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Lower Dream Canyon

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Berlin Wall 
Bhakti Point, Summit Knob 
Chrome Dome 
Critic's Block 
Freedom Boulder 
Krishna & Serenity Spire 
Nickel Dome 
Pin Dome 
Plotinus Wall 
Universal Crusher Rock 
Wall of Winter Warmth 

Lower Dream Canyon 


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Elevation: 7,500'
Location: 40.0069, -105.4058 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 235,602
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Mar 29, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Upper and Lower Dream Canyon

Modified from origin...
  • Access via Boulder Falls closed MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>

  • 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.


    90 Total Routes


    ['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',28],['2 Stars',37],['1 Star',19],['Bomb',0]
    ['<=5.6',1],['5.7',0],['5.8',2],['5.9',4],['5.10',26],['5.11',28],['5.12',17],['5.13',4],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',1],['V2-3',3],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',3],['>=V14',1]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated 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
    Smell the Coffee   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Snooze Button   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Wake Up Call   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Chore Boy   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Bobby's Wall   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Krishna & Serenity Spire
    Adam's Arete   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Krishna & Serenity Spire
    The Scientist   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Plotinus Wall : Middle
    Sleepless in Boulder   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     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   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Mordor   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Wall of Winter Warmth
    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   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Plotinus Wall : Middle
    East Germany   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Berlin Wall
    Bed Hog   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Wall of Winter Warmth
    War On Freedom   5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Plotinus Wall : Left Side
    Browse More Classics in Lower Dream Canyon

    Featured Route For Lower Dream Canyon
    First move.

    The Amendment V10-11 8A  CO : Boulder Canyon : ... : Freedom Boulder
    The Amendment is just above Boulder Falls 50 feet from the waters edge and 75-100 yards from the falls. The problem traverses into an existing boulder problem called Freedom. Start on the left side of the boulder and traverse on bad slopers into Freedom. Finish Freedom. Freedom is rated V10, with The Amendment being more difficult, so the V10/11 grade is given. Maybe easier, may be harder than V10/11....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

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    Jul 9 Access Fund is hiring in Boulder 0
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    Photos of Lower Dream Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
    Boulder Falls & Lower Dream Canyon
    Boulder Falls & Lower Dream Canyon
    Above Boulder Falls
    Above Boulder Falls
    Lower Dream Canyon
    BETA PHOTO: Lower Dream Canyon
    I swear the water level rose at least 6 inches from the morning to the afternoon. <br /> <br />This jump has dire consequences for failure.
    I swear the water level rose at least 6 inches fro...
    Comments on Lower Dream Canyon Add Comment
    Show which comments
    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
    Jan 29, 2010

    So, if I've read this correctly...it'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: Boulder, CO
    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!! williamcmitchell3@gmail.com.

    Thank you, good people!!!

    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.