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Almaden Quicksilver County Park, San Jose

Categories: Landmarks, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 110 reviews on the web
Almaden Quicksilver County Park is a 4,147 acres park that includes the grounds of former mercury mines adjacent to south San Jose, California, USA. The park's elevation varies greatly: the most used entrances are less than 600 feet above sea level, while the highest point in the park is over 1,700 feet above sea level.The park is owned by the County of Santa Clara and managed by the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. Its grounds include the Guadalupe Reservoir, while adjacent to the park is the Almaden Reservoir. The Casa Grande Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum is located in nearby New Almaden. The park is named after the New Almaden Quicksilver Mines, which were named after the mercury mine in Almadén, Spain, and produced mercury that was used to process ore during the Gold Rush.
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  • And I saw a MOUNTAIN LION here which was totally 'cool'! This is a great place to just hang out and wander. It can be HOT!! though,, so bring plenty of sunscreen, hats and water! And keep little dogs ...  read more »
  • This has been our "backyard" for decades and we love the vast unspoilt wilderness with multiple hiking trails of varying difficulty. It is quite safe for families and even single persons since there i...  read more »
  • With the houses, mines and other portions of this park whose history stretches from Spanish rule, to the twentieth century. the mercury from this mine fueled the gold rush. 
  • Great little park. I live nearby and this is a fun place to go out and explore. Certainly large enough to offer a full day of hiking. Don't forget water if it's sunny. Gets really hot!
  • In 1970 I began visiting the mines all around what would later become Almaden Quicksilver County Park.Later in the early 1980s while a student in Park Management at West Valley College-I did a walking tour as guide around the Senator Mine and Herreshoff furnaces. Mining began in 1826 in New Almaden-long before the Sutter Hills gold strike in 1849. Cinnabar was extracted crushed and placed into smelters to cook off mercury in vapor form and fed into condensers shaped like tubes at many of the mercury production furnaces. For over a decade along with many friends we enter many of the mines including one on Hicks Road that resurfaces just below Guadalupe Dam as well as a tunnel that was in the Hicks road drainage that exited near Mine Hill. The area is undermined with dozens of mine shafts-tunnels etc -few had any timber bracing walls or ceilings and many had very dangerous sinkholes,cave ins, and frequently piles of dynamite left behind underground. We were by and large ignorant of the dangers of mercury,lead,arsenic,methane,etc frequently found in mines. I began to photograph the mines and buildings all around them as vandals began stealing artifacts and using 4x4 trucks to destroy landmarks. For 7 seasons I also worked as a Park Ranger Aide doing maintenance work and collecting fees at many parks.In 1996 I moved back to Washington State and currently live in Everett. This is my favorite park in San Jose and New Almaden-long before thousands of new homes would push away all the farms and close in on the beautiful orchards that once graced the Almaden Valley. Its my hope that I can shed a bit of light n this grand park!
  • I've probably been on a hike here at least 100 times over the years. Great views, good workout, and good location. Definitely recommend for hiking or running
  • I love this park. Close to home, diverse routes, great elevation changes. It also has some great "decaying" mine sites though out the park. Nice people making their way around the trails too, everyone is always very courteous, with a "good morning" or "afternoon"...which is awesome.
  • Always fun to come for a quick hike or ride. So many trailheads to choose from. Some parts are more busy, but the Hicks road access is usually less busy.
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