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List of rivers in California

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Title: List of rivers in California  
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Subject: Geography of California, Napa River, Eel River (California), Tijuana River, Navarro River, Coyote Creek (Santa Clara County), Butte Creek (Butte County, California), Santa Ynez River, Petaluma River, Albion River
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List of rivers in California

List of rivers in California (U.S. state), grouped by region.

North Coast (north of Humboldt Bay)


Rivers and streams between the Oregon border and Humboldt Bay that empty into the Pacific Ocean (arranged north to south; tributaries with those entering nearest the sea first)

Humboldt Bay

Primary streams entering Humboldt Bay are listed north to south beginning north of the entrance to the bay and continuing in a clockwise direction. Tributaries entering nearest the bay are listed first.[1][2]

For additional detail on Humboldt Bay streams, see Humboldt Bay: Bay tributaries and sloughs.

  • Jacoby Creek
  • Eureka Slough
    • Freshwater Slough
      • Freshwater Creek
  • Elk River (California)
  • Salmon Creek (Northern Humboldt County)

North Coast (south of Humboldt Bay)


Rivers and streams between Humboldt Bay and the Golden Gate that empty into the Pacific Ocean (arranged north to south; tributaries with those entering nearest the sea first):

For details of the Sonoma and Marin coasts, see List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Francisco Bay

Streams that empty into San Francisco Bay or its tributary bays (arranged clockwise, starting at the north side of the Golden Gate; tributaries are listed from those entering nearest the bays to farthest).

For additional detail on Bay Area creeks, see List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Pablo Bay

Suisun Bay

Sacramento River



San Joaquin River


Tulare Basin


Usually an endorheic basin, waters in this region all eventually would reach Tulare Lake. This region would overflow into the San Joaquin River during flood years when Tulare Lake overflowed.

  • Kings River the Kings River divides into North Fork Distributary, South Fork Distributary and Clark's Fork distributaries. North Fork Distributary connects to the Fresno Slough that drains into the San Joaquin River (during high flows), before turning to the south rejoining with the other distributaries to reform the Kings River and emptying into Tulare Lake.
    • Los Gatos Creek historically tributary to North Fork Kings River distributary.
    • Fish Creek
    • Hughes Creek
    • Mill Creek
    • Pine Flat Dam, Pine Flat Lake
      • Deer Creek
      • Zebe Creek
      • Russian Charlie Creek
      • Lefever Creek
      • Billy Creek
      • Sycamore Creek
      • Big Creek
      • Sacata Creek
      • Redoak Creek
      • Lower Rancheria Creek
      • Sycamore Springs Creek
    • North Fork Kings River
      • Dinkey Creek
      • Basin Creek
        • Patterson Creek
      • Weir Creek
      • Black Rock Creek
      • Williams Creek
      • Mule Creek
      • Rancheria Creek
      • Teakettle Creek
      • Long Meadow Creek
      • Wilson Dam, Wilson Reservoir
        • Woodchuck Creek
        • Short Hair Creek
        • Sharp Creek
      • Helms Creek
        • Dusy Creek
      • Post Corral Creek
        • Burnt Corral Creek
      • Flemming Creek
      • Nichols Canyon
      • Meadow Brook
      • Fall Creek
      • Division Lake
      • Regiment Lake
    • Davis Creek
      • Mill Flat Creek
    • Verplank Creek
    • Fox Canyon Creek
    • Converse Creek
    • Spring Creek
    • Cabin Creek
    • Garlic Meadow Creek
    • Rough Creek
    • Ten Mile Creek
    • Middle Fork Kings River
      • Deer Canyon Creek
      • Brush Canyon Creek
      • Tombstone Creek
      • Wren Creek
      • Silver Creek
      • Crown Creek
        • Rogers Creek
      • Gorge of Despair
      • Crystal Creek
      • Blue Canyon Creek
      • Lost Canyon Creek
      • Rattlesnake Creek
      • Alpine Creek
      • Dog Creek
      • Kennedy Creek
      • Dougherty Creek
      • Horseshoe Creek
      • Goddard Creek
        • Disappearing Creek
      • Windy Canyon Creek
      • Cartridge Creek
      • Rimbaud Creek
      • Palisade Creek
        • Cataract Creek
        • Glacier Creek
      • Dusy Branch
      • Helen Lake
    • South Fork Kings River (This is the actual river that flows through Kings Canyon)
      • Lockwood Creek
      • Redwood Creek
      • Windy Gulch
      • Boulder Creek
      • Grizzly Creek
      • Lightning Creek
      • Deer Cove Creek
      • Lewis Creek
        • Comb Creek
      • Sheep Creek
      • Hotel Creek
      • Roaring River
        • Sugarloaf Creek
          • Ferguson Creek
      • Granite Creek
      • Copper Creek
      • Avalanche Creek
      • Bubbs Creek
        • Sphinx Creek
        • Charlotte Creek
        • Cross Creek
        • North Guard Creek
        • East Creek
      • Glacier Creek
      • Gardiner Creek
      • Woods Creek
        • Woods Creek
      • Arrow Creek
      • Kid Creek


