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Beat the Heat with these 5 Tips

Stay comfortable on the trails.

Days are getting longer, the sun is shining, and it is the middle of summer. While summer is a great time to hit the trails, it is important to stay safe in the hot temperatures. Avoid extreme sweating, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and ensure maximum enjoyment on the trails with these 5 tips to beat the heat.

  • Time to hit the trails: It is best to start early in the morning or later in the day. The park opens at 7 a.m and closes at sunset. If hiking on an extremely hot day, or if you must hike in the middle of the day, consider going down into a canyon where it will be shaded.

  • What to wear: Avoid dark colored: especially black clothing, as these colors attract the sun more easily. We recommend light, breathable clothing such as dri-fit material. For extra protection against the sun, wear a light long sleeve and breathable pants, such as leggings. Protect your face with a hat.

  • Sunscreen, Sunscreen, and more Sunscreen: Load up on the sunscreen and make sure to bring some with you on the hike. It is vital to protect yourself from strong UV rays in the summer. It is best to choose sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and re apply every 90 minutes to 2 hours.

  • Stay hydrated: Being hydrated starts long before you take your first step on the trails. Start drinking more water the night before the hike, and continue drinking water in the morning. Make sure to bring plenty of water on the hike as there are no water stations out on the trails. We recommend a metal, reusable water bottle to keep the water cold on your hike. After the hike, to prevent dehydration, continue drinking lots of water. Don’t wait for your body to “feel” thirsty, drink lots of water continuously starting the day before your hike.

  • Prepare in advance: If you haven’t been out in the heat all-day yet this summer, don’t expect to hike from sunrise to sundown at Starved Rock. Your body must adjust to the high temperatures, so start spending a little more time each day outside before the day of your hike. Know your limits, and take it easier than usual if temperatures are extremely hot. Check for any heat advisories/warnings the night before your hike.

We want you to have the best experience possible while hiking. If you believe you are experiencing heat exhaustion on a hike, seek shade, rest, and drink plenty of water! In case of an emergency, call 911, but remember that many parts of the park do not have cell service. Don’t let the rising temperatures of sunny summer days stop you from enjoying your hike… Follow these 5 simple tips to beat the heat!

Waterfall Flow Reporting

As a reminder, we are asking every person who hikes to a waterfall this spring/summer to submit a waterfall flow rate report on our website at This takes less than 60 seconds and can be completed for all the major waterfalls within Starved Rock State Park. You can also attach photos/video clips of the waterfall.

Don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtag #starvedrockhikers when sharing all your spring hiking adventures! We’ll also do our best to keep hikers informed via our Hikers group on Facebook. Click here to join for free!

See you on the trails.

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Every time you purchase a product from Starved Rock Hikers, you are also helping the park. A portion of our annual proceeds are donated to the Starved Rock Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports Starved Rock & Matthiessen through educational programs, guided hikes, exhibit updates, and more.