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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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3.9 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Waterfall
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

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How to Get There

7 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.

7 months ago

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