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Lower Dream Canyon

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Berlin Wall 
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Plotinus Wall 
Universal Crusher Rock 
Wall of Winter Warmth 

Lower Dream Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 7,500'
Location: 40.0069, -105.4058 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Mar 29, 2006
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Boulder Falls & Lower Dream Canyon.

  • Access Closed MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>
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  • Description 

    North Boulder Creek flows down through Dream Canyon to Boulder Falls, where it merges with Boulder Creek.

    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.

    Getting There 

    From Boulder Canyon

    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 may 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).

    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. Maybe 15 minutes of hiking.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 4.9 miles from here

    101 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',35],['2 Stars',38],['1 Star',19],['Bomb',1]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Lower Dream Canyon

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lower Dream Canyon:
    The Amendment   V10-11 8A     Boulder, 1 pitch, 20'   Freedom Boulder
    Left Side   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Wall of Winter Warmth
    Mr. Sandman   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Napster   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Chore Boy   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Snooze Button   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Smell the Coffee   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Wake Up Call   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Bobby's Wall   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Krishna & Serenity Spire
    The Daily Grind   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Golden Slumber   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    The Scientist   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Plotinus Wall : Middle
    Sleepless in Boulder   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    The Bobsled   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Boulder Quartz System   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Plotinus Wall : Right Side
    Lucky Strikes   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Interrogation   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Berlin Wall
    Big Sky Corner   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Pin Dome
    Lucid Dreaming   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Plotinus Wall : Middle
    Bed Hog   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Wall of Winter Warmth
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lower Dream Canyon

    Featured Route For Lower Dream Canyon
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mordor.

    Mordor 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  Colorado : Boulder Canyon : ... : Wall of Winter Warmth
    Mordor second pitch is by far one of the most spectacular in the Boulder area. Pitch one: 5.10d Start 50 feet right of "Direct Route" on a ledge with several pine trees. Climb up a dog-leg crack (tricky start and gear) to a ledge. Follow a thin seam past two bolts up to a two-bolt-anchor.Pitch two: 5.12b/c Climb up to first bolt and make committing moves out left towards the arete. Make a hard, technical move past the second bolt and reach a good incut hold. Follow the bolts up the face and move...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

    Photos of Lower Dream Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Upper and Lower Dream Canyon  Modified from origin...
    BETA PHOTO: Upper and Lower Dream Canyon Modified from origin...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The upper falls. Find the canyoneer!
    The upper falls. Find the canyoneer!
    Rock Climbing Photo: I swear the water level rose at least 6 inches fro...
    I swear the water level rose at least 6 inches fro...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Above Boulder Falls
    Above Boulder Falls
    Rock Climbing Photo: Lower Dream Canyon
    BETA PHOTO: Lower Dream Canyon

    Comments on Lower Dream Canyon Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 18, 2016
    By charlybldr
    May 12, 2007
    Those of us who climb in Dream Canyon are acutely aware of the signs "discouraging" people from hiking up that loose gully to gain access to the area above the falls. I read one post about a ranger giving someone a ticket for this offense.

    Does anyone know anything definitive about this?
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Apr 12, 2009
    What's with the signs saying the falls are closed? Does anyone know how long they will be closed for? Do most people just ignore these signs...? Or enter from Upper Dream Canyon?
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 12, 2009
    Phil, Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) closed the Boulder Falls area on March 30 "until further notice due to potentially unsafe conditions in the cliffs above the falls." No date was set for reopening the area.

    I heard a tourist had been injured by a falling rock.

    See Daily Camera article and the OSMP website.

    Currently, the only legal access to Lower Dream Canyon and Plotinus Wall is via Upper Dream Canyon. Personally, I would not ignore the closure -- you would be subject to a ticket and fine, and possibly damage relations between climbers and OSMP.
    By Blake Cash
    From: Chattanooga, TN
    Jan 29, 2010
    So, if I've read this's about a 15 min hike from the Upper Dream Canyon parking to get to Lower Dream?
    By Julius Beres
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 29, 2010
    15 minute hike?? Either I am making the trail much harder or you guys are hiking studs... I would say more like 30 to 45 minutes (depending if there is snow on the ground). The "right" way to go isn't obvious, so if it is your first time there, expect it to take longer.

    It was a 10-15 minute hike in from Boulder Falls before that way was closed.
    By JeffMoore24
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 3, 2010
    Any opinions on best/safest approach to Plotinus Wall (from Upper DC)? Stay high around Wall of Winter Warmth or cut around the back skirting Classic Cliff near the creek...?
    By Eric Carlos
    From: Chattanooga, TN
    May 15, 2012
    Can you access from Boulder Falls. We hiked down from the upper lot, and pretty much bushwhacked the whole way, skirting "no trespassing" signs. Really was a pain in the ass.
    By Will Mitchell
    Jun 4, 2013
    Hello all!!

    I was climbing at Upper Dream Canyon on Sunday May 26th and I left my camera at the rocks somewhere. It is an Olympus Tough Tg-1 with silver and black body and has a red wrist strap on it. This camera has been around the world with me and is very special to me. If anyone has located it or has any information, I WILL GIVE A REWARD. PLEASE!!

    Anyone with any information, please contact me!!

    Thank you, good people!!!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Olympus TG-1.
    Olympus TG-1.
    By jack-kerouac
    Oct 20, 2013
    We recently accessed Lower Dream Canyon through the gully on the right side of the Boulder Slips crag. After the gully, stay left and head up towards the ridge. You will encounter a faint trail that traverses the slope and leads to a little tunnel in a rock. Passing through that, you can go down to the river and end up right above the waterfall.
    You do not need to climb over the fence into the closed Boulder Fall trail using this approach. You still might drop rocks onto the Boulder Falls trail, though.
    By Mike to the B
    Jan 27, 2014
    Does anyone know the grade of the highball arete (facing the creek) on the Freedom Boulder? There is mention of a V7 arete in the new Colorado Bouldering compilation (on the northwest arete), but that doesn't make sense. Thanks.
    By JoshuaRichardson
    Sep 18, 2016
    I've been climbing and adventuring in Dream Canyon for almost a year now, and for the first time ever, I got a ticket for using the Boulder Falls approach. I guess that the city owns the actual Boulder Falls and the area surrounding it, because the area is closed. It's trespassing. I don't know how often they patrol the area, but it's a $250 ticket if you catch them on a bad day. I had always heard it was fine if you're respectfu, but that's not the case.

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