Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: La Salle Canyon Waterfall in Autumn

This is the fourth in a series of posts on Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. The park is about 2 hours away from Chicago.

I took these images this past week. If you are close by, there is still time to see the park. Peak time is now.

As is typically the case at Starved Rock, and photographing waterfalls in general, the best conditions possible are bright overcast days with little or no wind.

This past week was cloudy most of the time and winds were calm early and late in the day most days.

Feature Image Details

Here are two additional images from the same location.

Additional Details

You need cloudy days to have a chance at images like these. We had one sunny afternoon at this location and every image I took that afternoon went into the bit bucket.

I used an Eagletac G25C2 Mark II Flashlight to paint the shadow areas underneath the waterfall with light during these exposures. I bought the diffuser for it as well and generally use the flashlight with the diffuser in place. If you are into night photography and light painting, try it. You won’t be disappointed. Most flashlights are either way too blue or way too yellow. The Eagletac is color corrected.

If you visit the area, I highly recommend staying at the park lodge. The loge fills up way in advance in Autumn and may be full other times as well. Many other hotels are nearby. I will likely be in the park one of the next two weekends, if not both.

In the Winter, the waterfalls freeze.

My favorite waterfalls are in La Salle Canyon, Tonti Canyon, and Ottawa Canyon, all accessible from the lower trails any time of year.

The state park Trail Descriptions Map inadvertently skipped La Salle Canyon. It’s one of my favorites.


Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Peak Time is Now

If you are in the area, peak time is now. Depending on wind conditions, the peak may last through this coming weekend.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

One thought on “Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: La Salle Canyon Waterfall in Autumn

  1. Very nice, Mish. I recently did a 22-mile trip to a waterfall (in the snow the whole way, of course) and found out when I got there that I’d lost my ND filter. Took me a while to figure out how to get the water sheets.

    Really love your explanations!

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