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Murphy Creek

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Frogger T,TR 
Gortlough RA T 
Lizard Lips TR 
Lock Tight T 
Lock, Stock, and Barrel T 
Mandric- direct start T 
Pac Man T 
Penguin Cafe T 
Whips & Chains T 
X- Wing T 

Murphy Creek Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,300'
Location: 37.8424, -119.4653 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,644
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Snider on Jan 14, 2011
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BETA PHOTO: Walking back across the slabs.

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  • Description 

    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.

    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.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 8.3 miles from here

    10 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Murphy Creek

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Murphy Creek:
    Frogger   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
    Pac Man   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
    Penguin Cafe   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
    Mandric- direct start   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Murphy Creek

    Featured Route For Murphy Creek
    Rock Climbing Photo: Penguin Cafe on left side and tallest part of the ...

    Penguin Cafe 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  California : Yosemite National Park : ... : Murphy Creek
    Up vertical hand-and-finger crack to downward-pointing roof, up and over to rewarding offwidth, veering left at top to bolted rap anchor....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

    Photos of Murphy Creek Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Left side of Murphy Creek crag.
    BETA PHOTO: Left side of Murphy Creek crag.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Murphy Creek Right Side.
    BETA PHOTO: Murphy Creek Right Side.

    Comments on Murphy Creek Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Karl K
    From: Phoenix, AZ
    Aug 13, 2011
    Morning sun & afternoon shade.
    Very pleasant hike.
    By Bill Lawry
    From: New Mexico
    Aug 6, 2013
    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. :-)
    By Rob Davies UK
    From: Cheshire, UK
    Oct 3, 2014
    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.
    By Blue Sheffer
    From: Stanford, California
    Jun 27, 2015
    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.
    By Chris Kang
    From: Los Angeles, CA
    Aug 18, 2015
    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.
    Rock Climbing Photo: August 2015 - snapshot from the west side of the c...
    August 2015 - snapshot from the west side of the crag
    By wsperry
    From: San Jose/Lafayette
    Sep 19, 2016
    Does anyone know the name of the wide crack/chimney to the right of penguin cafe?

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