Baltimore Canyon Open Space

Baltimore Canyon Open Space

Marin County Parks Open Space Preserve

Marin County Parks Open Space Leash Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome to enjoy trails. Dogs are allowed off-leash under strict voice control on fire protection roads. Please follow posted rules.

At the headwaters of Larkspur Creek, this 193 acre preserve encompasses a lovely canyon filled with history, stately trees, and a spectacular waterfall.

The trail system here connects to several of the main fire roads that traverse the north slopes of Mount Tamalpais, as well as to other MCOSD preserves including King Mountain and Blithedale Summit.

This canyon was once home to some of the largest redwoods in the Bay area, but all were cut in less than a decade to build the homes and businesses in rapidly growing San Francisco. Many redwoods have re-sprouted, but now the canyon is shaded by a mix of trees that includes bays, madrones, and Douglas firs.

Certain parts of the creek remain wet year-round, so there are young steelhead and California Pacific giant salamanders lurking in the deeper pools.

You can see the remnants of a stone dam that once created a small reservoir at a wide spot in the canyon. The dam was dynamited in the 1920’s as a result of a drowning.

Further up the creek is the quarry that yielded the stones for the dam, as well as the Larkspur restaurant known as “the Blue Rock Inn.”

At the head of the canyon lies Dawn Falls, a spectacular 30-foot cascade during the wet winter months through early spring.

Take the Sir Francis Drake Blvd exit west towards Kentfield, turn right at Woodland Road, turn left at Evergreen Drive, continue uphill, and turn left at Crown Road just past Ridgecrest Drive.

Leash rule: Dogs are allowed to be off-leash as long as they are under voice control.
Parking: Small turnaround at the end of the road
Fee: None
Water: Bring your own water.
Best time of year for this hike: Late winter or early spring if you want to see flowers and the waterfall.
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.2 miles
Hours of operation: Sunrise to sunset

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