How to See Dismalites in Dismal Canyon
There are two peak seasons for dismalites- the spring peak, late April through May, is the best. Then the fall peak is the end of September / through October. The larvae grow throughout the season, so they’ll be larger and brighter towards the end of each season. You need to make a reservation weeks in advance for a night tour, which only occurs on Saturday evenings. Thus, the logistic challenge. However, it’s worth putting a notification in your calendar so you can get this one booked.
Ideally, you show up in time for a combo trip of a day tour and night tour, as they are both different and unique. If you’re staying for a night tour, you can grab food in Haleyville on the way in if you have an early tour. If you got a late tour, which run as late as 9:15, you could leave Dismals and head into Hackleburg for a bite. We’d recommend El Fogon, a hidden gem of a Mexican restaurant located in the old bank in Hackleburg.
When you leave Dismal Canyon, you still have a 40-minutes drive to Moulton on AL-24. The road is perfect for night driving because it’s a divided highway with few twists and turns. However, you still need to make it home from Moulton, so you’re setting yourself up for a long day. Still, you got to see the first National Forest in Alabama, the first wilderness east of the Mississippi, the largest natural bridge east of the Rockies, and the rare and elusive dismalite glow worms all on one fabulous natural wonder road trip.