Thursday, April 20, 2017

Natural Well, Alabama

Deirdre Conroy in Natural Well, March 2017.

          Natural Well was one of the first cataloged caves in Alabama.  It has a lengthy and rich history.  today it is accessed via the Natural Well Trail in Monte Sano State Park and can be entered with a permit from the main office.  The pit is surrounded by a fence and a rock wall with a pipe in it.  Don't lean on the fence and don't rig anything but rope pads on the wall or pipe.  Rig to the big tree opposite the trail.  Two ropes can be easily rigged.

          Other than getting over the wall, the lip is very easy and immediately bells into a beautiful, fluted, free drop for 198ft.  The first 150ft is very free and the final 50ft or so is on a wall past several ledges.  The pit is not very scenic from the bottom.  By far the best views are on rope. 

         From the bottom of the pit several hundred feet of cave exists, the first two hundred feet or so is a large canyon passage called Cathedral Hall.

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