Ottawa Canyon

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An icefall at Ottawa Canyon ends in a mound of ice at the base of the falls. Snow covers the canyon floor and coats some of the rocks along side the falls.

One of the few icefalls in the park that professional ice climbers are allowed to climb if conditions are suitable.  For those who like a more rugged and natural hike, you will find it getting back to Ottawa Canyon through the creek bed!  Make sure to wear waterproof hiking boots or bring a change of shoes.  This canyon and fall are about the same size as French Canyon and depending on the icefall formation sometimes hikers can walk behind the fall.  

Length from the Visitors Center: 3.9 miles. 

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous involving several major staircases as well as a road crossing.  Park the Ottawa Canyon parking lot along State Route 71 for a shorter 1 mile hike.  

Parking: Yes.  Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyon parking lot off of State Route 71.  Starved Rock Visitor Center main parking lot, Overflow parking, or the Starved Rock Lodge. 

Waterfall: Yes, rain dependent. 

Top View: No

Interior Canyon View: Yes. 

Flora and Fauna: Woodland bird species, Chipmunks, Gray Squirrels, Barred Owls, White-tailed Deer, Red Fox, and Wild Turkeys can be seen through the seasons.  Tall Cottonwoods, White and Red Oaks, Sugar Maples, Silver Maples, Witch Hazels, Wild Hydrangea, White Pine, and a few Eastern Hemlocks greet the hiker along the trail.

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Published by Ana Segota

Co-founder and designer at Anariel Design.

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