Frozen Falls

Behind the Falls

Another look at the frozen waterfall in LaSalle Canyon, part of Starved Rock State Park in north central Illinois. The alternating warm/cold days added some dynamics to the ice formations that generally form in these canyons.

During the cold temperatures, the waterfalls froze, creating intricate pillars of ice clinging to the top of the rock outcroppings - much like stalactites. The water that dripped to the ground, gathered and froze, creating mounds of round ice - much like stalagmites. Eventually they join together to form a thick column of ice.

With the fluctuations in weather, the columns of ice have fallen to the ground in piles at the base of the falls. These chunks of ice measured about 4 feet in length and over a foot in diameter. The intricate patterns created by the dripping water made these columns appear like giant mineral crystals.

LaSalle Canyon is one of the few canyons in Starved Rock State Park where one can easily walk behind the waterfall - frozen or liquid.   In fact, the trail leads you under the outcropping. This provides a unique view of the canyon in any season. Many of the other falls can be accessed from behind if hikers don't mind crawling, climbing, or getting wet.

Looking past the waterfall, the expanse of the canyon comes into view; however, from this angle, one can only see about 1/8 of the length of the canyon. The walk to and from the falls can be just as interesting as the falls themselves.

No comments: