Entrance into the canyon requires getting your feet wet. For about 20 feet, you will be walking in toeholds in the creek bed, so wear appropriate footwear! The waterfall in French Canyon is the closest to the visitor center, and as such is extremely popular. Come early in the day to experience a brief moment of solitude (trails open at 6:30 AM.) This canyon is the most unique in a park full of unique canyons!
Length from the Visitors Center: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Few stairs, but there is a dropoff just before the canyon entrance. Surface is mostly dirt and gravel. The entrance into the canyon is narrow, so you may have a brief wait to get into the canyons on busy days. You will have to walk in the creek on toeholds to enter the canyon, so wear appropriate footwear.
Parking: Visitor Center Main Parking Lot, Starved Rock Lodge, or Overflow.
Waterfall: Yes – Rain Dependent.
Top View: Yes
Interior Canyon View: Yes
Flora and Fauna: Rough winged swallows can be found diving in and out of the air catching insects to feed their young in the nest holes burrowed into the sandstone of the canyon walls during late spring through summer. Summer and fall visitors can here the chatter of summer and scarlet tanagers as their bright flashes of red flit between the under story shrubs. Gray squirrels, raccoons, and chipmunks can be seen foraging for food or leaving their tracks behind on the muddy trails.