The trail was fully restored in 2018 by volunteers and is again open. Not recommended for bicycles or horses.
The Dawn Mine Trail connects Dawn Station on the Mt. Lowe Road #2N50
to Tom Sloan Saddle. The trail starts about 0.3 miles north of the junction with the Echo Mountain Trail 12W14.A
and can be reached by taking either the Sunset Ridge Trail 12W18
or the Lower Sam Merrill Trail 12W14.1
. There is a small sign and a historical marker at the top of the trail which is located near a large turnout along the narrow road.
The trail descends steeply into Millard Canyon passing through blasted out sections of the edge of a cliff, then winding along switchbacks down to the canyon floor in about 0.8 miles. It reaches a junction with the Millard Canyon Trail
heading downstream. To reach the mine, take the left fork for 50 feet and then a right turn down to the canyon bottom where the mine can be seen.
The trail continues upstream from the first junction passing along a delightful stream with bay, maple, and alder trees shading the path. There are some nice Humboldt lilies that bloom in late spring.
About 0.5 miles from the mine, the trail leaves the canyon bottom where the north fork joins. There is a nice section where the trail passes above and below seasonal waterfalls as it climbs out of the canyon into open chaparral of ceanothus, scrub oak, and laurel sumac. It ends at Tom Sloan Saddle where there is a junction with the Bear Canyon Trail 12W08
, the Tom Sloan Trail #12W22
, and a popular use trail leading westward to Brown Mountain.
Bigcone spruce, oaks, bay, alder, maple trees. Chaparral of ceanothus, laurel sumac, chamise, manzanita. Watch for poison oak which is prolific.