Upper Penitencia Creek

Santa Clara County, California.

Upper Penitencia Creek midpoint in San Jose, California.

Upper Penitencia Creek ends in San Jose, California.

66 feet (20 meters)

11.74 miles long (18.90 kilometers)

About The Upper Penitencia Creek

Upper Penitencia Creek is a River located in Santa Clara County, CA. Starting in Milpitas, CA the Upper Penitencia Creek flows 12 miles through San Jose, CA before ending in San Jose, CA. The Upper Penitencia Creek rises to an elevation of 66 feet. Find maps, fishing guides, weather and recreation information at Guidesly.


About Upper Penitencia Creek, CA

Upper Penitencia Creek is an 11-mile stream division of the main Penitencia Creek located in the northeastern Santa Clara Valley of Santa Clara County, California. It passes through the Cherry Flat Reservoir and Alum Rock Park, where it joins its principal tributary Arroyo Aguague. It diverts south-westward to its confluence with Coyote Creek at Berryessa Road, passing through the city of San Jose for about four miles along the way. The stream drains a 24 square mile area in the watershed of Coyote Creek, along with the western slopes of Mount Hamilton. 

The stream’s hydrology was altered in the early 1850s, which caused the connection between the Upper Penitencia Creek and Coyote Creek. A local landowner dug a ditch along the Arroyo Aguaje (the creek’s name in the 19th century) through the willow grove towards the Coyote Creek. This was to serve as new drainage for the flooding in the area during wintertime, however, the water flow caused the two creeks to connect together permanently. The first two miles of the creek’s canyon used to support a riparian corridor with sycamores, madrone, laurel, live oaks, Cal