Deer Skull Falls and Wolfpen Falls Loop

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Sipsey Wilderness

Deer Skull Falls and Wolfpen Falls Loop is a 4.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Haleyville, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length4.9 miElevation gain547 ftRoute typeLoop
CampingHikingCaveDog friendlyForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBugsRockyScrambleOff trail
Description
Waypoints (6)
Getting There

Many water crossings so expect to get wet, especially during spring/early summer. Lots of waterfalls to see, great campsites. Offline map recommended. Users have reported that the trail is not marked well.

There is parking for a couple vehicles across the road from Wolfpen Campground on Cranal Rd.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (158)
Photos (450)
Activities (119)
Completed (211)
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Matt Cox
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Hiking

This trail has stunning views through the whole thing! Beautiful water features and great geology/geography! Will be going back to do this trail again after a good rain. All that being said, there were a few things to point out. First, download the trail map or hope you have a good memory, it can definitely get confusing as the back half is not well marked and a bit more tedious. We followed the trail to Wolfpen falls and had to scale the waterfall to the right (not sure if there is another trail around). Wear waterproof boots (or chacos if you plan on turning around at Deer Skull) for the 15+ times you’ll have to cross Ugly Creek. The listed length of the trail is a bit off as well. GPS watch read 6.78 miles as we hit Cranal Road, granted that was with a good bit of meandering and backtracking across the creek. Most importantly, whatever water/provisions you would bring for a 5 mile hike, bring a little extra, just in case. Overall, great hike! 9/10 would recommend and 10/10 will return!

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Trent Hill
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Hiking

Great hike, but longer than 4.9 — my app tracked 6.2 miles. Lots of river crossings and beautiful water features. However, first half was very well marked, back half was poorly marked. Download the map!

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Jon Rob
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BackpackingOff trail

reviews are correct. went the full loop 4/1/21. heavy rains week prior which made for beautiful falls, but impossible to keep your feet dry. several crossings back and forth most of the trail, which i thought was cool, but for anyone on not prepared may be more than looking for. wasnt a level piece of ground after deer skull, and very hard to follow any kind of path. amazing camping spots. will be back to stay a night or 2

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Lydia Jenkins
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Hiking

Plan on getting your feet wet and take everyone’s advice to turn around at the first big falls! The first part of the trail was pretty easy to follow, second half is almost impossible to follow. I wish we would have taken others advice and turned around at the falls. We got pretty badly lost and had to hike uphill through thick woods. Also dog friendly “on a leash” is not possible in many areas.

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Ryan O.
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So, the west half is phenomenal. Beautiful, well trodden path, plenty of off shoots with waterfalls, and generally wonderful scenery. plenty of nice camping spots too. We hammock camped and there were plenty of large trees to tie to, no problem. We were here March 13th thru the 17th and the water was low enough that water crossings were easy and we didn't get wet at all. But, you DO have to cross the creek a dozen times or more. The day we left it stormed bad and I'm sure more water would make this trail really wet, I would bet you HAVE to get wet. The trail is not easy though. It's more moderate, not quite hard but it isn't easy. We blazed our own trail across the Sipsey River instead of following the loop onto the Eastern half to WolfPen Falls (was our plan anyway) and got onto the Sipsey River Trail 209. We saw plenty of people and many said the falls were all different names and one someone couldn't find, I think they didn't go back far enough to find it but they looked tired, I don't blame em. Overall, great trail, a little more difficult and you will likely have to get wet.

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Mike Burrage
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HikingMuddyOff trail

Well first I would rate this one and hard/difficult for several reasons. First of all if you don’t want to get your feet wet you better be able to walk on loose slippery rocks when the water is low. If the water is high then there is no way around this. Going in on the west side and to the actual deer skull falls is fine as far as being able to stay on the trail. After that the trail is hard. It is almost impossible to follow after hemlock falls. After hemlock falls there is really only one more waterfall that is worth seeing but not sure if the trouble is worth trying to get to it, and right after that the trail literally disappears. We got lost after that one and had to trek thru the thick woods up a huge hill and came out by the cemetery. Over all the first half to deer skull falls was great and a beautiful hike.