  • Kaweah River
    • Lime Kiln Creek
    • South Fork Kaweah River
    • North Fork Kaweah River
    • East Fork Kaweah River
    • Middle Fork Kaweah River
      • Marble Fork Kaweah River
      • Paradise Creek
  • Tule River
    • South Fork Tule River
    • North Fork Tule River
    • Middle Fork Tule River
      • North Fork Middle Fork Tule River
  • White River
  • Poso Creek
  • Kern River
    • North Fork Kern River
      • Cannell Creek
      • Salmon Creek
      • Tobias Creek
      • Brush Creek
      • South Creek
      • Dry Meadow Creek
      • Peppermint Creek
      • Durrwood Creek
    • South Fork Kern River
      • Taylor Creek
      • Manter Creek
      • Trout Creek
      • Fish Creek
      • Lost Creek

San Francisco Bay (remainder)

Continuing clockwise around San Pablo Bay/San Francisco Bay:

For additional detail on Bay Area creeks, see List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Central Coast

Rivers that empty into the Pacific Ocean between the Golden Gate and Point Arguello, arranged in order from north to south.

For details of the San Mateo coast, see List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area.

South Coast

Rivers that empty into the Pacific Ocean southeast of Point Arguello, arranged from north to south:

See also List of rivers of Orange County, California and List of tributaries of the Santa Ana River

Santa Barbara County

  • Goleta Slough
  • Montecito Creek
    • Cold Springs Creek
      • East Fork Cold Springs Creek
      • West Fork Cold Springs Creek
  • Oak Creek
  • San Ysidro Creek
  • Romero Creek
    • Picay Creek
  • Toro Canyon Creek
    • Garapata Creek
    • Buell Reservoir Creek
  • Arroyo Paredon
  • Santa Monica Creek
    • Franklin Creek
  • Carpinteria Creek
    • Gobernador Creek
      • Eldorado Creek
      • Steer Creek
    • Carpinteria Reservoir Creek
  • Rincon Creek
    • Casitas Creek
    • Sulphur Creek
    • Catharina Creek

Ventura County

  • Los Sauces Creek
  • Madrianio Creek
  • Padre Juan Canyon
  • Ventura River
    • Manuel Canyon
    • Cañada Larga
    • Cañada de Alisos
    • Coyote Creek
      • Lake Casitas
        • Laguna Creek
        • Willow Creek
        • Santa Ana Creek
          • Roble-Casitas Canal
        • Poplin Creek
      • Deep Cat Lake
      • East Fork Coyote Creek
      • West Fork Coyote Creek
    • Matilija Creek
      • Rattlesnake Creek
      • Lime Creek
      • Murietta Creek
      • Middle Fork Matilija Creek
      • Upper North Fork Matilija Creek
    • North Fork Matilija Creek (This and Matilija Creek form the Ventura River's headwaters.)
  • Santa Clara River
  • Calleguas Creek

