Baltimore Canyon, Dawn Falls Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Larkspur, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Hike through lush wooded, fern covered canyons. Pass waterfalls and enjoy stunning SF Bay Vistas. This is a great trail to hike or run, even during or after rainfalls. For longer hike, park near Dolliver Park on Madrone Road. Walk a few blocks to Foley - take a left. Look for stairs after the third house on the left. Take a right at top of stairs and follow the narrow road until the end. There is a trail head sign for Lower Baltimore Canyon trail. Continue approx. one mile to a wooden bridge, where the Upper Baltimore Canyon trail begins. Continue .5-.75 and keep an eye out for the trail going up hill to the right. Cross the small creek and head up Lady Bug Trail to King Mt. Loop. At junction, continue straight, then go left to Wilson Trail. Cross a fire road. Turn right, heading down gravel path. For shorter hike, go left on King Mt. Loop to Dawn Falls or continue past gate on Ridgecrest Rd. Take left at Evergreen Dr. Left on Crown Rd. Becomes Blithedale Summit Fire Rd. Look for Dawn Falls Creek Trail on left just before suspension pipe.
For the first mile or so, you're basically in people's backyards. But the rest of the hike is secluded and beautiful. Steep in parts, and you can really make this hike as long or short as you want it to be.
Great rainy day hike with rewarding waterfall and beautiful vistas from the fire road. Descent can be a bit tricky, especially if you have a baby strapped to your back, like I did, but overall I highly recommend this trail. Also, be careful not to miss the intersection that takes you back to the portal.
This trail is entirely through the trees and shade. The pups and I loved it! I went counter clockwise. The lower part is along a stream and is mostly flat. There is one steep uphill with stairs and switchbacks, 10 minutes or so running. The return is along a mixed use fire road (not a trail). I did miss the first downhill turn off the fire road to the lower part and just took the next one. That downhill trail was loose dirt and a careful walk. The fire road had water and a dish for the pups, which was a nice surprise.
For parking, I didn't follow Piedmont all the way up to the few parking spots and just parked on Magnolia and ran to the trail.
It seems there are several other trails adjoining this that could make for a longer run or hike. I will run this one again.
Great place for a trail run with some switchbacks and redwoods.
Great spot to hike with the Pooch.
Directions confusing. When u reach Crown Road turn left. Do not go up Dawn Falls trail ahead. Go down Barbara Spring trail which is very steep and rocky. Nice
Great hiking. As usual got lost as we lost the signal and missed a turn. Ended going higher up and were rewarded with views of the bay. It was an excellent hike with diversity which really was a nice surprise.
Pretty scenery, lots of wildlife. Very simple trail, does incline your heart rate at some parts. Pretty views at the top. You are next to a neighborhood for about half of the time. If you don't mind that, great trail.
Great short hike. The water is kinda low, not much water over the falls right now.
Muir Woods-like experience.
Great moderate hike! Beautiful scenery ! Parking can be difficult.
Wonderful rain hike. Water everywhere.
Such a great find, right near Larkspur. Beautiful, dark, mossy forest with lots of water action. Parking (in a neighborhood) can be tough. Easy hike with little ones and dogs.
I walked the 8+ miles on a cloudy and drizzling morning .. but I give 4 stars on account of the likely great views on a clear day.
This is a glass-half-full / glass-half-empty kind of hike: very easy access to nature because Baltimore Canyon is so close to the center of Marin and right at the edge of Larkspur... but also a bit too close to the urban centers in several places. Nevertheless, there is plenty to enjoy along the way, starting with the walk up Baltimore Canyon and then the short climb to Dawn Falls, and beyond and up to Crown Road (Southern Marin Line). That initial section of the trail is probably the most "intimate' (traffic notwithstanding) and beautiful.
Once on Crown road and for a fairly level section, I headed south for 1 mile to the switchback cut-off up to the Blithesdale Ridge Fire road which I followed North, pass the Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Trail and until I reached the cut-off to Indian Fire Road (high point of the hike). The Blithesdale Fire Road rides the very ridge top and is therefore a bit of a roller-coaster; this is however a good section for sweeping views to the NorthWest on a sunny day.
After the cut-off to Indian Fire road, the Blithesdale Ridge Fire Road descends to the intersection of Hoo-Koo-E-Koo and the Corte Madera trail. I took the fairly steep Corte Madera Trail down to the creek bed and the junction with the (Mountain Bikers favorite) Old Railroad Grade fire road. The trail is narrow and not too easy to navigate with a combination of rocky and roots--rich spots.
I continued down on Old Railroad Grade, turning left at the bottom to climb back up to Blithesdale Ridge by the way of the H Line Fire Road to then retrace my step back quickly to Crown Road. I pursued South on Crown Road all the way to the steep and slippery descent towards Baltimore Canyon and Piedmont Road. From Piedmont road, the last stretch of this hike mostly follows the SouthWest bank of Baltimore Canyon to finally close the loop