Looking for seclusion or a weekend beach getaway? There are places for each type of camper when camping in Lasalle County! Home to one of the most magnificent State Park’s in Illinois and two of Illinois’ top seasonal RV campgrounds, you can explore canyons, waterfalls, and beaches in Northern Central Illinois. As the home to starved rock, camping nearby is going to give you the best access to the park if you’re trying to explore over multiple days! Take a look at our favorites below for some of the best camping near Chicago!
6. Buffalo Rock State Park
Best Primitive Camping in Lasalle County
Tucked away between Buffalo Rock and Utica lie three primitive campsites open for first come first serve camping. The sites contain a fire ring but that’s about all in terms of amenities! You can walk or even bike into the campsites. This is by far the best place for secluded camping in Lasalle County. Just be sure to bring your own water!
During your stay, take a hike around the park to explore the five sculptures of critters found in Illinois rivers. These sculptures are large enough to walk on! You can take the loop around Holman Lake. Be sure to carve some time out to swing by the grazing area for the two bison that still call Buffalo Rock home.
Check out the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for more information!
5. Pleasant Creek
Pleasant Creek is a private campground located in Oglesby, Illinois, and has only been operating for a little under five years. While more focused on seasonal RV’s, they do have a number of primitive campsites, car campsites, and cabin campsites. The campsite offers wi-fi and alcohol on the grounds, depending on the kind of weekend you’re trying to have! Located less than a ten-minute drive away from Starved Rock, this campground can provide a private alternative to the state park campgrounds with all of the same great access to the trails and waterfalls.
For more information, take a look at their website.
4. Hi-Tide Beach & Campground
A private, seasonal RV-focused campground, Hi-Tide is packed with amenities. From the expansive camp store filled with arcade games, a fishing area, mini-golf, hayrides, and a swimming lake, there is something for everyone to stay entertained. Their sandy beach offers plenty of sandcastle or tanning spots along with a small slide and shallow water area for the smaller kids! If you head out a little deeper, the swimming area has a large floating climbing wall, several trampolines, and a log roll! Looking for something lower key? Try bingo night for all ages, held in the outdoor pavilion.
Find out more information here!
3. Lasalle / Peru KOA
Best Private Camping in Lasalle County
KOA offers a few different types of experiences at this private campground. RVers, car campers, and cabin campers alike can find something at this KOA. Enjoy one of the four golf courses within a fifteen-minute drive, kick back at the KOA pool, or check out one of the nearby state parks (about half of this guide!). Looking for a bit more privacy? Check out the ‘Honeymoon corner’ with three tent sites. You may have to carry some of your gear to get to the campsites, but you’ll enjoy much more seclusion than the rest of the campground and many other places on this list.
2. Illini State Park
Illini State Parks offers dozens of campsites across six loops for RV, family, and youth group camping. If you plan far enough in advance, you may be able to snag one of the sites just along the river (check out the Great Falls sites 13-18 for the best river campsites in the park). Take advantage of the Illinois River to catch Bass, Bluegill, Catfish, Carp, Bullhead, and more. While the weather allows, a camp store offers hundreds of ice cream combinations, pizza, burgers, and even taco Tuesdays!
If you’re looking to get away in the colder months, they set up an ice-skating pool and there are great hills for sledding. Illini State Park offers a great place for families willing to brave the chill. Visit their website for more information!
1. Starved Rock State Park
Best Camping in LaSalle County
With over 130 campsites and another six group campsites, Starved Rock has space for RVs and family campers. Campsites have access to showers and there are electric hookups at each site to make your stay a little more comfortable. Unfortunately, there is no hikable connection from the campground to the park so be prepared to drive each day even if you stay within the state park.
Best Campsites at Starved Rock
While Starved Rock is one of the best state parks in Lasalle County, the campsites can be hit or miss if you don’t pick right! Keep these tips in mind when reserving your starved rock campsite:
- East Loop is going to offer more privacy since there is far more tree cover and vegetation between campsites, especially for campsites 70 – 125
- For more space for activities, especially for group camping in starved rock, the best campsites are 40 – 47 which back up to a large lawn and playground! The entire West Loop should offer easy access if those are not available.
- For the most private campsite at Starved Rock, try to reserve campsite 96 or 97. They may be the furthest ones but also have significant vegetation and less nearby campsites than the rest of the East Loop
During the day, explore over 13 miles of trails, stumbling on waterfalls, meandering into canyons, and enjoying lush forest all in a couple of hours. The park offers suggested portions for all types of hikers from the one-mile beginner to the ten-mile overhang – canyons trail combo. If you sign up early enough, you can get into a guided hike to learn more about the park from the Nature Resource Coordinator.
Rather spend more time on the water? There are kayak rentals, paddleboats, and a boat launch if you brought your own fishing boat. The river offers various types of fish for any avid angler.
The most unique thing about starved rock camping is that in the winter months, it can attract Bald Eagles who feast using the dam’s ability to break up the river ice and access the fish beneath. Make it a weekend and spend time ice climbing if you have your own equipment or rent cross country skis at the nearby Mattheison state park!
Haven’t Found Your Perfect Campsite?
More state parks, private campgrounds, and primitive campsites are waiting! Check out 14 more of our favorite campgrounds north of I-80.
Hope you found something that fits your needs with the six best places for tent camping in Lasalle County above! If you’re still looking for the perfect campsite, check out other nearby lists for Illinois Campgrounds or drop us a line to let us know if we’ve missed your favorite!