Stephens Gap Cave Trail

EASY 9 reviews

Stephens Gap Cave Trail is a 1.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Paint Rock, Alabama that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.4 miles
239 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips





The Stephens Gap Cave Trail requires a permit before visiting. The permits are free and can be obtained at Please note permits can up to 2 days before approval.

23 days ago

Great hike with a nice reward. Very hard to find, print your directions before you go, cell service is non-existent.

2 months ago

Does anybody know the best time of day this time of year to get photos inside the cave on the pedestal?

3 months ago

Stunning view from inside the cave. Great for spelunking. Get your permit from first.

3 months ago

did this trail back in May , nice trail watch out for ticks.......ugghhh...... rappeled the cave 145ish feet.......almost all vertical........met some cool locals.....thanks for letting me use your ropes........! make sure you got your need them to rap the cave......"scci"

6 months ago

Best time to see a waterfall is when the water is flowing. However most of the "trail" here is simply bare earth/rock where water channelizes to flow down to the creek. If you're gonna do this trail, BRING DRY SHOES TO CHANGE INTO. It rained on us while we were there and we walked through flowing water the majority of the time. There are also some creek crossings you will have to do. The trail is marked with yellow blazes. They're pretty easy to spot but the lower portion of the trail could be marked a little better. There's some tape on tree branches that help but there are so many little flow ways that look like channels that we took the wrong route once or twice. We saw some pink flags leading us up the hillside when we got close to the cave/waterfall and then caught back up with the yellow blazes.

The waterfall and cave is very cool. If you're looking at the waterfall, the cave entrance is to your left. It is fairly easy to climb down. It is mostly rock though and they can get pretty slippery when wet. The view from the pedestal inside the cave is cool but the climb down is a little risky, ESPECIALLY when there is water flowing over the rocks. If you're gonna do it, make sure you have a buddy help you up/down. It isn't worth falling to your death. Look for rocks to hold onto as well when you climb to/from the pedestal.

This is a great hike. Short, easy, and the cave/waterfall are totally worth it. Kids would love it but be careful with them. I wish I could give it 4.5 stars but I can't do I will give it 4 stars because of what I mentioned above.

4 months ago

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6 months ago