Murrieta Creek

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Murrieta Creek
CountryUnited States
RegionRiverside County
DistrictWildomar, Murrieta, Temecula
CitiesWildomar, Murrieta, Temecula
Physical characteristics
 • locationat the confluence of the West Fork Murrieta Creek and North Fork Murrieta Creek, Riverside County
 • coordinates33°34′46″N 117°14′47″W / 33.57944°N 117.24639°W / 33.57944; -117.24639[2]
 • elevation1,173 ft (358 m)[2]
MouthConfluence with Temecula Creek, forming Santa Margarita River
 • location
0.5 miles southeast of Temecula, Riverside County
 • coordinates
33°28′28″N 117°08′30″W / 33.47444°N 117.14167°W / 33.47444; -117.14167Coordinates: 33°28′28″N 117°08′30″W / 33.47444°N 117.14167°W / 33.47444; -117.14167[1]
 • elevation
981 ft (299 m)[1]
Basin features
 • leftWest Fork Murrieta Creek or Bear Creek, Cole Creek, Miller Canyon Creek, Linda Rosa Creek
 • rightNorth Fork Murrieta Creek, Warm Springs Creek, Santa Gertrudis Creek, Waddel Wash, Empire Creek, Arroyo Santiago

Murrieta Creek runs 13 miles (21 km) southeasterly through southwestern Riverside County, California, United States, through the cities of Wildomar, Murrieta, and Temecula, ending 0.5 miles (0.80 km) southeast of the city center of Temecula, where it has its confluence with Temecula Creek and forms the head of the Santa Margarita River.[1]


The creek and town of Murrieta are not named for the bandit, Joaquin Murrieta, but for the pioneer sheep ranchers, Izaquel and Juan Murrieta, who purchased the Rancho Pauba and Rancho Temecula Mexican land grants. His brother returned to Spain, but Juan brought 100,000 sheep to the valley in 1873, using the meadows to feed his herd.[3][4]

Watershed and course[edit]

Murrieta Creek drains over 220 square miles (570 km2).[5] The creek has several minor tributaries, including flows from Lake Skinner whose outlet is Tucalota Creek below the reservoir, which then flows to Santa Gertrudis Creek, then Murrieta Creek.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Murrieta Creek
  2. ^ a b Murrieta Creek source, from, accessed April 26, 2015
  3. ^ Phil Townsend Hanna (1951). The Dictionary of California Land Names. Los Angeles, California: The Automobile Club of Southern California. p. 204. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  4. ^ Ernest Braunton (1936). "Juan Murrieta 1844-1936". Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Plea for Flood Control Funding Critical Priority in Booming Region (Report). Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. March 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  6. ^ Travis Longcore, Catherine Rich Æ Dietland Muller-Schwarze (April 2007). "Management by Assertion: Beavers and Songbirds at Lake Skinner (Riverside County, California)" (PDF). Environmental Management. 39 (4): 460–71. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0204-4. PMID 17318698. Retrieved November 13, 2016.