San Francisquito Creek

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San Francisquito Creek, Photo: City of Palo Alto
San Francisquito Creek, Photo: City of Palo Alto

The San Francisquito Creek is a creek that flows into the San Francisco Bay. It forms the border between Palo Alto and the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. It thus creates the boundary between the San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

The creek was originally used as the boundary between lands of Spanish Missions at San Francisco and Santa Clara. El Palo Alto stands on the banks of the creek.

Its headwaters are in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Menlo Park, around 667m (2000 feet) above the Bay. Its major tributaries are called Bear Creek and Corte Madera Creek. These merge at the Searsville Lake in the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. The lake is formed by a dam built in 1892; below the lake the creek is known as the San Francisquito. The creek runs for a length described by different authorities as from 13 to 22 km (8 to 14 miles) before draining into the Bay. Its watershed is about 110 kmĀ² (42 square miles) in extent, including areas of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

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