Things To Do Around
Murphys, CA

Murphys is known as the, "Queen of the Sierras." This quaint, Gold Rush era town is located in the heart of the Gold Country in between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. It can be found nestled in the Sierra Nevada Foothills just above the fog level and below the snow line.

This charming town is a favorite because of the well preserved Main Street with its historic buildings. Downtown there are numerous restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining, art galleries, unique gift shops, and numerous wineries. Most tasting rooms are within walking distance from our homes. The area has become a favorite for weddings, with the many beautiful outdoor venues and pleasant weather during most of the year.

Just around the corner from Main Street is the Murphys Community Park. This picturesque park has a bubbling creek which flows through it and a classic, white gazebo and picnic areas. This park is a favorite for children because of the shaded playground and creek for swimming.. A public bocce ball court is available to reserve, a library overlooks the park, and the Murphys Creek Theater where plays can be seen year around is across the street. This truly is an idyllic town park!

Murphys has fast been becoming a destination spot not only for the charm of the small town but also because of its central location to numerous area attractions and events. For more information on these activities please visit the Murphys Business Association or the Calaveras County Visitors Bureau.

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Calaveras County has been gaining national recognition for its numerous award winning wineries. Along Main Street in Murphys alone there are over 25 wine tasting rooms and several more within a short drive. Visit the Calaveras Wine Grape Alliance for a current list of wineries, events, and a tasting map.

If you would rather not drive, Courtwood Wine Tasting Tours knows where to lead you to insure you have the best wine tasting experience possible. They offer a comfortable van with air conditioning, window shades and plenty of room for a relaxed wine tour experience.

One of the best known wineries in the area is Ironstone Vineyards. Ironstone is surrounded by lush landscaped gardens and picnic areas. It also has a Gold Rush museum which boasts a 44-pound gold nugget. In recent years they have become well-known for their concert series which hosts large concerts in their amphitheater during the summer months.


Murphys Creek Theater is located just across the street from The Little Yellow and Parkside Cottages. This playhouse hosts an array of quality productions. Feeney Park is host to Theatre Under The Stars in the newly built amphitheater. If the big screen is more your style the movie theatre in Angels Camp is just a ten minute drive from Murphys.

Golf Courses

Ten minutes down the hill in Angels Camp is Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort. Robert Trent Jones II and Mother Nature have teamed up to create one of Northern California's finest golf experiences. The course meanders effortlessly through the stunning Sierra Nevada foothills. You'll discover 18-holes of championship golf with 5 sets of tees, ranging from 4,882 to 6,749 yards, which make Greenhorn Creek both challenging and enjoyable. Public tee times are accepted 7 days in advance. Soft spikes required.

Ten minutes up the hill is Forest Meadows Golf Course. A fun-to-play 18-hole, Robert Trent Jones II executive par 60 course. Beautiful mountain setting at 3,200 foot elevation in tall pines, cedars, and majestic oaks. Above the fog and heat of the valley. It's open to the public year-round and tournaments are welcome.

Saddle Creek Golf Course
located in Copperopolis, is one of the highest ranked golf courses in an unforgettable setting. The course complements the natural contours of our spectacular foothill setting. Generous fairway landings and the 100+ white sand bunkers define its golfing character. Five sets of tees on every hole. Saddle Creek is a 35 minute drive from Murphys.


Historic downtown Murphys shopping is a favorite for its unique gift and antique shops. Within a short walk are a specialty kitchen store, candy store, toy store, candle store as well as numerous restaurants.

Nearby Angels Camp is only a ten minute drive away. It also has an interesting variety of shops including the not-to-be-missed- Stories in Stone

There are numerous other Gold Rush towns in the area that provide endless possibilities for shopping including: Jackson - 35 minute drive, Mokelumne Hill - 30 minute drive, Sonora - 25 minute drive, and Sutter Creek - 40 minute drive.

Caves & Gold Panning

Mercer Cavern has a 45 minute walking tour which descends into the cave the equivalent of 16 stories. Moaning Cavern Adventure Park offers guided walking tours, repelling, gold panning, and a twin zip line. Both caverns are an easy ten minute drive from town.

If you looking for a variety of different tours for different levels of enthusiasts, California Cavern can accommodate and is a twenty minute drive from Murphys. An hour drive from Murphys is the Black Chasm National Natural Landmark. This cavern has a wide variety of formations including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and a vast array of rare helictite crystals, for which Black Chasm is justly famous.

If you want to test your luck at gold panning, Columbia State Historic Park, Ironstone Vineyards, and Moaning Caverns all have set ups to try and help you strike it rich.


Murphys Community Park is a quaint town park that boasts a beautiful, bubbling creek that winds through it. Alongside is the classic white gazebo, as well as an area for picnics and barbecuing. There is a children's playground, a bocce ball court, and a library that overlooks the area. It is easy to see why this park is a favorite for weddings, reunions, and special events.

Big Trees State Park is a 6,000-acre forest that is a great place for summer picnics and hiking or winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The giant sequoias are some of the largest trees (in circumference) found in the world. There are several walking loops through the grove as well as a museum/visitors center. The park is a 25 minute drive up Highway 4.

