Hike Ottawa Canyon at Starved Rock State Park

Illinois Starved Rock SP Visitor Center

Added by Michael Fernandes

Waterfalls... Canyons... Bald Eagles oh my!

This canyon is not as popular as some of the others in this park but it is my favorite by far. You can either hike the full 3.9 miles from the visitor center or you can jump in your car and head over to one of the parking lots on the east side for a shorter hike. Either way you will not be disappointed.

Starved Rock has some very interesting rock formations you can explore. The valley was formed by a series of floods as glacial melt waters broke through moraines, sending torrents of flood water surging across the land that eventually eroded the sandstone and sedimentary rock

If you arrive in winter you will get to experience ice falls and bald eagles feeding in the Illinois River from December to early March.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Bug spray
  • Sun Screen
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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Camping, Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3.9 Miles



Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

6 months ago

How have I not

I can't believe the amount of times ive visited Starved rock i have no been to this canyon. I did the trek to La Salle and just never though to visit Ottawa. Thanks for writing about this. Definitely putting this on my list.

6 months ago

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