Los Angeles County

Orange County

  • San Gabriel River
    • Coyote Creek
      • Carbon Creek
      • Moody Creek
      • Fullerton Creek
      • La Canada Verde Creek
        • La Mirada Creek
      • Brea Creek
        • San Jose Flood Diversion Channel
        • Tonner Canyon
      • Imperial Creek
    • East Fork San Gabriel River
    • West Fork San Gabriel River
  • Santa Ana River
    • Greenville-Banning Channel
      • Huntington Beach Channel
    • Santiago Creek
      • Handy Creek
      • Irvine Lake(Instream water supply, recreation and flood control reservoir)
        • Limestone Canyon Creek
      • Black Star Canyon Creek
      • Baker Canyon Creek
      • Silverado Canyon
        • Ladd Canyon
        • White Canyon
        • Halfway Canyon
        • Pine Canyon
        • Lost Woman Canyon
        • Spruce Canyon
      • Williams Canyon
        • Spring Canyon
      • Harding Creek
      • Bear Trap Canyon Creek
    • Blue Mud Creek
    • Brush Creek
    • Aliso Creek
      • Bane Canyon Creek
      • Water Canyon Creek
    • Fresno Canyon
    • Wardlow Wash
    • Chino Creek
      • Mill Creek
        • Etiwanda Creek
        • Cucamonga Creek
        • Deer Creek
      • San Antonio Creek
        • Stoddard Creek
        • Kerkhoff Creek
        • Bear Creek
        • Icehouse Creek
          • Cedar Creek
    • Temescal Creek
      • Oak Avenue Drain
        • Mabey Canyon Wash
        • Hagador Canyon Wash
          • Tin Mine Canyon Creek
      • Arlington Valley Channel
      • Main Street Canyon Wash
        • Eagle Canyon Creek
      • Joseph Canyon
      • Bedford Canyon Wash
      • Cajalco Canyon
      • Olsen Canyon Wash
      • Brown Canyon Wash
        • McBribe Canyon Creek
      • Coldwater Canyon Creek
      • Dawson Canyon Wash
      • Mayhew Canyon Wash
      • Indian Canyon Creek
      • Horsetheif Canyon Wash
        • Cow Canyon Creek
      • Rice Canyon Wash
        • Bishop Canyon Wash
      • Gavilan Wash in Walker Canyon
      • Arroyo Del Toro
      • Wasson Canyon Wash
      • Lake Elsinore
        • McVicker Canyon Wash
        • Leach Canyon Wash
        • San Jacinto River
          • Canyon Lake
            • Salt Creek
          • Perris Valley Channel
          • Bautista Creek
            • Indian Creek
          • North Fork San Jacinto River
            • Logan Creek
            • Stone Creek
            • Black Mountain Creek
            • Fuller Mill Creek
          • South Fork San Jacinto River
            • Dry Creek
            • Spillway Creek
            • Strawberry Creek
            • Herkey Creek
            • Fobes Creek
    • Riverside Flood Control Channel
    • Sunnyslope Channel
    • Arroyo Tequesquito
    • Lytle Creek
      • Warm Creek
        • East Twin Creek
          • Strawberry Creek
        • Sand Creek
      • Cajon Wash
        • Cable Creek
        • Lone Pine Creek
        • Crowder Creek
      • Grapevine Creek
      • Meyer Creek
      • South Fork Lytle Creek
        • Bonita Creek
      • Middle Fork Lytle Creek
      • North Fork Lytle Creek
        • Sheep Creek
        • Coldwater Canyon Creek
    • City Creek
      • Bledsoe Gulch
      • Schenk Creek
      • East Fork City Creek
      • West Fork City Creek
    • Elder Gulch
    • Plunge Creek
      • Oak Creek
      • Fredalba Creek
      • Little Mill Creek
    • Mill Creek
      • Spoor Creek
      • Mountain Home Creek
        • Skinner Creek
        • East Fork Mountain Home Creek
      • Glen Martin Creek
      • Frustration Creek
      • Monkeyface Creek
      • Oak Cove Creek
      • Bridal Veil Creek
      • Hatchery Creek
      • Momyer Creek
      • Slide Creek
      • Alger Creek
      • Falls Creek
      • Vivian Creek
      • High Creek
    • Morton Creek
    • Deep Creek
    • Government Creek
    • Warm Springs Creek
    • Alder Creek
    • Keller Creek
      • Monroe Creek
    • Crystal Creek
    • Breakneck Creek
    • Bear Creek
      • North Fork Bear Creek
      • Siberia Creek
      • North Creek
      • Grout Creek
      • Minnelusa Creek
      • Rathbun Creek
      • Sawmill Creek
    • Deer Creek
    • Mile Creek
    • Cienaga Creek
    • Barton Creek
    • Hamilton Creek
    • Converse Creek
    • Staircase Creek
    • South Fork Santa Ana River
    • Lost Creek
    • Wildhorse Creek
    • Cienaga Seca Creek
    • Heart Bar Creek
    • Coon Creek

