Fall 2023 Events and Things to Do Near Murphys, California

Fall is a magical time of year. Murphys, California, is the perfect place to spend an autumn vacation. As the leaves change and the air turns crisp, this charming town comes alive with various events and activities that cater to all interests. Whether staying in one of the cozy Murphys vacation rentals or just passing through, there’s no shortage of things to do in Murphys, CA. 

From outdoor adventures and local festivals to experiencing the unique seasonal weather in Murphys, California, this guide will give you a rundown of the must-see events and activities for Fall 2023. 

Things To Do Near Murphys 

Ready to explore the area? Murphys has something for everyone, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a stargazer. From hiking trails that offer breathtaking vistas to scenic road trips that capture the essence of California’s beauty, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you entertained. And when the sun goes down, the clear skies make for perfect stargazing. Here’s a quick guide to some must-do activities near Murphys.

Take a Hike

couple at the summit of a hiking trail near murphys CA
Photo from Shutterstock

If you’re looking to explore the great outdoors near Murphys, California, hiking is one of the best ways. The area offers a range of trails that suit all levels of hikers, each with its unique features and breathtaking views. One of the standout trails is the Arnold Rim Trail (ART). This mid-elevation trail system in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains is a haven for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. 

Managed by the Arnold Rim Trail Association, a volunteer citizen advocacy group, the trail is a collaborative effort involving various agencies, including Calaveras County, State Park, and the US Forest Service. The trail offers panoramic vistas stretching from Mt. Diablo in the East Bay Area to snowy Mt. Lyell near Yosemite. Along the way, you’ll encounter rocky promontories, native acorn grinding rocks, a magnificent waterfall, and diverse wildlife. The trail is still a work in progress, with the main stem projected to be 35 miles long when completed.

Consider the Upper Natural Bridge Trail near Columbia, California, for a shorter hike. This 2.1-mile out-and-back trail is moderately challenging and takes about an hour to complete. It’s a popular spot for birding and hiking, open year-round, but dogs aren’t allowed. Another great option is the Cougar Rock Loop via Cowell Creek and Arnold Rim Trail near Avery, California. This 4.1-mile loop is also moderately challenging and takes about 2 hours to complete. The trail is best visited from April through November, and dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.

Scenic Roadtrip 

Ready for a road trip you’ll never forget? Murphys is a great place to explore on the open road. Start in Valley Springs, known for its rolling hills and outdoor activities. Here, you can take a quick hike or fishing to set the mood. Next, we’ll drive through the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway. This 61-mile stretch between Arnold and Markleeville offers stunning views of glacial valleys, granite outcroppings, and volcanic peaks. Don’t forget to stop at Calaveras Big Trees State Park to marvel at the giant sequoias.

Now, let’s switch gears and head to the Redwood Highway. Starting at the Oregon border, this route takes you through the land of giant Redwoods. Make sure to stop at the Avenue of the Giants, a 33-mile stretch that runs parallel to the US-101 and offers a close-up view of these ancient trees. Our trip will end in Leggett, where you can continue exploring the Northern Pacific Coast or head back. This road trip offers a blend of California’s best natural wonders, from rolling hills to towering Redwoods.


stargazing in murphys ca
Photo from Shutterstock

Stargazing is a magical experience, and California offers some of the best spots to gaze at the night sky. One such place is the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Away from the city lights, the park provides a dark sky perfect for stargazing. You can set up a telescope, lie on a blanket, and look up. The park hosts occasional “Stars Over Calaveras” events with local astronomers.

Another fantastic location is Yosemite National Park. Known for its iconic granite cliffs and waterfalls, Yosemite also offers a stunning night sky. The park often holds stargazing tours, where rangers guide you through constellations, planets, and other celestial objects. The best time for stargazing here is during a new moon when the sky is darkest. Point Reyes National Seashore is a must-visit if you’re near the coast. The area is a designated International Dark Sky Place, making it an excellent location for stargazing. Here, you can see the Milky Way stretching across the sky on a clear night.

Fall 2023 Events 

The fall season in Murphys, California, is not just about the vibrant foliage and crisp air; it’s also a time for some of the area’s most exciting events. Whether you’re a local or visiting one of our Murphys cabin rentals, these events in Murphys, CA, will make any vacation special. Let’s dive into some of the must-attend events for Fall 2023.

Blues and Bones Festival

The Blues and Bones Festival is set to take place on September 23, 2023, in Angels Camp, CA. This festival features some of the nation’s hottest traveling blues bands and local favorites. 

It’s a family event aimed at becoming one of your family’s summer traditions. The festival also supports a good cause, with proceeds going to the Special Olympics of Northern California. If you’re a fan of BBQ, you’re in for a treat. The Pitmasters at the festival have years of experience making fantastic barbecues. If a smoked-style meal isn’t your preference, other restaurants in Murphys CA have something to offer for everyone!

Calaveras Grape Stomp

Every October, the town of Murphys becomes a hotspot for wine lovers and fun-seekers alike. The Calaveras Grape Stomp is an event where teams compete to stomp the most juice out of a barrel of grapes. 

But that’s not all; the event coincides with the Gold Rush Street Faire, making it a full day of family fun. Whether you’re stomping grapes or enjoying the street fair, it’s an event you won’t want to miss.

Murphys Day of the Dead

The Murphys Day of the Dead is a heartfelt event that honors those who have passed away. Known as the Land of the Skulls, Murphys hosts this annual celebration to remember loved ones vibrantly and communally. 

Local businesses participate by setting up ‘ofrendas’ or altars, and the event features a range of artisan vendors, food stalls, and drink options. The Community Park is the hub of activities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., entertaining for all ages. 

The day concludes with a special blessing ceremony for the items left on the community altar at approximately 5:15 p.m. 

Plan Your Next Visit!

Are you ready to plan your next adventure in Murphys CA this season? Browse our entire selection of Murphys CA rentals today and find the perfect match for your vacation!

Where To Stay 

Looking for the perfect place to stay during your visit to Murphys? Cedar Creek Realty is your go-to resource for mountain living. We bring together the best of both worlds: local expertise and big-city experience. Whether you’re a full-time resident or a second homeowner from the Bay Area, we’ve got you covered.

Mountain living is special, and every property comes with its own set of unique features and history. That’s why our team is equipped to guide you through the nuances of each property, from its slope characteristics to its ownership history. 

We offer a full range of real estate services, including sales, marketing, rentals, and property management. Let Cedar Creek Realty be your guide to the western slopes of the Sierra and make your stay an unforgettable experience.