Dispersed
Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Equestrian
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Garden of the Gods Recreation Area

One of the most photographed locations in the state, Garden of the Gods' scenic beauty is extraordinary. In the recreation area you can hike, camp, nature watch or picnic.

The Observation Trail features unique sandstone rock formations and panoramic views of the surrounding Garden of the God Wilderness. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. The 1/4-mile trail is made of natural sandstone and takes about an hour to walk. It contains short, steep grades and steps; benches are located along the trail and as a whole the trail is not tiring. Caution should be used due to the high cliffs in the area.  

See below for details about camping, picnicking and other activities in the Garden of the Gods. 

Garden of the Gods brochure/map 

 

Operator
National Forest
Access
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Toilets
Trash Available
Location
Garden of the Gods Recreation Area is located in Illinois
Latitude
37.6039 N
Longitude
-88.3819 W
Get Directions
Directions
From Harrisburg : Take Highway 145 south 5 miles, to Highway 34, then take 34 south for 10 miles. Then turn east onto Karbers Ridge Road 2.5 miles to Forest Road. Turn north. Drive 1.5 miles to the recreation area entrance road. 
28 Reviews of Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
Good times

A lot of good hiking and the view is great

Awesome camp grounds & view!

10/10 would recommend. Super nice and convenient camp sights & not a far walk to the sight seeing location!

Love love love

We showed up at 4:00 and had a selection of about 6 spots.. the rest filled up shortly after. It’s no surprise this place is beautiful. If you can watch the sunset from the observation trail DO IT you won’t regret it!!

Great site!

My family and I camped here for the night and it was great. Very clean, and well maintained. The bathrooms are on close proximity to the sites. Only downside is that there are only 12 sites, and they are first come, first serve… so you might want to have a second option on a weekend.

Wrong Garden.

Two of the reviews are not the Illinois subject area but of somewhere in the western US. Garden of The Gods in Illinois is a beautiful area and great for relaxing, hiking, sightseeing, campings, and picnicking. Great for a day trip or extended stay while exploring the lands between the mighty rivers.

Are we in Illinois?

Garden of the Gods is a wonder to behold… especially if you are wondering how this could possibly be in Illinois. The Shawnee National Forest is a geological paradise that remains somewhat off most people's radar (luckily). Garden of the Gods may be considered its crowned jewel, which does cause it to attract a lot of visitors. The campground is small and basic with pit toilets. Campground is clean and with friendly staff but the real campsites are those that you hike into. There is nothing better than hiking in and stumbling onto a perfect cliff overhang that you can call home for the night. The hiking and views are well worth the trip, just watch your footing on some of those cliffs.

Breath taking

Beautiful open area with lots of places to climb and explore! I loved the hiking trail that takes you all the way around the park

Beautiful place to see

I love this place! Every rock as a story and it’s very unique! We drove through Atleast 4 times! I can’t wait to take my son to see it

A little slice of heaven

We almost had the entire campground to ourselves! We got there and got the best lot with a great backyard view. Garden of the gods was right around the corner and saw one of the best sunsets even though it was slightly cloudy. Would definitely recommend it!

Best view in illinois

We did not camp here though I wish we did. We did a lot of hiking all around Shawnee but this is by far favorite spot in Illinois!