Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
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 camping has extraordinary scenic beauty. 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 


Fee Info
Campsite $10 / night 8 people & 2 vehicle max.
Reservation Info
Campground is first come- first served. No reservations. No permit required for entering or camping in Garden of the Gods Wilderness.
January 1st - December 31st
National Forest
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Trash Available
Garden of the Gods Recreation Area is located in Shawnee National Forest in Illinois
37.6039 N
-88.3819 W
Get 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. 
34 Reviews of Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
You’re advertising the wrong location

The campground is fabulous.

 Unfortunately this website is showing the wrong Garden of the Gods in the photos. These photos are representing  Garden of the Gods in Colorado not Illinois. This could cause a serious problem

Pharaoh Campground provides easy access to view Camel Rock

I really like this little campground. The sites area  bit close together, and popups are probably the only camper that can fit comfortably. This campground is very close to the Observation Trail where you can view Camel Rock. There is no electricity at this campground, and sometimes people bring very loud generators, and there isn't much that can be done about that. But it's usually pretty busy with tent-campers. This is one of the locations on the Forest that fills up more often than other campgrounds, especially on holiday weekends.


My friend and I went there one summer and had the best time of our life

Very nice

Great camping, limited facilities, no showers within 10 miles. Awesome views.

Great day hikes and options for overnight !

We did a quick day hike and really enjoyed the trails! Several options for beginners and experienced hikers. For the beginners, bring water and a map!

You can’t beat the natural beauty here

It is so beautiful here but if you need an actual bathroom, the pits were so gross this last trip.  You can’t beat these views!  One of the prettiest in Shawnee Forest in my opinion.

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.