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Dismals Canyon, Haleyville

#17 of 61 in Nature in Alabama
Canyon · Wildlife Area
Dismals Canyon is a sandstone gorge near Phil Campbell in Franklin County, Alabama. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in May 1974.
Dismals Canyon is one of only a few places where insects called dismalites (Orfelia fultoni, a distant relative of Arachnocampa) can be found. The larval forms of these flies emit a bright blue-green light to attract food and mates. They cover the canyon wall.
The canyon is home to two waterfalls, Secret Falls and Rainbow Falls, and six natural bridges.

Dismals Canyon is operated commercially as part of an 85-acre (34 ha) nature preserve, and a fee is charged for entry. Night tours are conducted to view the dismalites. Camping is available in both traditional campsites and in cabins.

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Dismals Canyon reviews

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199 reviews
  • We rented both cabins with another couple and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The folks working there really seem to enjoy working there - stone masons, grounds keepers, administration, guides, and...  more »
  • Owners are doing lots of stone work and updates in the park. Lovely hike through this canyon, with lots of Native American history. The famous and rare “dismalites” - larvae that glow in the dark...  more »
  • Dismals Canyon is a beautiful treasure of Alabama. It has vistas that are quite unique, and a quietness that is unmatched. We stayed in the cabins for three nights and loved every minute. We explored the canyons several times over and found something new every time.
  • One of the most unique places in Alabama. It’s a very fun place to cool off in the summer and it is a photographers playground. Easy short hike with huge rock formations and secret passageways.

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