Newport Bay

  • Newport Bay
    • Upper Newport Bay
      • Big Canyon (Newport Bay)
      • Santa Isabel Channel
      • Dehli Canal
      • San Diego Creek
        • Bonita Canyon Creek
          • Bonita Canyon Reservoir
        • Sand Canyon Wash
          • Sand Canyon Reservoir
        • San Joaquin Wash
          • San Joaquin Reservoir
        • Peters Canyon Wash
          • Santa Ana Channel
          • Rattlesnake Canyon Creek
          • Peters Canyon Reservoir
        • Marshburn Channel
        • Bee Canyon Wash
          • Round Canyon
          • Bee Canyon Reservoir
        • Agua Chinon Creek
          • Borrego Canyon
        • Serrano Creek
          • La Cañada Wash
      • Santa Ana-Delhi Channel
      • Big Canyon Creek

South Orange County Coast

San Diego County

  • San Mateo Creek
    • Cristianitos Creek
      • Talega Creek
      • Gabino Creek
        • La Paz Creek
    • Devil Canyon Creek
      • Cold Spring Canyon Creek
    • Nickel Creek (San Mateo Creek)
    • Bluewater Creek
    • Tenaja Creek
    • Los Alamos Canyon Creek
      • Wildhorse Canyon Creek
  • San Onofre Creek
    • South Fork, San Onofre Creek
    • North Fork, San Onofre Creek
      • Jardine Creek
  • Foley Creek
  • Horno Creek
  • Las Flores Creek
    • Piedra de Lumbre Canyon Creek
  • Aliso Creek (San Diego County)
  • French Creek (San Diego County)
  • Cockleburr Creek
  • Santa Margarita River
    • Newton Canyon
    • Pueblitos Canyon
    • Wood Canyon
    • DeLuz Creek
    • Sandia Creek
    • Rainbow Creek
    • Temecula Creek
      • Pechanga Creek
      • Vail Lake Dam, Vail Lake
        • Kolb Creek
          • Arroyo Seco Creek
        • Wilson Creek
      • Long Canyon
      • Cottonwood Creek
      • Tule Creek
      • Chihuahua Creek
      • Rattlesnake Creek
      • Kohler Canyon
    • Murrieta Creek
      • Empire Creek
        • Long Canyon
      • Santa Gertrudis Creek
        • Tucalota Creek
          • Rawson Canyon
        • Long Valley Creek
      • Warm Springs Creek
        • French Valley Creek
      • Kalmia Creek
      • unnamed arroyo, runs from Adelaide Peak, Temescal Mountains
      • unnamed arroyo, runs from Summit 2124, Temescal Mountains
      • unnamed arroyo, runs through Oak Springs Ranch, from Summit 2064, Temescal Mountains
      • Miller Canyon Creek
      • unnamed arroyo, runs from Iodine Springs in the Temescal Mountains
      • Cole Canyon Creek
      • Vail Canyon Creek
        • Slaughterhouse Canyon
      • Bundy Canyon
      • unnamed arroyo, runs from the southeast slope of Elsinore Peak
  • San Luis Rey River
    • West Fork San Luis Rey River
  • Loma Alta Creek
  • Buena Vista Lagoon
    • Buena Vista Creek
  • Agua Hedionda Lagoon
    • Agua Hedionda Creek
      • Buena Creek (San Diego)
      • Escondido Creek
  • San Dieguito River
    • Santa Maria Creek (San Diego)
    • Santa Ysabel Creek
      • Temescal Creek (San Diego)
  • San Diego River (historically drained into San Diego Bay, but was permanently blocked due to concerns of siltation)
    • Oak Canyon Creek
    • Spring Canyon Creek
    • Forester Creek
    • Los Coches Creek
    • San Vicente Creek
    • Wildcat Canyon Creek
    • Chocolate Creek
    • Conejos Creek
    • Sand Creek
    • Isham Creek
    • Boulder Creek
    • Cedar Creek
    • Ritchie Creek
    • Dye Canyon Creek
    • Iron Springs Canyon Creek
    • Temescal Creek
    • Sentenac Creek
    • Coleman Creek
      • Baily Creek
      • Eastwood Creek

