14 Best Starved Rock State Park Photos Locations

Great Starved Rock State Park photos can be found everywhere in the cliffs, rugged canyons, and waterfalls, . The trails at Starved Rock are beautiful and full of history. Along the Illinois River, they go through tall trees and past beautiful views.

Fun things to do outside include hiking, canoeing, paddle boat cruises, cross-country skiing, fishing, taking a trolley ride, and having a picnic. People can stay at the park’s campground or at one of the nearby paid or free camping spots.

GENERIC HIKING VIDEO
GENERIC HIKING VIDEO

In 1835, Daniel Hitt got paid for his time in the U.S. Army by buying the land that is now Starved Rock State Park from the U.S. Government. He sold the land to Ferdinand Walther in 1890, and Walther turned it into a place where tourists could stay. He built a place to dance, a place to swim, and a hotel.

In 1911, the land was bought by the state of Illinois, which turned it into the state’s first park. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps set up three camps at Starved Rock State Park and started building the Lodge and trail systems you can see today.

Locations for Starved Rock State Park Photos



The best places for Starved Rock State Park photos are in the canyons and at the waterfalls. We’ve told you where the best places are in each area. We focused on Starved Rock State Park photos at 8 of the waterfalls and the 6 best canyons to visit for Starved Rock State Park photos.


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Starved Rock State Park Photos

8 Waterfalls for Starved Rock State Park Photos

La Salle Canyon Falls – I think this is one of the best locations in the park for for waterfall Starved Rock State Park photos.

The LaSalle waterfall is the one waterfall in the park that is most likely to have water all year. This makes it a favorite among people who come to the park. The fact that people can walk behind the falls is another thing that makes them stand out. Tonty canyon is at the end of the path that goes behind the waterfall. Just look for a sign that says “To Boats” and follow it.

During the summer, the water flow is only a small part of what it is in the spring, but it is odd that this waterfall doesn’t dry up completely like most other waterfalls in the park. The width of this plunge changes from season to season, but it is always beautiful.

LaSalle Canyon Falls is a great place to go for Starved Rock State Park photos, and it’s possible to walk behind a waterfall there. They are only two miles from the visitor center, and people who are less confident on trails can start at the Parkman’s Plain trailhead.

The width of this plunge changes from season to season, but it is always beautiful.

Kaskaskia Falls – One of the best locations in the park for Starved Rock State Park photos of waterfalls.

The name Kaskaskia Falls comes from an Indian tribe that used to live on the other side of the Illinois River. The Starved Rock waterfall trail goes further to get to Kaskaskia Falls. Most people don’t get this far on their trip because they start at the visitor center.

Kaskaskia Falls is a great place to go to if you want to find some peace and quiet and some great Starved Rock State Park photos as well. Even though this 20-foot waterfall is not as dramatic or as high as some others, it is still worth going to see. Depending on the weather, water may still be running as late as early June.

The fact that this fall is not as popular as others is a plus.

Starved Rock State Park Photos

French Canyon Falls – A favorite waterfall at Starved Rock State Park photos for the best shots.

It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the park, and because it is nearest to the visitor center, it gets a lot of visitors when the park is busy. If you want to see the waterfall without a lot of people, come early. The one closest to the visitor center is the French Canyon falls. The visitor center is only 0.4 miles away.

When the snow melts in the spring is the best time to see the waterfall. It will also look better after a lot of rain. If the waterfall is too strong, it might be dangerous to go into the canyon. If that’s the case, you can still see it from above.

The trail from Starved Rock to French Canyon is 0.7 miles one way. It takes you to the lookout point on top of the rock with the same name. As one of the big waterfalls in Starved Rocks it yields some great Starved Rock State Park photos, it gets people’s attention. Hikers of all ages can hike to this beautiful canyon, and kids will love playing in the small waterfalls at the canyon’s entrance.

This trail, like most in the park, is well taken care of, but you’ll have to get your feet wet if you want to see the waterfall from below. At the place where you enter the canyon, you have to walk in the creek for a short while. We would definitely suggest hiking shoes that are waterproof. Here is a list of the best waterproof hiking shoes that are also light.

St Louis Canyon Falls – Don’t miss this waterfall location for Starved Rock State Park photos.

