San Vicente Creek (Santa Cruz County)

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Coordinates: 37°0′33.82″N 122°11′38.89″W / 37.0093944°N 122.1941361°W / 37.0093944; -122.1941361

San Vicente Creek (Spanish for "St. Vincent") is a 9.3-mile-long (15.0 km)[1] northern California coastal stream which flows entirely within Santa Cruz County (37°00′34″N 122°11′39″W / 37.009394°N 122.194136°W / 37.009394; -122.194136)[2] and discharges to the Pacific Ocean. Its waters rise on the west facing slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and its mouth is at the unincorporated community of Davenport (which had originally been named after the creek).


Originally, there was a tidal marsh at the mouth of San Vicente Creek, but this was filled in by a trestle and rampart built by a collaboration between the Ocean Shore Railway and the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1906. The creek was redirected through a tunnel blasted into the rock adjacent to its former course.[3]

Tunnel channelling San Vicente Creek beneath coast highway and railway

Prior to this San Vicente had been the premiere trout fishing stream in the county, so the fill caused some outrage in the local papers. An editorial in the Santa Cruz Surf at the time said: "The San Vicente Creek, beloved of the angler and the artist, has its mouth stopped by a vast dyke, and its throat choked into a tunnel, a saloon on its border, and its bed for miles denuded of the granite cobbles and sand beds. A sawmill is swiftly cutting out the timber and dirt and debris defile the pools and clog the riffles where lurked the gamey trout."[4]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 15, 2011
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: San Vicente Creek
  3. ^ "Coast Dairies Property: A Land Use History". Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Arthur (2 February 1906). The Surf. Santa Cruz.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

See also[edit]