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“Nice but could use some TLC” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dismals Canyon

Dismals Canyon
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Surrounded by a scenic forest that once belonged to the Chickasaw Indians.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Nice but could use some TLC”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2014 via mobile

The canyon itself is very cool, lots of places to explore and even on a nice Saturday it did not seem crowded. The Dismalites are also very interesting and worth seeing. Staff is super friendly and they really make you feel at home. The reason I did not rate this higher than 3 stars is the following: 1. Grounds are not very well kept. It is clear they are working on several projects, yet for the few days I was there no work was being done leading me to believe it is very slow moving. Lots of trash in and outside of canyon. 2. Little attention to detail, it seems as though the owners just want to make a buck and cut every corner possible....they were understaffed the entire weekend, turn hot water off during day supposedly so day hikers do not use, but prevents campers from showering. 3. Definitely some safety concerns with the quality of railings, steps etc on the property. 4. Broken gate means they lock everybody in at night and you have to follow their schedule to go in/out which is not the most convenient. 5. Dismalite tour was very short and gentleman was not very knowledgable of them. 6. They will not let you bring your own firewood, yet they only allow you 2 small bundles of which most of it is kindling and 2 pieces of green logs and according to some locals in town this is an ongoing issue. It would be nice if the owners would spend some money on staffing and improvements, it would make a big difference!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank funtravelsallover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Alabama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Dismals Canyon wonderful -- but need more attentive staff.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

Just returned from a stay in the bunk house. Very basic with mattresses covered in plastic. It would sleep six on bunk beds. The top is open with screen, so in April it was very cold at night because we were close to the waterfall and the opening of the canyon. Take warm clothes and sleeping bags for nighttime, even if it gets up to 70s and 80s during the day. We had mice come in searching for food both nights, so if you're squeamish, spend more for the cabin. The canyon itself is beautiful and well worth the time and money to go. The staff was marginally helpful, but said they were short-staffed. They have a "restaurant" for breakfast, but have a back-up plan as it was not open and didn't even have coffee available. There is only one bathhouse and it is a good walk to get there from the bunkhouse. The only real problem we had was after find out there was no breakfast, we tried to get in the car to drive. The gates stay locked until 9:00 a.m. in the morning, so you can't get your car out. If you want to get in the car early to go get something, you should unload and park your car across the street from the gates in order to have access. The bathrooms were out of soap and paper several times. Over all, we had a great time and would go again. We would just be better prepared. For tent campers, it looked like they had some beautiful campsites available.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank melpollard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great day trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2014 via mobile

We found this beautiful place via trip advisor. It was about a 2 hour drive from just outside of Memphis, Tn. We spent about 2 hours inside the Canyon itself. The paths are clear enough to easily find your way around without it being over run. We took our 11 and 8 year old children with us and this was perfect for them. The views are stunning. It's definitely worth a visit!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Sdurdin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irthlingborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
116 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Primeval”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

As another reviewer has commented this is like going back into prehistory when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Interesting walk through the canyon, although the stepping stones were very dangerous and the relationship between the supplied map and the actual terrain was tenuous. We were particularly unlucky in that humidity was close to 100% on our visit, and temperature close to 100 degrees, so we felt we had had a real workout. The cafe is indeed "eclectic" but a very welcome stop on a sweltering day.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank turkishjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sulligent, Alabama
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Like going back in time -- way back”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2013

Dismal's Canyon is like stepping back into prehistory. You leave the surface of rural Alabama and descend down a long staircase into the past. Guided by a bright clear stream, you wind your way through the canyon past caves and cliff faces, all sheltered by an incredible canopy of trees and green. The temperature drops twenty degrees as you descend, so be sure to plan accordingly. You can't really get lost because the trail end is clearly marked, past it lies a natural preserve that is off limits to the general public. The walls of the canyon pretty much keep you from getting loose in any other direction, so kids can be allowed to explore. I'd recommend wearing nonslip shoes and be ready to do some hiking. Granted, this little jewel is off the beaten path, but if you live within 100 miles, make a day trip of it. Bring your swimsuits and swim in the creek, visit the gift shop, picnic and explore. Just clean up after yourselves.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Arley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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