The St. Louis Canyon falls is a popular waterfall in Starved Rock State Park. It is one of the park’s big waterfalls. The falls are a huge 80 feet high, and it is the only waterfall in the park that is fed by a spring. This means that it flows longer than the other falls, but not all year. Even after rain or when snow is melting, it is still at its best.

In 2004, a part of one of the canyon walls fell down, leaving a lot of natural sand, rocks, and some really big boulders on the canyon floor. Children like to play in this area.

From below, you can get to the waterfall, but there is no place to look up. A must-see at Starved Rock State Park is the St. Louis Canyon Falls. They are great examples of how nature works. During the busy hiking season, they can get crowded, and the steep stairs make them less good for people with less strength.

La Salle Canyon Starved Rock State Park Photos

Tonty Canyon Falls – Try this waterfall location for Starved Rock State Park photos.

Tonti Canyon’s waterfalls will make you gasp for air. It’s really special because you can see not just one but two big waterfalls. Tonti is one of the larger waterfalls at Starved Rock State Park, and it is a truly amazing sight. The canyon walls are between 60 and 70 feet high, and the tallest one is behind one of the waterfalls.

Most of the time, the streams that feed these two falls dry up quickly. If you want to see them at their best, you should go to the canyon when the snow melts in the spring or after a heavy rain. There is nothing bad about this canyon or these falls.

If there is running water, you should bring water shoes to get into this canyon because the entrance and large parts of the canyon are flooded. If there is running water, you must wear water shoes to explore.

This canyon will not let you down in any way. The best time to go for the best Starved Rock State Park photos is in the spring.

Aurora Canyon Falls – This spot yields great Starved Rock State Park photos of my waterfall shots.

The Starved Rock Falls in Aurora Canyon are only 0.2 miles from the visitor center. They are so close that you can hear the water falling as soon as you start walking down the trail. There aren’t many steps to the Aurora canyon.

The trail takes you to the top of the fall, and the only significant staircase is the one that leads down into the canyon if you also want to see the view from inside the canyon.

Because they are on the western side of Starved Rock State Park, this trail and waterfall are often quieter than the other Starved Rock trails. Behind the lodge, on the other side of the visitor center, is where the trail starts.

The canyon trail isn’t very long, and even though the falls aren’t as impressive as some of the others at Starved Rock, they are still worth seeing.

French Canyon Starved Rock State Park Photos

Ottawa Canyon Falls – This was my favorite waterfall for Starved Rock State Park photos.

At the very east end of the park, next to the Kaskaskia Canyon, is the Ottawa Canyon. Ottowa Canyon is about the same size as the French canyon in terms of depth and height.

This canyon is deeper than the nearby Kaskaskia Canyon, but the waterfall has less water.

Still, the falls are impressive, and a favorite of mine for Starved Rock State Park photos, and since the trail is open all year, if you go to Starved Rock in the winter, you might see a frozen waterfall, which is pretty cool.

Ottawa Canyon Falls are a great place to visit any time of the year. They are easy to get to no matter what time of year it is, and the view is stunning. The trail is good for hikers of all ages and skill levels, and in the winter, the frozen waterfall is a sight to see.

Wildcat Canyon Falls – If you looking for great waterfalls for Starved Rock State Park photos then this is the place to visit.

The Wildcat Canyon falls are worth a visit all year round.

This is one of the tallest waterfalls in the park so most of your Starved Rock State Park photos here will have to be portraits. It is in the deepest canyon in the park, which is called Wildcat Canyon. From the top of the canyon and from inside the canyon, you can see the waterfall. At the top of the canyon, there are two lookout points and a set of stairs that lead to the bottom.

The falls are also beautiful when they are frozen, and this is one of only three places in the park where you are allowed to climb on the ice. You have to sign up at the visitor center before you can climb the icefall. There, they’ll tell you which falls you can climb safely.

The waterfall is usually at its fullest in the spring and slows down to a trickle in the summer, but the impressive icefall makes it worth going to the canyon any time of year. The hike is a little harder than the one to French Canyon, but it is still a good trip for the whole family.

They are relatively close to the visitor center and therefore they tend to get busy in the high season.

