Soquel Creek is a 16+ mile long creek with numerous tributaries feeding into it. The creek's headwaters are in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Highland Way. From there it winds around the northern portion of Soquel Demonstration State Forest and then the western portion of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park; it then flows south through the community of Soquel and into Capitola Village where it empties into Soquel Cove in Monterey Bay. Soquel Creek is part of the San Lorenzo-Soquel Watershed. Soquel Creek has a drainage area of about 40 square miles.
Soquel Creek is the main drainage waterway for the Soquel Creek watershed.
WEST BRANCH SOQUEL CREEK Flows into Soquel Creek. The average water discharge measured over 14 years is 4.6 cubic feet per second into Soquel Creek. West Branch Soquel Creek accounts for about 27% of the water in the Soquel Creek Watershed. Burns Creek Joins Laurel Creek and they become West Branch Soquel Creek.
Named for the Rancho of Soquel it has also been listed on maps as Rio de Soquel, and Soquel River. The official name is Soquel Creek. There has been occasions where the Soquel Creek has overflowed its banks in the past. Earliest recorded was in the winter of 1847, when a sawmill on the banks of Soquel Creek washed away in a storm. The mill had been built in 1846 by John Daubenbiss and John Hames for Soquel Rancho owners Martina Castro and her husband, Michael Lodge. Severe damage along Soquel Creek happened during the floods of 1931, 1937, 1940, 1955, and 1982. The USGS maintains a flow gage on Soquel Creek, just below the junction at Bates Creek. Some notable records: Flood of Feb. 13, 1937, reached a discharge of 5,950 cubic feet per second. Flood of Nov. 18, 1950, reached a discharge of about 7,800 cubic feet per second. Flood of Dec. 23, 1955, reached a discharge of about 15,800 cubic feet per second.
- Soquel Demonstration State Forest
- Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
- Soquel Lions County Park
- Peery Park
- Rispin Mansion
- Soquel Creek Park
The annual Capitola Begonia Festival's nautical parade is held in the Soquel Creek at the "Soquel Creek Lagoon" during Labor Day weekend. The lagoon is created during the summer when the City of Capitola's public works department constructs a sandbar at the mouth of the creek in Capitola Village.