Dawn Falls — Piedmont Trail — King Mountain Loop
7.3 miles     1000 ft
26 Mar 2011
Summary

A gorgeous, fully shaded, short hike adjoining Larkspur Creek that flows with water after thunderstorms. Side trip to King Mountain Loop for panoramic valley views.

Location: Baltimore Canyon Open Space PreserveBlithedale Summit Open Space PreserveKing Mountain Open Space Preserve

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map by MCOSD: Great map showing various trails and mileage information.

Route

To Piedmont Rd: From Madrone Avenue trailhead, follow Piedmont Trail (1.0 miles) all the way to Piedmont Road. Piedmont Trail goes all along a creek. On the other side of the creek are homes. About half a mile is flat. The remaining half mile climbs via a series of switchbacks to reach Piedmont Rd.

To Dawn Falls: From Piedmont Road, follow Piedmont Trail (1.0 miles). Continue along Dawn Falls Trail (0.5 miles) to reach 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.

To Trailhead on Madrone Ave: From Dawn Falls, follow Dawn Falls Trail (1.1 miles) to return to the trailhead.

Notes:

  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. Yelp reviews for Dawn Falls: Getting to the base of the falls is possible but tricky. There is no trail that leads you to the base.
  3. King Mountain Loop is also shaded and offers panoramic views now and then. It does not go to the summit but circumambulates it.
  4. 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.
Trailhead

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

Piedmont Trail
Dawn Falls Trail
King Mountain Loop
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