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Julianne Tutor
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Hiking

The first half was okay, pretty easy trail to follow. But once you get passed the waterfall the trail is almost impossible to keep up with. You have to constantly cross the creek so make sure to wear waterproof shoes. We ended up turning around and not going the rest of the loop once we lost the trail and I slipped and slid down a very steep hill. It was an adventure but probably won’t go back

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Summer Hahn
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HikingMuddyOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

The first little bit was great, well beaten path and easy to follow to the falls. Do yourself a favor and once you reach the first falls, turn around and go back out the way you came. The trail after the falls is hard to follow and non existent in several places. We downloaded the map before getting out there but since cell service was so spotty that we couldn't pull up the app to get to the maps. If you're crazy enough to do the full loop then invest in a handheld GPS and download the app. Shannon, we are the couple yall ran into on Saturday! We thought about yall many times after we got out, glad to know yall made it out safely!

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Jim Fisher
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Hiking

Pretty tough. No real trail markers. Have to cross the creek/river constantly. Will get wet and maybe muddy.

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Shannon Lallemand
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HikingMuddyOff trailOver grownRocky

5 stars for the first half. Not so much for the rest. We hiked the full loop. The first half was absolutely beautiful. The waterfalls were gorgeous! However, the second half of the trail was near impossible to stay on, it apparently gets so little traffic that the leaves completely obscure it. We ran into another couple having exactly the same issue, so it wasn’t just us. Struggling to constantly get back on the trail made the hike last about 6 hours with a very high level of difficulty and some badly scraped legs. You’re constantly back and forth across the creek, so be prepared to get your feet wet. My advice, after Hemlock Falls, save yourself the pain of getting lost in the woods and just head back out the way you came.

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Jennifer Lowery
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Hiking
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Ryan Lenier
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Hiking
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Lana Flannagin
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Hiking

Beautiful Multiple waterfalls and creek crossings well worth the moderate to feel the burn hike

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Jeff Doby
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Hiking

few down trees back and forth across the creek but overall beautiful and peaceful

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Cristie Colbaugh
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Hiking

Great trail. On the hard side of moderate. Multiple creek crossings so bring extra socks!

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Jessie Hazen
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Hiking

Perfect misty day to give the hike an amazing ambiance! This hike is relatively flat with some up and down hill portions, but half of it is hiked on the side of a hill which makes it more difficult. It was quite wet and muddy because of the recent storms, but made for beautiful flowing waterfalls!

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Alana Griffith
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Hiking

We got off trail and decided to follow Sipsey down and it was beautiful but ended up being a bad idea because the Sipsey River trail is across the river so we hiked ledges and crawled up steep hillsides. Got muddy and scared and totally loss, somehow we made it to Sipsey TH and hiked back towards HorsePen Camp a while before finishing out on the road for a couple of miles. The entire trip did not track, guess due to no service but I am guessing we walked between 13-15 miles minimum. It was an adventure. Lots of waterfalls and caves and cliff overhangs making it a spectacular trip. P. S. If you try it stay on trail!!!!

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Michael Lambert
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Hiking

Beautiful waterfalls! There are a lot of creek crossing and back side of loop seems to be off the beaten path.

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Tansy Holland
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Hiking

There was beauty there but there were dangerous stretches of trails that made it hard for this middle age hiker with only mediocre knees. About half way around(we went clockwise) , the trail becomes very hard to follow. It took the 3 of us to figure it out and find the way out. It was hard enough that all of us could hear and see a couple of waterfalls , but we all just wanted to get to the car. Would I go again? No. Do I regret going? No, but my knees do!

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Brandon Haley
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Hiking
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Mason Chambers
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Nature trips

This trail can be challenging in areas. You don’t have to worry about getting lost as long as you follow the creek. We started on the right side and went to the second camping spot at the river. It was great. I also left a big metal fire pit grate out there for anyone who comes behind us, you’ll have a place to cook.

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