San Diego Bay

Tributaries entering San Diego Bay are arranged from North to South:

Below San Diego Bay

Gulf of California

Rivers that empty into the Gulf of California:

Carrizo Plain

The Carrizo Plain is a large enclosed valley near the Central Coast which drains into Soda Lake.

  • Wallace Creek

Salton Sea

Rivers that empty into the Salton Sea:

  • Salt Creek
    • Dos Palmas Creek
    • Red Canyon Wash
  • Box Canyon Wash
  • Whitewater River
  • Barton Canyon Wash
    • Alano Canyon Wash
    • Sheep Canyon Wash
  • Travertine Palms Wash
  • Garner Wash
  • Wonderstone Wash
  • Gravel Wash
  • Big Wash
  • Grave Wash
  • Coral Wash
  • Palm Wash
  • Anza Ditch
  • Arroyo Salada
  • Tule Wash
  • San Felipe Creek
    • Carrizo Creek
    • Tarantula Wash
    • Fish Creek Wash
    • Palo Verde Wash
    • Harper Canyon Wash
    • Fault Wash
    • Third Wash
    • Big Wash
    • Hills of the Moon Wash
    • Rainbow Wash
    • Borrego Sink Wash
      • Borrego Sink
        • Culp Canyon Wash
          • Tubb Canyon
        • Borrego Palm Canyon Wash
          • Hellhole Canyon
          • Henderson Canyon
          • Borrego Palm Canyon
        • Coyote Creek
          • Indian Creek
          • Salvadore Canyon Creek
          • Alder Canyon Creek
          • Horse Canyon Creek
          • Tule Canyon Creek
          • Alder Canyon Creek
          • Nance Canyon Creek
    • Pinyon Wash
      • Bighorn Wash
      • Nolina Wash
    • Mine Wash
    • Chuckwalla Wash
    • Grapevine Canyon
      • Bitter Creek Canyon
    • Banner Creek
  • New River
    • Coyote Wash
    • Pinto Wash
  • Alamo River

Great Basin

Rivers in the Great Basin, arranged roughly north to south:

Northeastern California to Walker River

Mono Lake

Rivers draining into saline and endorheic Mono Lake in eastern California, from north and proceeding counterclockwise:

  • Cottonwood Creek
  • Rancheria Gulch
  • Wilson Creek
  • Mill Creek
    • Deer Creek
    • South Fork Mill Creek
      • Lake Canyon Creek
  • Dechambeau Creek
  • Lee Vining Creek
    • Beartrack Creek
    • Gibbs Canyon Creek
    • Warren Fork
    • Mine Creek
      • Glacier Canyon Creek
    • Saddlebag Creek
  • Rush Creek
    • Walker Creek
    • Parker Creek
    • Alger Creek
    • Reversed Creek
      • Fern Creek
      • Yost Creek
    • Crest Creek
  • Dry Creek

Owens River, Death Valley, Mojave Desert

See also

References

External links

  • Friends of the River – California Rivers
  • California Rivers Assessment
  • Popular Rafting River in California
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