Dismals Canyon, Alabama: Explore A Lush Oasis By Day And A Glowing Fairytale By Night
When it comes to Bucket List-worthy destinations, a few obvious destinations stand out – the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the Florida Keys, among others – but here’s one location that may have escaped your attention if you live outside of its immediate region.
Tucked away in Alabama’s northwest corner lies a lush sandstone gorge known as Dismals Canyon. This 85-acre oasis is not exactly a hidden gem, but there are plenty of unspoiled groves and grottos to enjoy some peace and quiet. This tranquil treasure was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1975 by the National Natural Landmarks Program, and it’s a desired destination for both locals and visitors from across the country.
Until you can see it for yourself, enjoy this virtual tour on YouTube by Scott Neverdusky:
You’ll find the latest schedule and seasonal updates on the official Dismals Canyon website.
Accessibility: Unfortunately, the canyon floor is not wheelchair accessible. There are stairs to use in order to get down onto the canyon floor, and the trail is on very uneven terrain.
Pet Friendly: Dogs are allowed, but they must remain leashed at all times.
Parking: Park in designated parking spaces and parking lots only. Please do not park on the grass.
Seasonal Access: Dismals Canyon opens for the season in March, and closing dates vary. Cabins and group tours are available by reservation year-round except for February. The schedule is subject to change, so check the Dismals Canyon website.
Cost: There is an admission fee to enter the canyon floor. Self-guided tours are $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8.75 for youth. Two-day passes that include one night tour are $30 for adults, $27 for seniors, and $21.25 for youth.