Little River Canyon

General information


Land Manager: U.S. National Park Service

Native Lands: Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee), S’atsoyaha (Yuchi) (from

Area Rep: Russ Timothy, + Elvis Kucevic,

Little River Canyon, located just outside Fort Payne, Alabama, offers a diverse range of recreational opportunities, including swimming, fishing, climbing, and world-class whitewater paddling.  Forested uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs offer settings for a variety of recreational activities, featuring some of the South’s more difficult, steep sandstone climbing routes.


Google Maps

What to Expect

Bring an extra set of forearms when visiting the Canyon! The sport climbing at Little River Canyon hosts a variety of difficult climbing routes, with few routes under 5.11, with some of the approaches adding another grade of difficulty. It is safe to say this crag may not be the best for beginner climbers. In addition to the amazing routes, the creek bed hosts a variety of boulders that are great for summertime bouldering sessions. Little River Canyon climbing includes classic areas like the Concave, Lizzard Wall (which tends to stay dry when everything else is soaked) and Unshackled Wall.

Access notes

  • All National Park Rules and Regulations apply when visiting Little River Canyon.
  • Alcohol and drugs are NOT permitted anywhere on the premises.
  • Parking: Park in designated areas only following National Park parking regulations. If parking at a pull-off, be sure that all tires are out of the roadway and off of the rim road pavement.
  • Hours: The park is open sunrise to sunset. You must be in your car and leaving the park by sundown. Be sure to pack up and leave the crag with enough time to get in your car before sunset.
  • Glass containers are not allowed.
  • Dogs must remain on a leash at all times.
  • Drones are not allowed except with a Special Permit.
  • Fireworks are not allowed.
  • Leave No Trace: Keep this area beautiful and clean. Pack out all your trash. If you collect trash at the crag, leave it at the trailhead for NPS to pick up. Call 265-845-9605 to let them know.
  • Review specific Little River Canyon Preserve Laws & Policies prior to your visit.


No camping at Little River Canyon. Check out nearby DeSoto State Park or Little River RV park and campground.


Little River Canyon Climbing Guide, Adam Henry, 2016