Dismals Canyon

butterfly

Intentionally private, Dismals Canyon - in keeping with its pristine surroundings - offers a quiet and unspoiled oasis in Alabama’s last secret hiding place. A secluded wilderness filled with natural phenomena tucked deep within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

National Natural Landmark plaque

Dismals Canyon - located in Northwest Alabama - is an 85 acre Natural Conservatory privately owned and operated. It is not a State Park or National Park. However, it was designated a "National Natural Landmark" in 1975 by the National Natural Landmarks Program. NNLs are administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

National Natural Landmarks Program

National Natural Landmark

"Encourage and support the voluntary conservation of sites that illustrate the nation's geological and biological history, and to strengthen the public's appreciation of America's natural heritage."


Rainbow Falls photo by Brent Holman

Rainbow Falls
by Brent Holman

Through the heart of the canyon flows "Dismals Branch", a winding stream that enters the canyon with a roar through "Rainbow Falls".

A 1.5 mile hiking trail on the canyon floor follows the stream through skyreaching boulders, past thundering waterfalls, into a secret world of mossy-green and pearl gray filled with ferns and giant trees.

Photo by Daryl Forester

Bluff by Daryl Forester

Summertime finds Dismals Canyon cool and inviting. The temperature on the canyon floor runs some 14 degrees below Alabama's summer average. There are no mosquitoes, flies, or poison oak.

Along with hiking the canyon floor, and swimming - Romantic Cabins can be rented, Secluded Campsites are available, and a Country Store offers supplies, and includes a Soda Fountain & Grill.

Guided night tours allow visitors to view the glow-in-the-dark creatures known locally as Dismalites.

Sleeping Water campsite

Sleeping Water campsite
by Ronnie Harris

Development has been designed for tranquility and serenity and does not include big concrete RV pads/parking, man-made swimming pools, or Goofy Golf Courses, etc. Recreation is exploration of the natural environment.

Your visit is a step back to a time when the earth was clean and the water was clear. Aside from the necessary clearing of the trails, the canyon is now - as it has been for centuries - completely natural.


NEW ~ Massage Packages

offered by appointment year round.
Full body massage $75 | Upper body massage $60
Available to day guests as well as cabin guest.


News


September 2014

Dismals Canyon to be featured on the Travel Channel.

Absolutely Alabama

Airing sometime in October, the working title is "World Access".

A friend of Dismals Canyon, Dr. Gary Mullen, retired Entomologist from Auburn University was consulted as an expert for the show. The Travel Channel visited the canyon in August.



October 2014

Dismals Canyon featured on Absolutely Alabama with Fred Hunter.

absolutelyalabama.com.


Absolutely Alabama Absolutely Alabama Absolutely Alabama


July 2014

Geotourism Stewardship

U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism Stewardship Council Recognizes Dismals Canyon.

www.usgulfcoaststatesgeotourism.com



Buzzard

A momma Buzzard has taken roost in the canyon. She had babies last year and has laid 2 eggs so far this year. Those eggs have hatched and there are two Buzzard chicks. This momma will protect her nest. So please use caution if you see her or her chicks.

Buzzard

Photo by Dee Horton

Buzzard eggs

Photo by Crystal Cooper

buzzard

Photo by Michael Woodard (2013)


NEW: Soda Fountain & Grill


Kevin Cheek

Kevin Cheek

Take a walk back in time at our NEW Soda Fountain & Grill located inside the Country Store.

  • Old-fashion milk shakes, malts, & sundaes
  • Ice cream & ice cream sodas
  • Slug Burgers
  • All-meat burgers
  • Sandwiches
  • Cornbread salad
  • and lots more.

You'll likely work up an appetite after you've hiked the canyon floor, and we'll be glad to serve you and your taste buds during your visit.

The Soda Fountain & Grill is conveniently located in the Country Store, on your way out of (or into) the canyon.


Flowers of Spring

Dismals Canyon contains a rich diversity of native plant life, as well as many non-native varieties.

flower
flower
flower
flower



YouTube video from Zach V.



Hellbender

photo by Sean Graham

Rare Hellbender

In 2006 a Hellbender (giant Salamander) was found at Dismals Canyon. It is currently the most recently encountered hellbender in Alabama, and one of only three specimens that have been found in the state in the past twenty years. It's about 2 feet in length.

The organization Alabama Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (www.alaparc.org) has initiated a conservation effort (Alabama Hellbender Initiative) to assess the status of hellbenders in Alabama.


Other activities in the area


Bear Creek Canoe Run

Bear Creek Canoe Run

26 miles of the best canoeing in Alabama. Only 3 miles south of Dismals Canyon. They open on Memorial Day weekend. Canoe rentals can be obtained through Dismals Canyon. Call now to book your trip 205-993-4559.


Sipsey Wilderness

Caney Falls
at Sipsey Wilderness
photo by Andra Smith

Sipsey Wilderness

Located about 30 miles east of Dismals Canyon in Bankhead National Forest. The Sipsey Wilderness area is one of only two designated wilderness areas in the state of Alabama. It covers approximately 25,000 acres, making it the third largest east of the Mississippi River.


205-993-4559


Dismals Canyon Audio NEW t-shirt Design

205-993-4559


Ronnie Harris

Nature can live without man, but man cannot live without nature.