Scotts Valley is a small city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States, about thirty miles (48 km) south of downtown San Jose and six miles (10 km) north of the city of Santa Cruz, in the upland slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,580. Principal access to the city is supplied by State Route 17 that connects San Jose and Santa Cruz. The city was incorporated in 1966.
Approximately ten thousand years ago there was a lake in the lowest elevation of Scotts Valley, and Paleo Indians lived near its shores. The lake receded to form a peat bog. Later, around 2000 BC, Ohlone people occupied areas along the remaining creeks, spring and seep areas, along with permanent and seasonal drainages, and on flat ridges and terraces. Therefore, areas along watercourses are considered likely locations for prehistoric cultural resources. Several watercourses, including portions of Carbonera Creek, Bean Creek, MacKenzie Creek and the San Lorenzo River, are within the city. Permanent villages were usually placed on elevations above seasonal flood levels.