From: Place Names of San Mateo County, Dr. Alan K. Brown (1976)
Gazos Creek: (Coast highwy 2.4 miles S of Pigeon Point. According to Vasquez, the name “arroyo de las Garzas (Heron creek) was given because large numbers of “cranes” were attracted by fish trapped in the shallow lagoon at the mouth of the creek in summer. The name first appears on an 1851 sketch map (Manuel Castro papers, Bancroft Library), and must have been first used in the 1840s.
The Gazos may refer to the creek, but usually means the place at it: the old lumber mills were “up in the Gazos.”
The stream is called the arroyo de la Bajada (Descent creek) on an 1838 sketch map; because one of the main Santa Cruz trails came down to the beach here. Rice’s creek on the 1857 survey may refer to a Mexican named Arias who had a ranch here right after the Gold Rush.