, as far as I am aware.