6 Canyons for Starved Rock State Park Photos

French Canyon – This spot yields great Starved Rock State Park photos

In Starved Rock State Park, the French Canyon Trail is a 2.6-mile hike that goes out and back. On the trail, there is a beautiful waterfall and beautiful cliffs made of sandstone. Eagles and other birds can be seen very well at Starved Rock State Park. The trail is open all year and can be used for many things (fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing). Dogs can go on the trail as long as they are on a leash.

Depending on where you parked, you could start from the visitor center or the park’s restaurant. If the parking lot was full and you had to park by the restaurant, you will start the trail with a map of the park. Follow the park’s tallest stairs down to the visitors center, where the trail goes in two different directions. Take the stairs or a right turn.

After walking 0.4 miles, you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh air, breeze, and beautiful waterfall in the canyon.

Starved Rock Canyon – I took some of the best shots here of all of my Starved Rock State Park photos.

Starved Rock Canyon is a wild area in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is on the Illinois River. It is known for the steep sandstone canyons that glacial meltwater carved out of the rock. Several of the canyons have waterfalls, like the St. Louis, French, and Wildcat canyons. Lover’s Leap Overlook is at the end of a trail through the woods. From there, you can see the river and Starved Rock Dam. There are white-tailed deer, bald eagles, and migrating birds in the park.

Pontiac Canyon – This was my favorite spot for Starved Rock State Park photos.

Starved Rock State Park is the place where you can find Pontiac Canyon. The state park is made up of a number of small canyons with streams that cut into the sandstone cliffs. This one goes down a small slot canyon to this spot and then drops about 30 feet straight down.

Wildcat Canyon – A Great sport for Starved Rock Photos.

This is a great hike that starts just over an hour from Chicago and leads to a 125-foot waterfall and a canyon made by glacial meltwater.

If you’re in the Chicagoland area, you should definitely check out the Wildcat Canyon hike at Starved Rock State Park. This is a round-trip hike of 2 miles from the visitor’s center to the park’s biggest waterfall. From the top of the canyon, there are two places to look at it, or you can take the stairs down to the bottom and look around there. Most of the time, the waterfall is at its fullest in the spring and slows down to a trickle in the summer.

La Salle Canyon – A favorite for the best Starved Rock State Park photos.

This 2.6-mile hike to LaSalle Canyon, which is thought to be one of the most beautiful in Starved Rock, is now easier than ever to get to. The Parkman’s Plain parking lot, which just got bigger and is near Route 71, can easily fit more than 80 cars.

From Parkman’s Plain, you can get to the Owl Canyon overlook, Wildcat Canyon, LaSalle Canyon, Tonty Canyon, and Owl Canyon, which is a sandstone overlook along the Illinois River (though the main bridge is currently under repair, so your hike from LaSalle to Tonti will be slightly longer than park maps indicate).

On this hike, we will go from Parkman’s Plain to LaSalle Canyon on the River Trail. The waterfall that runs almost all year is the most interesting thing about LaSalle Canyon. Many of Starved Rock’s best-known waterfalls only flow when it rains, but LaSalle Canyon has at least a trickle of water almost all year long. During the winter, a beautiful ice fall usually forms at the canyon. It is one of the best in the whole park.

From here, you can walk behind the waterfall in LaSalle Canyon to get to the trail to Tonty Canyon. Even though the bridge to Tonty is closed right now, this is the best (and only) way to see one of Starved Rock’s best-kept secrets. Tonty is a great addition to your LaSalle Canyon hike. It is less than 0.4 miles from LaSalle.

Illinois Canyon – One of the best locations in the park for Starved Rock State Park photos.

On trail to the Illinois Canyon, there are no stairs, boardwalks, or bridges like there are on other trails in the park. This gives the climb to the waterfall at the top of the canyon a relaxed, natural feel.

Depending on how high the water is, there’s a good chance that water will flow across the trail and wet your feet. So, bring either shoes that can get wet or shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. This place is one of the most beautiful in the upper Midwest.

Hennepin Canyon – I think this is one of the best locations in the park for Starved Rock State Park photos.

The Hennepin Canyon canyon is near the Illinois town of Oglesby. Most people think that going there is a moderately hard place to visit. This trail is used by a lot of people to walk, hike, and watch birds, but you can still get some alone time during the day. From April to October is the best time to visit this trail. We allow dogs, but they have to be on a leash.

