Saint Louis Canyon Trail is a 2.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Utica, Illinois that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.1 miles Elevation Gain: 232 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

walking

bird watching

running

cave

forest

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Park almost across the street from Grand Bear Lodge (there is a paved frontage road there). Follow the road on foot. Waterfall at the end of the hike.

hiking
muddy
2 days ago

hiking
icy
3 months ago

I started this trail after completing the Dells at Matthiessen. This trail was much more crowded, even on an icy day. Still beautiful though.

hiking
4 months ago

Trail was easy. When you get to the end it was amazing who knew it was an hour away from Chicago.

hiking
flooded
muddy
snow
4 months ago

wonderful day after fresh puffy white snow everywhere.Big snow puffs falling on your head and no very crowded.

hiking
4 months ago

cool, many muddy places, but still a very wonderful trail. deep canyons and a couple of waterfalls.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike but the waterfall was running good and the highlight.

recorded Saint Louis Canyon Trail

hiking
8 months ago

This is from a beginner perspective—. I’m sure this is a very easy trail on a relative scale. But not-so-fit people (I am one) should know that, while it’s definitely manageable and worthwhile, I wouldn’t call it “easy”. It’s a well-worn dirt path most of the way. Tons of stairs (wooden staircases and natural tree-root stairs) and uneven ups and downs throughout. This is my first hike since having ankle surgery and being in a leg cast a couple months ago so it was plenty challenging for me. I was breathing hard at some points on the way back. But in the end I did fine. Took me about an hour and a half round trip. On my return, I passed an older couple near the St Louis Canyon. They were clearly struggling with steps. They asked me if it was almost over and I assured them it was only a few more minutes until the canyon waterfall. But they asked “do we have to walk back?” I think they thought it was circular somehow. But they still had to do the return. I felt bad for them. If you park in the visitor lot you have to take a massive staircase up to the lodge and trailhead. It’s kind of a good intro to what you’ll encounter on the trail if you want some idea of what you’re getting into. On the other hand I sure wish I had parked by the lodge and skipped that first staircase!

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful waterfall at the bottom of the canyon. Worth the hike down!

hiking
10 months ago

I liked this so much I went back the next day! Over all easy trail (if you're not a fan of massive amounts of steps park by the lodge parking lot, not at the visitor center parking lot) with a nice little waterfall at the end. Basic, going off holidays I only ran into seven people instead of near sixty people on the Fourth of July (but yeah, popular destination, I get it). I plan on going back to this trail the next time I am in the area!

hiking
11 months ago

I parked in the lot off of Hwy 178 and walked down the old paved road to the trail head. There has been a lot of rain lately so everything is lush and green. The waterfall is beautiful. I felt like I stepped into paradise. I will do this one again.

hiking
11 months ago

Trail was nice and the waterfall payoff at the end is very cool. Parking was a nightmare. Many of the parking lots were closed due to recent flooding and the high Sunday traffic made it difficult. All in all, still a great day.

hiking
muddy
Sat May 25 2019

Recommended! Easy hike, stairs, green views, and baeautiful little waterfall. A bit muddy today, but easy to walk around.

hiking
muddy
Sun May 05 2019

Sun Dec 23 2018

Easy walk. nice views.

hiking
Mon Nov 19 2018

My first hike while visiting Illinois and I have to say it was a fantastic choice. I hiked in early October and so the temperature was a bit chilly but the right outerwear will combat this. Because of the day and time of the year, there were only two other hikers that I saw, which led to a lot more peace out there. The waterfall still had a good amount of runoff which made the whole trip worth it.

Mon Sep 10 2018

The waterfall here was beautiful and it was neat watching a yoga class finish a little Sunday morning meditation

hiking
Tue Jul 31 2018

good trail. well maintained. if you come from the visitors center there are a ton of stairs. slightly less if you park at the lodge.

Fri Jul 06 2018

Awesome! The waterfall was gorgeous. 7 and 10 year old completed it w/ some but not too much effort. Bugs. Worth it ❤️

hiking
Thu May 10 2018

Beautiful!!! Worth the 7 hour drive.

hiking
Tue Oct 24 2017

Beautiful day in mid-October. High 70's. Light breeze. Colors coming in. Who could ask for more?!

Wed Oct 11 2017

It doesn’t seem like you’re in Illinois when you hike this trail. Even during times when the other water falls are dry, there is still water flowing in this one.

hiking
Fri Sep 29 2017

Very easy trail. A few stairs but not many. Very lovely.

hiking
Sun Jul 16 2017

I hiked part of this trail a few years ago. There was a road that goes down to maybe the last quarter or so of the trail as it appears here on the map. Half of the road was closed but if you parked at the top of the hill it was around a one mile round trip easy hike.

hiking
Sun Jun 25 2017

awesome trail!

hiking
Sat Jun 17 2017

This was our first time at Starved Rock and we were able to do a couple trails during our visit, this being one of them. St. Louis canyon is one of the few trails at Starved Rock accessible by it's own designated entry and parking area, as opposed to the majority of trails needing to be accessed from one of the park's far ends. It was me, my wife, our 10 year old and our two boxers. We were there in mid-June (2017), on a weekday, so it wasn't crowded at all. We only saw one other couple while we were there. The hike itself was pretty easy. There's a parking lot down at the trailhead, however the road going to it was closed, I'm guessing due to the asphalt being is such disrepair. We had to park at the top of a hill, outside the gate. Ironically, the most difficult part of the hike was having to walk down and up the asphalt roadway to the trailhead. The trail itself was easily maneuvered by my clan. There were some really nice canyon features, walls and rocks to climb in and on. And of course a beautiful waterfall that flowed into a shallow pool.

hiking
1 month ago

Showing results 1 - 28 of 141