This map requires WebGL
Please update your web browser or enable WebGL to view the map.Troubleshooting Info
The #1 Camping App
Camp with confidence with the highest-ranked camping app for both iOS and Android. Search more than 1 million listings, reviews, and tips for campsites across the U.S.
Enter your phone number to get the app.
We visited the first weekend in November so we still had some leave to peep. The weather was unusually warm and beautiful so we were able to hike both days of our visit but it was packed with people who had the same idea. Also, as we left the park to go to our campsite (around 2 PM) the camp was getting a rush of afternoon hikers. The place is busy!!!
The campsite itself is off the State Park premises,which isn’t bad since it’s not swarmed park attendees not spending the night. It has an electrical hookup on each campground for RVs. There is also a bathroom with running showers and toilets, pretty nice. And there is a camp store (which is currently closed for the season). The campsites themselves vary in size and fire station. Our campsite was a little small but if you want fully forested campsites I suggest you keep your choices between #s 30 and 100.
We had a blast, the state park itself was fantastic, plenty to see. Starved Rock and the other peaks were fantastic and Wildcat Canyon was a sight to behold. Illinois Canyon is huge and worth the visit. I understand that with the spring runoff there are many waterfalls to behold. We plan on coming back then. Great place to camp!!!
If you want more trees and privacy stick to the east loop if you want more flat land that is easy to drive up and camp, go to the west loop. The Camp store is cute but tiny. There is also a vending machine by the bathhouse and a 24/7 wood vending machine by the camp store.
3 state parks are within a 5-10 minute drive making early morning hiking very easy. Welcome to the Disney Land of outdoors!
The campground itself is off of Starved Rock’s main entrance but we think it’s perfect because I don’t need that much traffic with cars and people constantly walking/driving by. I do wish there were walking trails off the campground though.
Overall a decent place to stay. We didn't experience the noise some reviewers did, but there's not much in between sites on the western loop. Trees surround the loop, and it appears the eastern look has more secluded sites. My biggest complaint was the sites don't appear to be well maintained, and previous campers didn't do a good job of cleaning up after themselves. Lots of plastic bottle tops, small pieces of paper towel, etc were all over the place. Too bad since it's an otherwise nice place.
I think this place attracts a lot of junkies and drunks.
Can get noisy at night.
This review is for the backpacking campsites within the Sand Ridge forest. The trail is a mix of sand and soil. It’s quite an unexpected discovery in Illinois. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail but we saw cars parked so hikers were out there.
We stopped at 2 different campsites. They are just a short distance off the trail. Each was a small clearing with forest right up to the edge. A fire pit is also available. All the backpacking sites were empty so it seems that lots of options are possible.
We didn’t come across water sources so we asked the ranger. He pointed out a couple spots the have spigots or hand pumps. Be sure to have a water supply before heading out.
The longest loop is just under 15 miles but you can do different loops together to increase mileage. There is prickly pear in this area so be careful where you step. We also were told to avoid a trail because it was sandy and a tough climb. The man said he breaks horses by riding them up the hill. If this is a concern, I recommend asking around to find the best trail for you.
This is a hidden gem right in the middle of Illinois.
The sites always fill up fast and campers are mix of RV’s with lights, generators and noise as well as tents. Neither camper types who venture here are looking for peace and quiet. Some newer primitive hike-in or boat-in sites are on the muddy lake shores, but are mostly secluded. Also heavily used by local Boy and Girl Scouts.
You'll have to come to this sacred place to learn the fate of 2 star-crossed lovers who leapt to their deaths here (ironically named Lover's Leap) after days of being starved to death from the encircling warring tribe down below. But thankfully, you can bring your own food, gear and beer and not suffer as the Illiniwek and Potowatami did hundreds of years ago.
Despite Illinois being one of the flattest states in the country, the area of Starved Rock benefits from the scars left behind of the great glaciers which carved a tumultuous pathway through this otherwise fairly plain and even landscape. After thousands of years of rain filled up most of that crevasse with what is now called the Illinois River, which is one of the points that makes this park one of the greatest in the entire state. Beyond the riverview, there are easy-to-moderate trails that are simply fantastic and dog-friendly. Do make sure though that you bring galoshes (or for the rest of the world, boots, except for you Brits, wellies) during the shoulder seasons as the limestone facades quickly fade to soggy muddy soil.
From an accommodation standpoint, there are so many options, from Starved Rock Lodge Resort itself, which is a fantastic old school resort from early turn-of-the-century, to basic (and a few luxe) cabin offerings, but the real fun can be had camping, of course, in tents. There's basically one loop, divided by East and West. Most of the sites are fairly nondescript and flat with a little bit of shrubbery for privacy. The best bit about this state park is one can reach a degree of privacy very quickly, but in the event that you need those creature comforts or simply want to dine out instead of eating hot dogs and beans again, it's a very easy drive into Spring Valley for pizza at famed Lou's LaGrotto or, for the best fried chicken on the planet, head further afield to Ladd for Ripp's. And, if you don't want to stray too far, the food, drinks and good people at Starved Rock Lodge would be grateful for your business too (OK, in full disclosure, I worked there as a waiter some 20+ years ago, so I'm slightly biased!).
I really enjoyed my stay at Evergreen Lake. The rustic tent sites are located on the opposite side of the lake from the RV's in an area called White Oak. These sites are the way to go for privacy. It was roughly a quarter-mile hike to site 14, where I stayed. It initially took me longer to find the site since there are no signs along the way. I eventually found site 12 then 11. I turned around and made my way to 14.
Site 14 is very spacious like it could be used as a group site. I was surprised to see three picnic tables. It also had a fire ring with grill and a separate grill. There was always shade and two pairs of trees that are perfect for a hammock. The best part was the view of the lake. There was a spot that a person could get a kayak or canoe into the water but I opted to use the dock. The dock was just a short walk away. It’s very cool that the folks at Comlara put that dock there for the tent campers to use.
One thing to be aware of is the trash point is at the parking lot. Also, keep in mind that sound travels across a lake very easily. I could hear other campers that were a few sites over very clear as well as people fishing on the lake.