Lower Dream Canyon Rock Climbing
|GPS:||40.007, -105.406 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Ron Olsen on Mar 29, 2006|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
Following a five month closure to protect nesting golden eagles, the Roosevelt National Forest has reopened Eagle Rock climbing area in Boulder Canyon.
“The Boulder Canyon eagles successfully raised one strong and healthy eaglet this year,” said wildlife biologist Aurelia DeNasha with the USDA Forest Service. “Two chicks hatched initially, but unfortunately only one survived to fledge, which isn’t uncommon in birds of prey.”
Post-fledging visits to the nest did not reveal the exact cause of death of the second chick, but cooperation by climbers with the closures are crucial to the eagles’ success each season.
“Golden eagle pairs are most susceptible to disturbance when choosing a nesting site. These closures allow the birds to pick the best site for survival without impact of other factors, such as human presence. Once chosen, the nest site stays closed until the eagles fledge in late July,” said DeNasha.
After the eagles’ site selection was made unused areas reopened in April.
The annual nesting closures include popular rock climbing spots at Eagle Rock, Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress and Security Risk in Boulder Canyon. These areas are located along Colorado Highway 119, approximately 1.5 miles east of Boulder Falls.
Effective through July 31, 2020, the closures protect a long-established golden eagle nesting territory. Happy Hour, Bihedral and Riviera remain open as long as visitors stay out of the closed areas.
The Boulder Ranger District partners with the Boulder Climbing Community and the Access Fund to monitor nesting progress and to inform climbers about the importance of giving the eagles space to raise their young.
It is against federal and state law to disturb any nesting bird of prey. Only employees, volunteers, and wildlife professionals under an agreement with the Forest Service enter nesting areas for monitoring purposes. This is for the integrity of nest and the safety of the eagles, those conducting surveys, and the public. Visitors can help protect wildlife by respecting all closures and leaving immediately if you should accidentally enter one.
For the most current closure information, check signs in the areas, call the Boulder Ranger District office at 303-541-2500, or visit local climbing websites or fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/rec…
(click on Boulder Canyon for more info).
Starting 4/21/20, Blob Rock, East Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress and Security Risk are now open to activities. Eagle Rock remains closed to climbing and all activities until 7/31/2020. This was confirmed with Matt Henry, Recreation Program Manager, Forest Service.
From K. Armstrong, FS Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-222-7607: starting 3/20/19, Blob Rock, East Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and Security Risk are now open to activities. Eagle Rock remains closed to climbing and other activities through 7/31/19.
The Boulder Ranger District partners with the Boulder Climbing Community and the Access Fund to monitor nesting progress and to inform climbers about the importance of giviSee - fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/rec….
Eagle Rock, Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and Security Risk will close Feb. 1 until July 31 for raptor nesting. Depending on updated information, the closure time can be shortened or lengthened.
Each year, Boulder Canyon raptor nesting area closures are in effect starting February 1st through July 31st at Eagle Rock, Security Risk, Blob Rock, and Bitty Buttress. However, the area is monitored and closures are periodically lifted early (due to no active nest, nest site failure, or early fledging). This monitoring program is a partnership with the Forest Service Boulder Ranger District, Boulder Climbing Community, and Audubon Society. Check back periodically during times of closure for updates. More info at fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/rec…
Dropping into Lower Dream Canyon from the Upper Dream Canyon access point crosses private property and is not permitted by the land owner. Climbers accessing this area from Upper Dream Canyon are trespassing.
Per Dan Gozdz: I reached out to OSMP and received the following reply about access: yes, there is now a designated climbing access trail through Boulder Falls that follows the old footpath through the Keyhole. Enjoy!
The crags in Dream Canyon are split into two parts: Upper Dream Canyon and Lower Dream Canyon. The crags in Upper Dream Canyon are generally accessed from a parking area above the canyon, off of Sugarloaf Road.
The crags in Lower Dream Canyon are usually accessed from the Boulder Falls parking area. These crags can be accessed from the Upper Dream Canyon parking area, but this is not commonly done.
Probably, the most popular crag in Lower Dream Canyon is Plotinus Wall. It has a few old routes put up by Jim Erickson and others in the 1970s and 1980s, but it didn't gain prominence until the past few years, after Bob D'Antonio and Vaino Kodas established many great sport routes there. Today, it is popular for climbers seeking 5.10 to 5.12 sport routes in a great setting.
Another popular crag in Lower Dream Canyon is the Wall of Winter Warmth It has some old trad routes from the 1970s, and some newer harder sport routes put up by D'Antonio and Kodas.
The Berlin Wall has some very difficult sport routes, and some older trad routes that are challenging and runout.
Most of the other crags in Lower Dream Canyon (Pin Dome, Nickel Dome, Krishna Spire, and Serenity Spire) have a few high-quality sport routes that are worth seeking out.
Chrome Dome, just upstream from Boulder Falls, was developed during the 1980s, before the advent of sport climbing. Most of the routes are runout and serious, and this rock sees little attention from modern climbers.
From the intersection of Broadway and Colorado 119 in Boulder, follow Colorado 119 west towards the town of Nederland. About eight miles up the Canyon turn left into a large parking area for Boulder Falls.
From the Boulder Falls "trail" walk in on the 'tourist path' until you nearly come to a park bench. Switchback to the left between some caged rocks and a tree. Switchback again to the right on top of the rocks. Above you is a second set of caged rocks - pass these on the left (south) end, or climb over. From here, angle up and right on a faint path. There were some small cairns leading the way on 7/12/03. You are aiming for a small 'tunnel' near a dead tree that is, again, up and right from the caged rocks. Note, this access used to be frowned upon by non-climbing land managers.
Eds. during the months when Boulder Falls is CLOSED (Nov. 1 - May 1), some folks access skirting the right edge of Boulder Slips. It is not clear as to if this access is affected by the Boulder Falls closure.
Pass through the tunnel and hike steeply down the other side, heading to the water's edge, and follow a path upstream to a boulder jumble. The Plotinus Wall should be clearly visible uphill at 11:00, and the Wall of Winter Warmth at about 1:00, across the creek.
To get to Plotinus Wall, head up through the boulders to the bottom of the wall, just below the bolted slab, "The Scientist".
Universal Crusher is a small crag left of Plotinus and a short distance above the creek.
Chrome Dome, Nickel Dome, Pin Dome, Wall of Winter Warmth, Berlin Wall, Krishna, and Serenity Spire lie on the other side of the creek. Pick a good spot to wade across, and head up to the rock of your choice. The crossing may be difficult at times of high water (spring and early summer).
Per Katherine Kelly: the Boulder Climbing Community, working alongside OSMP, Boulder County and Forest Service has secured access to the Plotinus area.
Just before you arrive at Boulder Falls, the climber’s trail splits left through some talus and climbs uphill above the falls. You will notice a very small climber's access tag bolted to a rock. You will go up this way and then through the keyhole and down to access climbing. Access to Plotinus is provisionally granted for climbing access. It is still closed to the population at large.
From Upper Dream Canyon
Lower Dream Canyon crags can also be accessed from the Upper Dream Canyon parking area: Go left and down away from Upper Dream Canyon following the rock cairns heading in southerly direction. See the beta photo for trail choices to the different crags.
To get to Plotinus Wall: cross a small stream, and follow the cairns towards the Wall of Winter Warmth. Skirt the top of the wall, and drop down a gully towards the creek. Reach the creek, cross it, and go up the talus to Plotinus Wall. This is maybe 15 minutes of hiking.
Classic Climbing Routes at Lower Dream Canyon
Days w Precip