Tijeras Canyon Creek

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Tijeras Canyon Creek
Country United States
State California
Source Santa Ana Mountains
 - location Near Rancho Santa Margarita
 - elevation 1,901 ft (579 m)
 - coordinates 33°39′40″N 117°33′10″W / 33.66111°N 117.55278°W / 33.66111; -117.55278 [1]
Mouth Trabuco Creek
 - location O'Neill Regional Park
 - elevation 499 ft (152 m)
 - coordinates 33°35′31″N 117°37′58″W / 33.59194°N 117.63278°W / 33.59194; -117.63278Coordinates: 33°35′31″N 117°37′58″W / 33.59194°N 117.63278°W / 33.59194; -117.63278
Length 7.03 mi (11 km)
Tijeras Canyon Creek is located in California
Tijeras Canyon Creek
Location of Tijeras Canyon Creek in California

Tijeras Canyon Creek is a watercourse in northeast Orange County, California and a tributary of Trabuco Creek. It originates in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, and flows southwest through the suburban city of Rancho Santa Margarita for several miles as an underground culvert. Below State Route 241 it becomes a free-flowing creek, traveling through Cañada Vista Park and Tijeras Creek Golf Club before joining with Trabuco Creek in O'Neill Regional Park.[2]

Due to its relatively natural condition, the lower Tijeras Creek provides habitat for the threatened arroyo chub, which is endemic to coastal Southern California streams. Large numbers of native fish were observed there during field studies in 2010.[3]

In March 2010 a force main adjacent to Tijeras Creek ruptured, spilling more than 2,000,000 US gallons (7,600 m3) of raw sewage into the creek. The contaminated water traveled into Trabuco and San Juan Creeks before reaching the Pacific Ocean, forcing a six-day closure at Doheny State Beach.[4][5]

See also[edit]

List of rivers of Orange County, California


  1. ^ "Tijeras Canyon". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 1981-01-19. Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  2. ^ USGS Topo Maps for United States (Map). Cartography by United States Geological Survey. ACME Mapper. Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  3. ^ Walter, William; et al. (2014). "Assessment of Native Fishes for Vector Control in Orange County, California" (PDF). Proceedings and Papers of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California. Semantic Scholar. Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  4. ^ "Orange County – Report of Waste Discharge" (PDF). California State Water Resources Control Board. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  5. ^ Boucly, Chris (2013-08-21). "O.C. sewage spill costly for water district". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2016-12-05.