A blog about outdoor adventure and Vanlife

In search of Hidden Waterfalls- Dawn Falls

Daisy Water Dog at Dawn Falls

Dawn Falls lies in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais, near Larkspur, CA.  It’s tucked into a shady and cool canyon, accessible from several neighborhood access points.  Fortunately, Dawn Falls requires a bit of a walk from every access point, which cuts down on the number of visitors. (It’s also great terrain for trail running, though rarely flat).  On this day, we started with King Mountain, then Ladybug Trail, then Dawn Falls Trail (and back the way we came, continuing around the second half of King Mountain Loop).  About 6.2 miles round trip with a mix of hiking and trail running.

As I write this, Spring looks like it has finally taken hold. The seasonal waterfalls of winter and spring will begin to dry up quickly.  We went just a couple days after a rain, so the falls and creeks were still going.  Dawn falls has several small, cascading falls, and one larger 20-30 foot drop.

Daisy Trail Dog just loves hiking in cool canyons.  When the weather is cool, she gets extra playful.

Run Daisy Run! H playing springer spaniel games

The trail meanders through several groves of coastal redwoods, tucked into the canyon.  Because of it’s small size, Dawn Falls is not the destination in itself.  It’s the journey up and down through the canyon and the redwood groves that makes this sweet.

Much of Marin County was logged of it’s old growth redwoods in the last century.  The hillsides here are no exception and are second growth forest.  If you look closely, here and there you can see the remains of massive stumps.  Below,  H and Daisy Tree Dog peek over the remains of an old growth redwood.  Although it’s scale is hidden in the photo, the stump is at least 10 feet across.

Old growth and new growth- H and Daisy Trail Dog peeking out from an old stump.

Don't forget to look UP when walking through redwood groves.

Trail Dog

Over the last nine years, we’ve accumulated thousands of pics of Daisy.  We’re not obsessive dog photographers, but Daisy always looks good and is patient when we pull out the camera.  She also gives perspective to some of the landscapes we visit together.

Water Dog

Daisy Creek Dog, waiting for someone to come play with her.

Log Dog

The bridge home

My ruggedized point and shoot digital camera struggled with the low lighting in the canyon.  Without a tripod to hold the camera steady, I took lots of blurry pics.  There is always a conflict between my desire to travel light and fast, and hauling a better camera setup around.  Also I’m a monkey and need a waterproof, shockproof camera to protect against the inevitable mud, sweat, water, and bouncing.  Such is life.  Most of our adventures are about the journey, not the destination.

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Categorised in: Dogs and Paws, Trails

6 Responses »

  1. My favorite photo is the one of you crossing the water on logs. What a beautiful green light in the picture. Daisy seems to enjoy hiking the trail as much as my Paco does. Nothing like having a 4 legged companion to keep you company on a hike. Great pictures. Stay safe and keep on hiking.


    • Thanks! You have a great blog too! (I’m just starting to read it. Love the gardening one so far). One of the things about starting a blog is discovering people from around the world who are also doing interesting, awesome things as well. Reading other’s adventures was one of the inspirations for starting our own blog as well. Oh and dogs. Just like having a kid, we look for interesting adventures for Daisy. Her unbridled enthusiasm and ability to just be in the moment is infectious.


      • I hike and mountain bike so your blog really hits home for me. I’ve nowhere near the time behind the wheel that you guys have but I enjoy combining the outdoors with the bike riding. Throw in the dog that loves hiking and your blog hit all the right notes. 😀


  2. We visited the Redwoods last summer and loved them..what a beautiful place ..also love the dog pics


    • Thanks! We are both lucky to live in beautiful places. In 2010 we did a road trip to Colorado for Mountain Bike Nationals. It was an epic trip. Western Colorado has such unbelievable dramatic views, and so much outdoor stuff to do. We look forward to going back for another road trip. You could spend a lifetime exploring the American West.

      Incidentally, love your blog and pics. I keep looking at your last post and wondering if you used a photoshop filter, or whether that’s just as dramatic as Colorado really is. I’ve just started to play with “enhancing” my digital pics. Photographing our adventures is our weak point in blogging (balanced, I supposed by covering lots of ground and having epic adventures).



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