Dawn Falls and King Mountain Loop
5.8 miles     900 ft
26 Mar 2011

A gorgeous, shaded hike to Dawn Falls along with a side trip to King Mountain Loop.

Location: King Mountain Open Space PreserveBlithedale Summit Open Space PreserveBaltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map: Good map showing various hiking trails. Mileage information is missing.


Route in brief: From Madrone Avenue trailhead, follow Dawn Falls Trail (0.5 miles) to a bridge that marks the intersection with Ladybug Trail. Cross the bridge and follow Ladybug Trail (0.6 miles) → King Mountain Loop (1.9 miles) → Ladybug Trail (0.6 miles) to return to the bridge. Then continue along Dawn Falls Trail (0.6 miles) to reach Dawn Falls. From Dawn Falls, retrace your steps alongDawn Falls Trail (1.1 miles) to reach the trailhead on Madrone Ave.


  1. The entire route is shaded. Dawn Falls Trail meanders next to Larkspur Creek. The trail was quite muddy but walkable. After thunderstorms, the creek flows with lots of water.
  2. King Mountain Loop is also shaded and offers panoramic views now and then. It does not go to the summit but circumambulates it.
  3. Signs were missing at many interesctions along King Mountain Loop. At all such intersections, I could use my intuition to guess where to go. However, there was one bifurcation where it was not clear which path to take.

Location: 434 Madrone Avenue, Larkspur, CA 94939 . Parking area is not visible in Google Maps.

Directions: From Hwy 101 in Corte Madera, take the Paradise Dr/Tamalpais Dr exit west on Tamalpais Dr, turn right at Corte Madera Ave (becomes Magnolia Ave), and turn left at Madrone Ave (becomes Valley Way). Trailhead is at the very end. of Madrone Ave.

On the official MCOSD trail map, the trail head is supposedly next to 'Water Way'. In March 2011, I could not find any road called 'Water Way'. I followed Madrone Avenue all the way to the trail head.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: March 2011)

Capacity: Parking is in residential areas — free but tight. Several signs advise you to park only in designated areas marked by white lines on roads. If you cannot find parking close to the trail head, you may try parking in side streets — there is a mishmash of lanes and side roads close to trail heads.

Latitude: 37.931463     Longitude: -122.550524

Dawn Falls Trail
King Mountain Loop
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