Toproping Butterfingers to the right of the Turkey...
Turkey Peak is the tall, sloping peak east of the Main Dome and due south of Freshman Mountain. It immediately attracts your attention because unlike all of the other formations in the park, Turkey Peak is not a dome, but an actual peak. Considered to be the oldest rock anywhere in the park, it has a completely different feel and type of climbing than the other areas. All of the climbing (ten routes from 5.4 to 5.12a) is found high on the south-southwest face which makes the climbing here feel a little exposed. As you approach the park entrance, you can look to the right and see if anyone is on the wall. This is a great area early morning area in the summer (when it’s in the shade) or winter afternoon area (sun and protected from the wind). The top of the peak can be reached by scrambling up the northwest side, or by climbing the Central Ramp route at 5.4. The Central Ramp route also serves as a good landmark separating the Mighty Dog Wall from the southwest face.
The hike to Turkey Peak is short and pleasant with a good climb at the end. From the “upper” parking area (closest to the highway), hike to the turn around at the end and pick up the Loop Trail heading northeast. The trail parallels Sandy Creek along its right side. Just before reaching a group pavilion, a trail splits off to the left, crosses the creek, and heads towards Main Dome. Follow this trail round the Frog Pond, and look for a branch leading up to Turkey Peak (the main trail continues on between Main Dome and Freshman Mountain and can be used to access the Backside climbing areas). A short, steep scramble gets you to the base of the wall. You can also approach from the “lower” parking areas by following the steps down from the gazebo and following the stream bed to the right until it intersects with Sandy Creek. Either follow the creek if it’s dry, or use the Loop Trail on the right side to the pavilion and head left.