Trip Guide: Shangri-La Falls in Bankhead National Forest

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Shangri-La Falls

Shangri-La Falls is a gorgeous waterfall and splash pool in Bankhead National Forest that's definitely one of the top visits in the area.

At a Glance

  • 0.4 mi round trip
  • Nice View
  • Kids OK
  • Dogs OK
Location: Near Grayson in Bankhead National Forest Alabama (maps & directions)
Gear: Our favorite snacks and camera gear
Gallery: Check out the pictures here

Shangri-La Falls - Trip Details

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As a large family, we find renting a home for a night much more relaxing than a hotel, and it's so nice to have a place nearby to crash after a long day of hiking! You can find nice, affordable homes on Vrbo.

While it looks a little questionable on the map, the trail to Shangri-La Falls is well-travelled. This area was burned in 2022, so it will take a couple of years for the understory to really get thick again for ticks and snakes in the warmer months!

The hike is pretty much all down hill, and the only tricky section is the decent down into the canyon at Collier Creek.  That part is pretty typical, but expect a somewhat slippery decent aided by trees and whatever else is around.

Hiking poles will be helpful in spots!

Once you're in the canyon, it's just a short hike upstream to the waterfall which has a beautiful plunge pool at the bottom.  The tree leaning out over the water makes a really unique spot to hang out and chill a while before you head back up hill.

On the way back, it's all up hill. So, be sure to leave with plenty of time before dark if you need to stop and rest. But really, this is a short walk for most. I would not recommend this trip for seniors with mobility problems, but our kids were able to manage with minimal help!

hanging out at Shangri-La Falls

More Waterfalls around Bankhead National Forest

Shangri-La Falls is near a lot of waterfalls in the area. Sougahoagdee Falls is probably the most popular hike south and east of the Sipsey Wilderness area. Also nearby are Holmes Chapel Falls and Coal Mine Branch Falls.

In Sipsey, you have popular destinations like Kinlock Falls, Caney Creek Falls, Parker Falls. There are also less-visited options that are just as pretty like Mize Mill Falls, Eagle Creek FallsDeer Skull Falls, or Little Ugly Falls. So, you can easily make it one stop of many on a day or a weekend trip visiting the Sipsey Wilderness area. 

Shangri-La Falls Map, Directions, and Resources

Weather - Upcoming Forecast

Other Resources

Park Website
Park Map

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