The Perfect Illinois Ice Climbing Getaway in Starved Rock

Make your vacation truly unique at Kishauwau Cabins for an unforgettable Illinois ice climbing getaway that’s sure to excite! Escape from the city and immerse yourself in the outdoors with four of the area’s best ice-climbing canyons. All of these climbs are just a 15-minute drive up the road from Kishauwau at Starved Rock State Park. We’ve got you covered on essential info, that way you can perfectly plan out your ice-climbing adventures and enjoy everything Starved Rock, and the surrounding area, has to offer during the winter months.

Women in Illinois ice climbing canyons

Wildcat Canyon

Most well known for its towering 80-foot frozen waterfall, Wildcat Canyon is quite simply a breathtaking view. Frozen mid-tumble, you can almost hear the rushing water crashing down onto the floor below, but instead are greeted with an icy silence. Silent, of course, until the rhythmic swing of an ice pick reverberates through the canyon walls. Wildcat is one of the most popular destinations for ice-climbing enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why, as the waterfall makes for an eye-catching natural ice sculpture and an enticing challenge for visitors.

Illinois ice climbing canyon

LaSalle Canyon

Those less experienced in ice climbing will want to give LaSalle Canyon a try, as it’s just perfect for first-timers. A short 20-foot frozen waterfall, it’s a fantastic place for newer climbers prone to cold feet, and you’re sure to get plenty of encouragement from friends, family, or any visitors watching from below! It normally empties into a lower part of the river winding its way through the canyon and is a great spot to grab some photos or just enjoy the wonder of nature around you.

Women in an Illinois ice climbing canyon

Ottawa Canyon

Ottawa Canyon finds itself firmly in the middle of the pack, not as tall as Wildcat, but also requiring more experience than LaSalle. Standing at around 40 feet, this waterfall normally empties into a large open area and makes a great vantage point for watching others make their way up, or for people watching you! For those wishing to test their skills, but who don’t feel quite ready to tackle climbs like Wildcat, Ottawa offers a good middle ground and is still quite an achievement to climb.

Waterfall in Illinois in winter

Tonti Canyon

Easily one of the most visually stunning frozen falls in the Starved Rock area, Tonti Canyon is worth a visit even if you’re not an ice-climber, if only for the incredible view alone! For climbers, however, Tonti is a worthy challenge at 60 feet and nearly straight up. Partially freestanding, a portion of the rocks behind it is carved in from thousands of years of erosion, and around halfway up the rest follows the cliff face. There are lots of beautiful photos just waiting to be taken, like from behind the waterfall, or even the view from the top for any intrepid climbers.

a group of people ice skating near Kishauwau Cabins

Bonus Activity: Ice Skating

Though the thrill of ice climbing may be exciting, sometimes a bit of relaxing ice skating might be just the thing. Echo Bluff Park is open for public skating every day from 3 – 8 pm with an exclusive event every Friday from 5 – 8 pm. Enjoy holiday tunes and colorful disco lights on the rink for only a $5 entry and have some holiday fun with friends and family.

Starved Rock cabin with wood burning stove

Your Holiday Home Away from Home

A cozy hideaway after a long day of ice climbing, Kishauwau Cabins is the ideal location for a Illinois ice climbing getaway with everything you need to have a great stay! Our cabins can accommodate couples all the way to large families and groups, perfect for family reunions, get-togethers, or any other occasion. Soft king and queen beds are sure to keep you warm, along with fireplaces in every cabin. Full kitchens are included in many as well, that way your clan can cook up some delicious grub together. Whether you’ll be doing the climbing yourself or cheering on from the ground, we hope to see you soon for a wonderful ice climbing getaway here in Starved Rock.

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