Pajaro River

Santa Cruz County, California.

Pajaro River midpoint in Aromas, California.

Pajaro River ends in Moss Landing, California.

29.52 miles long (47.50 kilometers)

21930.38 miles (35293.54 sq kilometers)

About The Pajaro River

Pajaro River is a River located in Santa Cruz County, CA. Starting in Gilroy, CA the Pajaro River flows 32 miles through Aromas, CA before ending in Moss Landing, CA. Find maps, fishing guides, weather and recreation information at Guidesly.


About Pajaro River, CA

Forming a part of the natural border of San Benito and Santa Clara Counties in California is the Pajaro River. The river also forms the border between San Benito and Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. The Pajaro River begins in the Diablo Range in the east and south of the Gabilan Mountains. From here, it flows northwards to tributaries and then flows southwards to Santa Cruz to meet with the main body of the Pajaro. 

Due to its unique location, with the San Andreas Fault crossing it at the Pajaro Gap near Aromas, California, the river possesses unique geomorphology. It is also because of its location that the river has changed course. Once, it flowed to Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, California. Now, it joins Corralitos Creek to discharge in the Pacific Ocean. 

The origins of the river’s name come from the time when the first Europeans explored the region. The Portola Expedition was the very first expedition made by Europeans in what would become California. When they came upon the river, the explorers called it the Pajaro River. “Pajaro” is the Spanish word for bird. 

The Pajaro River also is known for being a flood-prone river, as there are several records of it flooding and damaging the nearby towns and the local