Find Campsites

Activity Permits: A Group Use or Activity permit may be required prior to making a reservation for shelters or group camp areas, please Click Here first, to determine if a permit is required for your event or activity.

Giant City State Park, IL

Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Tue Oct 14 2014   Later Dates


With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, its an outdoor lover's paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many wilderness trails, and a sure treat awaits anyone hiking the Giant City Nature Trail, home of the "Giant City Streets" formed 12,000 years ago by huge bluffs of sandstone. Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, just minutes south of Carbondale, the area was named for the unique impression made by its massive sandstone structures. Eons of geological gaulting and folding have molded a landscape like none other, which is now clothed in lush garments of fern, moss, large flowering mints, hundreds of species of wild flowers and 75-plus varieties of towering trees. The natural splendor of Giant City has made it a renowend retreat that attracts more than 1.2 million visitors annually. Shelter bluffs, or rocks shelters, worn into the sides of the cliffs have revealed evidence of human habitation in this region from as early as 10,000 years ago, and the blackened ceilings caused by their fires are still visible today. On an 80-foot sandstone cliff near the main entrance, one can see the reamins of a Native American stone wall that was erected between A.D. 600-800.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Admin Service, Copying
  • Admin Service, Faxing
  • Ball Field
  • Bath House
  • Campground Host
  • Camping, Equestrian
  • Camping, Primitive
  • Dining
  • Dock, Boat
  • Dock, Fishing
  • Docks, Fishing/Crabbing
  • Dump Station, Camper
  • Fire Rings
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Fishing
  • Fishing, Pier
  • Fishing, Reservoir
  • Geological Formations
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Hiking - Difficult
  • Hiking - Moderate
  • Hiking Trail
  • Historic Sites
  • Horse Rentals
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Information/Contact Station
  • Interpretive Center
  • Interpretive Exhibit/Display
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Jogging/Running
  • Lodging, Cabins
  • Lookout Tower
  • Parking
  • Photography
  • Picnic Area
  • Picnic Pavilion
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Picnic Tables
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Recreation Programs
  • Recycling Station
  • Restaurant
  • Restrooms
  • Retail, Drinks
  • Retail, Firewood
  • Retail, Ice
  • Retail, Snacks
  • Retail, Store/Gift Shop
  • Rock Climbing
  • Shelters
  • Showers
  • Trails, Difficult Hiking
  • Trails, Easy Hiking/Walking
  • Trails, Equestrian
  • Trails, Moderate Hiking
  • Viewing Platform/Overlook
  • Walking
  • Water, Drinking
  • Wildflower Viewing
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Church
  • Group/Community Facility
  • Newspapers
  • Seasonal Festivals
  • Sightseeing
Greater Than 1 Mile
  • Aquarium Display
  • Boating
  • Boating, Canoeing
  • Boating, Pedal
  • Canoe Rental
  • Canoeing
  • Fish Hatchery
  • Fuel, Boats
  • Golf
  • Kayak Rentals
  • Kennel
  • Marina
  • Paddle Boating
  • Powerboating
  • Rentals, Boat, Motorized
  • Rentals, Boat, Pedal
  • Retail, Bait & Tackle
Within 10 Miles
  • Antiquing
  • Car Rentals
  • Cash Machine/Atm
  • Catering
  • Cottages
  • Cultural Activities
  • Emergency Services
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Golfing
  • Grocery Store
  • Mall
  • Orchard/Produce Farm
  • Outfitter
  • Propane
  • Shopping
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Airport
  • Hospital
  • Maintenance, RV/Camper
  • Medical Clinic
  • Motel
  • Programs, Nature
  • Skiing - Water
Alerts and Important Information
  • Shelter Reservations are non-refundable unless the area is closed by the Department, in this circumstance the Site Manager will contact you prior to your reservation date to cancel and issue your refund.
  • Park hours are 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. - you must be off the trails by dusk.
  • No alcohol allowed in the day use area (within the park) from September 1 thru May 31 each year, adults of legal age(21) may have alcohol at their campsite throughout the year.
  • A responsible adult (18 years of age or older) from the camping party must register for the party and thereby acknowledge compliance with the rules and regulations of the park for the party.
  • At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
  • Special camping rate reductions apply to Illinois residents only.
  • The maximum length of camping stay from May 1 through September 30 is 14 nights in any 30 day period.
  • All pets must be on a leash no longer then 10 feet, pet owners are responsible for their pets waste and must dispose of it properly. Owners must keep their pets quiet between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m (quiet time).
  • All visitors are required to leave the park at or before 10:00 p.m.
  • Groups of 25 or more are required to register in advance with the parks office.
  • Equestian Campers - No alcohol allowed on Horse Trail. All pets must be kept on a leash.
  • Water hydrants - All campers may fill water tanks, but disconnect after full. All campers may not wash vehicles or campers, fill water ballons, or allow children to play in the water.
  • Motorized vehicles and bicycles are not allowed off paved or graveled roads. All terrain vehicles are prohibited. No Bicycles are allowed on the trails. Motorized vehicles (scooters/golf carts) must be licensed to travel on roads.
  • All handicap sites must have proper indentification stating they are disabled. Security of State disability card, coded with a P2, M2A, P20 or a military disabilty card. The military disablity card must note you have camping privileges.
  • For specific park information or questions regarding your reservation, please call the Park Office at 618-457-4836
  • Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    37.60694, -89.18944
    37°36'25"N, 89°11'22"W

    From the north: Take Interstate 57 South to the Route 13 exit (Carbondale - Exit 54B), head west (right) on Rt. 13 toward Carbondale, go approximately 15 miles. Look for Wal-Mart on your right. Turn left at this light (Giant City Road). Continue 12 miles to the south. Giant City Road will lead you into the park. From the south: Follow I-24 to I-57 North, or stay on I-57, to the Rt. 148 exit (Exit #45), head northwest on 148 for approximately 2 miles. Turn left on Grassy Road. There is a convenience store on this corner. Follow Grassy Road for 5-7 miles. Stay left when you come to a Y. Continue southwest on Grassy Road. Grassy Road will come to a T at Giant City Road. Turn south (left) on Giant City Road. Continue approximately 4 miles to the park. From the east: Head west on I-70 or, if you are further south, take I-64 to I-57 South. Continue approximately 50 miles south from I-64 to the Route 13 exit (Marion - Exit #54B), head west on Rt. 13 toward Carbondale, go approximately 15 miles. Look for Wal-Mart on your right. Turn left at this light (Giant City Road). Continue 12 miles to the south. Giant City Road will lead you into the park. From the west: Head east on I-64 approximately 50 miles from St. Louis. Take the Rt. 127 (Nashville) exit south. Continue south for approximately 50 miles to Murphysboro. At Murphysboro, go left or east for approximately 10 miles. You will pass through the town of Carbondale. Watch for the mall on your right. When you see Wal-Mart on your left, this is your light. Take a right here on Giant City Road heading south for 12 miles into the park.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    Giant City State Park
    235 Giant City Road
    Makanda IL 62958

    Phone Number:

    Project Office:(618)457-4836

    Special Events:

      The events listed here are not intended to be an all inclusive list. Please contact the park for further details.

    • The first weekend of May every year. Arts and Crafts from around the area. from May 01 2010 to May 02 2010
    • On Makanda Board Walk- Makanda Illinois - Every third weekend in October of every year. People come from all around with their Arts and Crafts. This is the time of years that the Vultures come to the area for migration. from Oct 16 2010 to Oct 17 2010