Rappelling and Rock Climbing Safety

Woman climbing high up on a sandstone wall
A visitor climbing up Grey Wall, one of Little River Canyon's high sandstone walls.

NPS / Matt Switzer


Little River Canyon National Preserve is a climber's paradise.

Rock climbing is a popular sport at Little River Canyon, with all cliffs available to climb or rappel from. Most routes in the canyon favor the advanced and expert climber. It is important to have the proper experience and know how to be safe.

Safety Tips:

  • Make sure all your gear is in good working condition.
  • Never climb alone.
  • Watch for falling rocks and be careful about dropping rocks on people below.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Take drinking water and stay hydrated.
  • Be careful where you reach - poison ivy and venomous snakes (rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths) call Little River Canyon home.
  • Open cliffs are very dangerous during a lightning storm - seek safe shelter away from the rim and tall trees.Click here to check the forecast before you go.

Plan ahead and prepare:

  • Know and follow all park regulations.
  • Research climbing routes in advance of your visit.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Installation or replacement of bolt or any permanent climbing hardware is permitted ONLY with written permission from the park Superintendent.
  • Use or possession of motorized equipment, power drills, or tools for the placement or replacement of any climbing equipment is allowed ONLY with written permission from the park Superintendent.
  • Leading of commercial climbing activities within the Preserve is allowed ONLY with a written permit from the park Superintendent.

Please help protect your national park:

  • Pack out what you pack in - dispose of your trash properly.
  • The use of top anchors decreases impacts on cliff-top ecology - please do not use tree trunks or other vegetation as anchors.
  • Do not "clean" the cliff top by removing moss, lichens, leaves, and other natural materials - this destorys critical wildlife habitat.
  • Defacing, damaging, or altering natural rock surface is prohibited.

Last updated: January 4, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

4322 Little River Trail NE Ste 100
Fort Payne, AL 35967


256 845-9605 x201
Main phone number for Little River Canyon National Preserve.

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