Illinois River

Illinois River 15971 Hwy 10
Tahlequah, OK 74464

Phone: 918-456-3251
Fax: 918-456-3751
Weather Forecast
H 77° L 64°
Description

Noted for its beauty, the scenic Illinois River is nestled in the heart of the Oklahoma Ozark Hills. The Upper Illinois River is an easy flowing, Class II river with a rock bottom and shores, delightful scenery and several stretches of mild rapids making for great float trip experiences.

The Illinois River offers over 60 miles of clear water rippling over flint rock. The Illinois River is said to be the best canoe stream in the state with interesting and sometimes challenging waters. Both experienced paddlers and novices will enjoy float trips on the Illinois River as it winds by high bluffs, gravel bars and lush forests.

Noted for its beauty, the scenic Illinois River is nestled in the heart of the Oklahoma Ozark Hills. The Upper Illinois River is an easy flowing, Class II river with a rock bottom and shores, delightful scenery and several stretches of mild rapids making for great float trip experiences.

The Illinois River offers over 60 miles of clear water rippling over flint rock. The Illinois River is said to be the best canoe stream in the state with interesting and sometimes challenging waters. Both experienced paddlers and novices will enjoy float trips on the Illinois River as it winds by high bluffs, gravel bars and lush forests.

There are a number of float trip outfitters along State Highway 10 North which offer canoes, kayaks and rafts.  Most outfitters rent the watercraft including life jackets and paddles and shuttle guests up the river, allowing them to float back down to the outfitter.  Many float trip outfitters also offer camping, cabins or motels as well as amenities such as swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts and picnic areas.  Canoes offer superior maneuverability and make the float trip faster, while rafts carry more floaters and offer more stability.  Outfitters can help floaters select the best watercraft for their group and skill level. 

Wildlife is abundant along the scenic Illinois River including deer, fox, bobcats and a wide variety of birds.  Bald eagles inhabit the area year-round.

The Illinois River is an excellent fishing destination for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, walleye, and various sunfishes. The Lower Illinois River offers year round trout fishing. The designated fishing area is a 7.75 mile stretch from Tenkiller Dam to Highway 64 bridge near Gore. Bank access and boat ramps are available throughout the area for the convenience of fishermen. Overnight camping permitted at fee areas and the Gore Landing North. Daily limits and size regulations apply for brown trout and smallmouth bass.

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Amenities
  • On-site Activities: Canoeing/Rafting/Kayaking, Swimming, Watchable Wildlife

  • Rentals: Canoe Rental, Kayak Rental, Raft Rental




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From TravelOK.com Staff on 05/12/15

Missy, you are allowed to camp at any of the public access areas or at any of the outfitters along the river. For more information, please click the orange website button at the top of this page. Thank you for using TravelOK.com!


From Missy on 05/11/15

Are there certain areas your only allowed to camp in?


From TravelOK.com Staff on 05/11/15

Josie, you can park a car at either end and supply your own gear for free, or you can contact an outfitter and they'll arrange all your transportation and supply the equipment. For rates, you'll need to visit the official website of each outfitter. Here is an article with more information: www.travelok.com/article_page/illinois-river-float-and-camp-trips. Thank you for using TravelOK.com!


From Josie on 05/08/15

Is the fee per person or is it as a group because me and my four friends plan on floating but money is kinda limited


From TravelOK.com Staff on 04/28/15

Jeremny, nope, there are no special permits required! Along the river, there are a number of public access areas where you can camp. The fee is $12 per night, and it is collected by the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission. There are also a number of outfitters along the way if you need to coordinate transportation. For more information, please click the orange website button at the top of this page. Thank you for using TravelOK.com!


From Jeremny on 04/28/15

My partner and I have made a goal this summer to kayak and tent-camp the whole river. About a 5 day trip so very doable. To do so, do we need to get any permits or give any notice to officials?


From TravelOK.com Staff on 08/19/14

Keira, your best bet to check on water level is to call the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission at 918-456-3251. You can also visit their website through the orange button above for more information. Best wishes and thank you for using TravelOK.com!


From Keira on 08/19/14

Is the water high enough for a gentle float in a raft or canoe this time of year?


From Randi Noel on 08/14/14

we went this past weekend we go once every year never had a bad trip. well this past weekend my husband fell back off the raft into a tree and got hit by under current no ones fault he was able to get up after a while of us all freaking out and is OK but lost his wedding band and brand new Oakley sun glasses i bought him . Ring is black with two lines that run across the whole ring and Oakley frames are see through with blue lens. please please if you find email me at randi.n.noel okstate.edu


From TravelOK.com Staff on 07/23/14

Josie, a few of the outfitters and resorts also offer more secluded primitive camping in addition to their main lodging areas. They are Hanging Rock Camp, Riverside Resort, Diamondhead Resort and Peyton's Place. You can see more information about each one by using the search bar at the top of this page. Have a great day and thank you for using TravelOK.com!


From Josie on 07/23/14

I'm planning on going on a float trip but i dont want to stay at a resort. Do you know of any more primitive camping on the river?


From Evelyn on 05/07/13

This place looks amazing! The students at our high school have been going there since 2004.. Its an incredible experience.. Only two grades go each year and they come back not wanting to leave..


From TravelOK.com Staff on 04/22/13

John, you'll find the links for several outfitters on the top right side of this page under 'See Related Listings.' For rates and availability, you'll need to contact them directly through the phone number or email address listed on their page. Best wishes and thank you for using TravelOK.com!


From john N on 04/21/13

i was wondering whats the pricing for a 5 person cabin?


From James on 06/23/11

Look babe a day of fishing and floating


From Jennifer on 07/28/10

The Illinois River is one of my favorite places! While growing up, my family floated the river every summer and I enjoyed taking my kids down the river several times too. Looking forward to taking grandkids to the Illinois River!


 
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