Columbia State Historic Park is California's best preserved town from the Gold Rush era located 20 minutes away. While wandering down the main street, visitors can easily imagine what the town would have been like over 100 years ago. Activities attract guests of all ages. For example, there are horse drawn carriages, guided pony rides, gold panning, blacksmith demonstrations, musicians entertaining along the walkways, a theater and a local favorite, The Nelson Candy Kitchen which makes irresistible treats of every imaginable kind.

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, known as The Move Railroad, has been featured in hundreds of movies and TV shows. The 26-acre park is 20 minutes away and offers steam train rides and special events (weekends April-October), plus roundhouse and movie prop tours daily.

Hiking & Biking

There are several popular scenic bike routes in the county. Calaveras County Visitors Bureau has great information on how to access these.

Glory Hole Recreation Area, 20 minutes away, has 8 miles of low traffic roads perfect for a road bike and 18 miles of single track for mountain bikes.

Stanislaus National Forest is an easy 25 minute drive and has endless trails of all kinds to adventure on. Hike into the backcountry seeking pristine solitude.

About an hour away Bear Valley Adventure Company rents flatwater kayak and mountain bikes. They also offer lessons and sales, fishing supplies and bait, gas, mini mart, maps and information.

Rafting & Kayaking

O.A.R.S. the Outdoor Adventure River Specialists offer quality whitewater adventures, single and multi-day trips, experienced guides, great meals, and safety first - all on the best rivers. Featuring daily one-day Stanislaus trips, plus trips down the American, Tuolumne, and Grand Canyon.

River rafting adventures await at Knights Ferry with Sunshine Rafting Company on the Stanislaus River. Sunshine Rafting Company offers you raft, paddles and gear in order to have an exciting rafting trip along this river. With a few mild rapids, rafting trips can last 3.5 to 5 hours.

Stanislaus National Forest is only 25 minutes away and boasts over 800 miles of rivers and streams. You can swim near a sandy beach or wade into cold clear streams cooling your feet while lost in the beauty of nature, raft the exciting Tuolumne River, or Kayak one of the many gorgeous lakes. The Calaveras Ranger District Office is open 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday) in Arnold and has maps of the area.

The Sierra Nevada Adventure Company (aka S.N.A.C.) has a clothing store in Murphys and a sister store 15 minutes away in Arnold which has clothing but it also geared toward camping and outdoor adventure gear. The Arnold location has flatwater kayak rentals for single or multi-day use. Employees here are a GREAT resource for area information. The Bear Valley Adventure Company which is located an hour up Highway 4 in Bear Valley also has kayak rentals.

Water Sports

New Melones Lake Marina is a full-service marina on the third largest reservoir in California. Slip rentals, fishing and patio boats, gas pumpouts and convenience store are all located there. A 20 minute drive from Murphys.

Lake Tulloch Resort & Marina has a boat launch ramp, berths and rentals. Ski boats, patio boats, fishing boats and kayaks available. Fishing supplies, bait, mini mart, ice and groceries. A 35 minute drive from Murphys.

Boating & Fishing

Glory Hole Sports carries the largest selection of tackle in the Mother Lode. Water toys, wakeboards, skis, marine supplies, mini mart, beer and wine with a fresh deli. Right at the entrance to New Melones Lake, it's a 20-minute drive.

Lake Tulloch Resort & Marina has a boat launch ramp, berths and rentals. Ski boats, patio boats, fishing boats and kayaks available. Fishing supplies, bait, mini mart, ice and groceries. A 35 minute drive from Murphys.

Lake Alpine is located on Highway 4 about an hours drive east of Murphys. The elevation of the lake is 7,300 feet. The forest service has developed day use picnic areas that are located on the north side of the lake. These areas have barbecues and picnic tables. You can swim but the water does not warm up until the middle of August. There is a boat launching ramp across from the lodge with plenty of parking and the lake is stocked every season for premium fishing.

Stanislaus National Forest is only 25 minutes away and boasts over 800 miles of rivers and streams. You can fish from a sandy beach or wade into cold clear streams while lost in the beauty of nature. The Calaveras Ranger District Office is open 6 days a week in Arnold, Monday through Saturday.


Bear Valley Resort is a winter wonderland. Enjoy skiing and snowboarding for all abilities on 1,280 acres with 67 runs, 1,900' vertical. Bear Valley Resort features a high-speed quad lift, a carpet lift for beginners, 4 terrain parks, an in-ground half pipe and cat guided tours. Also available are lessons, rentals, repair, retail shop and food/beverage.

Bear Valley Cross Country is on of the country's largest trail systems. 65 kilometers of scenic groomed track, skating and snowshoeing trails, four trailside huts, trailside cafe and sledding hill will keep you busy all day. Complete cross country ski rental and lesson programs are also available.

On a snowmobile you can experience the High Sierras in a whole differet way. Drive on groomed roads, either on self-guided tours, or with a knowledgeable guide. Bear Valley Snowmobile and Alpine Snowmobile Center adventures are for the entire family, so bring your camera and your kids and choose from the beautiful trail areas in Bear Valley or in Highway 4's snow park.

Stanislaus National Forest offers a groomed snow park starting at the winter closure point on Highway 4 just above Bear Valley Resort. Parking permits are required. The Calaveras Ranger District Office is open six days a week, Monday thru Saturday.

Highway 4 to Bear Valley takes about an hour and is an all-weather highway, chains may be required during winter weather. Contact CalTrans for road restrictions at (800) 427-ROAD.
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