Where Salsipuedes Creek meets Highway 129. Photo by John Pilge, summer 2010

Salsipuedes Creek starts at the East Lake Avenue in Watsonville. It is here that Corralitos Creek becomes Salsipuedes Creek. Salsipuedes Creek flows into the Pajaro River near Highway 129 in Watsonville. Some maps have listed it as being a continuation of Corralitos Creek.

Salsipuedes Creek has an elevation between 52 to 16 feet above sea level. It is a main channel for a major sub-watershed and has two water level monitoring stations. One is at the start of the creek at East Lake Avenue and the other is near the end of the creek. Parts of the creek require levees to prevent floods during heavy rain. In 1998 eight breaks on the Pajaro River and Salsipuedes Creek levees costs $3.2 million to repair.

Levee trails lining the creek are a popular destination for joggers and cyclists. The Levee trails are dog friendly.


The name of the creek dates back to at least 1823. The name Salsipuedes for the area has been traced back to 1817. "Sal si pudes" translates to "Get out if you can." Such a name invites inventive stories. There is popular one about a guy stuck in quicksand. But Santa Cruz County has never been known for quicksand. It is possible the name was given to the area because of the dense foliage the area was know for in the early settlements. As well as Santa Cruz County there is a Salsipuedes Creek in Monterey County and at least two other counties in California. Salsipuedes Creek has also been known as Arroyo Salsipuedes and Arroyo de Salsipuedes. Water quality is regularly monitored in Salsipuedes Creek. It continues to test within safe limits.

The creek flows through some populated areas, and has attracted graphitti and other crime. In 2008 there was a suspicious small fire on a levee of Salsipuedes Creek. In April of 2010, Steven Barclay was found dead along Salsipuedes Creek.

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Salsipuedes Creek is found on USGS map:

Sequence Latitude(DEC) Longitude(DEC) Latitude(DMS) Longitude(DMS) Map Name
1 36.9096754 -121.7452275 365435N 1214443W Watsonville East
2 36.9513889 -121.7205556 365705N 1214314W Watsonville East

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