After going to La Salle Canyon, I chose to go to. This hike to the area with the view is mostly made up of other views, and you can’t go hiking in the canyons. At this point in winter, it’s also gotten very icy.

It is one of the best places in the park to see the Illinois River. It goes close to the roads that lead to the State Park, but the trip is definitely worth it. Be careful with the ice near Hennepin Canyon.

History Of the Park



The name of the park comes from a story about Native Americans. Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe was at a meeting of the tribe’s council in the 1760s. At this meeting of the Illinois and the Pottawatomie, Chief Pontiac was stabbed by an Illinois-Peoria brave. The people who followed Pontiac became angry.

A huge battle began. The Illinois hid on the big rock because they were afraid of dying.After many days, the remaining Illinois died of starvation giving this historic park its name – Starved Rock.

Things To Do Near the Starved Rock State Park Photos Spot



Hiking

You could spend your whole vacation hiking in Starved Rock State Park’s 18 canyons, but here are a few that you shouldn’t miss: Before you hit the trails, make sure to download the free Cornell University Merlin Bird I D App. This way, you can be a birding nerd in the park’s many great birding spots and keep track of what you saw so you can make slideshows about it later (just kidding… kind of).

Wildcat Canyon is one mile from the Visitors Center and has both the tallest waterfall and the deepest canyon in the park. Go figure. Lasalle Canyon is a lush, winding path through the forest. At the end, you’ll find a 25-foot waterfall where you can cool off with a swim.

Eagle Cliff Overlook is less than a mile from the Visitors Center and has a great view of the Illinois River with eagles, pelicans, and herons flying over (or under) your head.

Ottawa Canyon and Kaskaskia Canyon are like getting two for the price of one. These twin trails aren’t as popular, but they lead to huge caverns with amphitheater shapes and picture-perfect waterfalls that will blow your mind. Both can be reached from the trailhead at the Ottawa/Kaskaskia Canyon parking lot, making it an easy one-mile course.

Zip Lining

Hikes are cool and all, but why not try something a little different this time around? Zip Chicago is located in Marseilles, about 30 miles east of Utica, and features a variety of cable routes with different speeds and heights to help you glide through the forest in style.

If hurtling through the air in a harness isn’t enough of a thrill for you, set off on a sky-high adventure with Skydive Chicago. Their expert divers are sure to give you something to write home about.

Horseback Riding

Ground-based options include Cedar Point Cedar Creek Ranch, where a fleet of horses leads riders on an unforgettable stroll through nature trails traversing 60 acres of forests.

The outpost also offers Goat Yoga—because what could be cuter than an army of goats dawdling around while you perfect your sun salutations? According to lore, this particular yoga practice has positive effects on your glutes, as well as your mood.

Food Near Starved Rock State Park



Jacks Place

2643 Il Rt 178 North Utica, IL 61373

Review

The food was great, but the service wasn’t so great. We ordered our food and got our drinks, but when we were all out of drinks, we had to wait 15 minutes to get more, and it would have been longer if one of us hadn’t called the waitress’s attention. Then, when we got our food, they gave one of us the wrong side and forgot one of our orders.

Lodi Tap House

101 Mill St, North Utica, IL 61373

Review

Even though it was the middle of the day, Kyle was friendly and helpful. I had the single Smashburger on Brioche with curds. Oh. My. God. Excellent. On this hot day, the raspberry spritzer was a nice way to cool off.

I really think you should stop here if you are anywhere near. It was hard for me to decide what to eat. I was told that their pretzel, burgers, salads, banger shrimp, and pretty much everything else on the menu was good.

Starved Rock State Park Restaurant

2668 E 875th Rd, Utica, IL 61348-9518

Review

What a delightful surprise. We decided at the last minute to drive down from the suburbs to get away from light pollution so we could see the stars and planets. Our plan was to eat dinner early and then look at the sky. My husband made a wish and then asked for a steak.

It was great, just like my country-fried steak, which was a comfort food for me. The sides were also tasty, and the cinnamon roll bread pudding and butterscotch Crepe Brûlée for dessert were both great. Portions are generous.


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