Geography & Geology

Deer Creek, Nevada County, CA
The total length of Deer Creek is approximately 34 miles.

At 3100 feet elevation, the North and South Forks of Deer Creek meet. It flows into Scotts Flat Reservoir at 3069 feet. Deer Creek travels through Nevada City, (2300′) then drops down into Lake Wildwood (1200′). From there, it descends 1100 feet where it converges with the Yuba River below Englebright Dam.

 

Sixteen Locations Along Deer Creek

  1. North & South Forks Deer Creek – PDF
  2. Scotts Flat Reservoir & Spillway – PDF
  3. Lower Scotts Flat Lake & Spillway – PDF
  4. Below Lower Scotts Flat Lake – (private land not open to the public) – PDF

    Black Swan Preserve
  5. Willow Valley Road – PDF
  6. Pine Street Bridge in Nevada City – PDF
  7. Tribute Trail – PDF
  8. Champion Mine / Newtown Ditch area – PDF
  9. Little Deer Creek Lane (creek banks are private land not open to the public) – PDF
  10. Bitney Springs Road and Newtown Road (private land not open to the public) – PDF
  11. Deer Creek Falls (private land not open to the public) – PDF
  12. Below Deer Creek Falls (private land not open to the public) – PDF
  13. Deer Creek entrance to Lake Wildwood (community membership required for access) – PDF
  14. Lakewildwood Spillway – PDF
  15. Mooney Flat Road below Lakewildood (private land not open to the public) – PDF
  16. Mooney Flat Road Bridge & Black Swan Preserve – PDF

Sixteen-page topographical map sections – entire length of Deer Creek –  PDF

Formation of Deer Creek

The story of Deer Creek begins with the formation of the continent. It was during this phase of geologic time that gold was created.

Rock Identification

Following is part of an Introduction to Physical Geology video course from the City College of San Francisco (Katryn Wiese). Videos below discuss how to identify minerals (formed by organic debris or volcanic glass) igneous (formed by lava), sedimentary (formed by compaction), and metamorphic (formed by pressure & temperature) rocks.

Identifying Minerals

More About Minerals

Identifying Igneous Rock

Identifying Sedimentary Rock

Identifying Metamorphic Rock

Deer Creek Falls with Arroyo Willow in the foreground

Resources:

Book: Crow’s Range; An Environmental History of the Sierra Nevada by David Beesley

Wikipedia – Sierra Nevada

Geology.com

California in 10 Million Years Lecture – Graham Kent, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

 

 

$5 from every sale of ‘Life on the Creek’ art goes to support the website/film production project. Upon completion, the proceeds will be donated to Deer Creek watershed stewardship organizations.