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Routes in Murphy Creek

Frogger T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gortlough RA T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Lizard Lips TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Lock Tight T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Lock, Stock, and Barrel T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mandric- direct start T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Pac Man T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Penguin Cafe T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Whips & Chains T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
X- Wing T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Elevation: 8,300 ft
GPS: 37.842, -119.465 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 4,719 total · 55/month
Shared By: Brian Snider on Jan 13, 2011
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes


Murphy Creek is a great little crag that has something to offer for everyone. There is dozens of crack climbs ranging from a fun 5.7 double crack called frogger to some much stiffer 5.11 finger crack and top rope problems. This could be be a great place to avoid the crowds and get out of the Valley during the hot summer months.
stream crossing Details
Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection Details

Getting There

Located on Highway 120 across from Tenaya lake is the Murphy Creek trailhead. This easy 1.5 mile hike will take you to wide open granite slabs and the crag will be obvious as it's the only sheer cliff in view. From here find your way cross country to the base of the cliff. A small creek crossing might be tricking in the early season and dry in late season.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Murphy Creek

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pac Man
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Penguin Cafe
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Mandric- direct start
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Frogger 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Pac Man 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Penguin Cafe 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Mandric- direct start 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Murphy Creek »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


San Jose/Lafayette
wsperry   San Jose/Lafayette
Does anyone know the name of the wide crack/chimney to the right of penguin cafe? Sep 19, 2016
Chris Kang
San Francisco, CA
Chris Kang   San Francisco, CA
Beautiful spot. But like the other comments suggest, it's definitely not obvious from the trail. At a decent pace, after about 25 minutes you should see some glimpses of granite through the trees on your left, at which point you should start cutting over off the trail.
Aug 18, 2015
Blue Sheffer
Stanford, California
Blue Sheffer   Stanford, California
Great little area! A few remarks:

The hike definitely felt longer than .8 miles (but I'm certainly not a handheld GPS, so maybe don't take my word for it). Wait until you cross the MASSIVE slabs (not the tiny slabs that cut through trail) and you'll see the cliff pretty clearly. Also, be aware that 1) the cliff is on the left of the trail, not the mostly unclimbable stuff on the right and 2) I've never seen so many mosquitos in my life as I did on the approach (late June 2015, amidst drought). Bring bug spray unless you like mosquito bites.

Definitely hop on Penguin Cafe. Setting up a TR isn't impossible, but you'll have to set up a secondary anchor above it to lower to the bolts. Jun 27, 2015
Rob Davies UK
Cheshire, UK
Rob Davies UK   Cheshire, UK
Quite hard to locate, as only the top of the cliff is just visible at the point where you leave the trail. At our first attempt we walked past it completely and as a result spent a happy couple of hours finding other crags much further up the valley. Oct 3, 2014
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
About the length of the approach hike on the trail ...

The second edition of Tuolumne Free Climbs also indicates 1.5 miles. We checked by hand-held GPS and it is more like 0.8 miles. That and the cliffs are then only obvious at specific points on the trail.

... not that I'm whining. I enjoyed hiking around for a few hours that morning. :-) Aug 6, 2013
Karl K
Phoenix, AZ
Karl K   Phoenix, AZ
Morning sun & afternoon shade.
Very pleasant hike. Aug 13, 2011

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