Almaden Quicksilver County Park is spectacular in natural diversity and a landmark of California history. The park is the site of over 135 years of mining activities and former home to more than 1,800 miners and their families. The park encompasses 4,163 acres, occupying a majority of Capitancillos Ridge. During early spring, the park offers one of the most spectacular wildflower displays in the region. Remnants of the mining era also offer an exciting look into the mining operations of the latter part of the 19th century.
How to Get There
Almaden Quicksilver County Park is located at:21785 Almaden Rd San Jose, CA 95120
Park Office: (408) 268-3883
Almaden Quicksilver County Park is located in south San Jose, in the town of New Almaden. You can reach the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum at (408) 918-7770.
The park may be accessed from three areas. The Mockingbird Hill entrance is accessed off Mockingbird Hill Lane. This entrance is accessible to all users, including bicyclists. From Highway 85, take the Almaden Expressway exit south 4.5 miles to Almaden Road. Proceed 0.5 miles on Almaden Road to Mockingbird Hill Lane, turn right and continue 0.4 miles to the parking area.
The Wood Road entrance is accessed off Wood Road. From Highway 85 take the Camden Avenue exit south. Turn right on Hicks Road and follow for 6 miles. At the intersection of Wood Road and Hicks Road, turn left into the staging area.
The Hacienda entrance is located at the south end of New Almaden. This entrance is accessible to all users, including bicyclists. From Almaden Expressway, proceed 3 miles along Almaden Road through the town of New Almaden to the unpaved staging area on the right.
The park includes over 37 miles of hiking trails, including 30 miles of equestrian trails and 16.6 miles of bike trails. All trails in the park are also open to pet owners to walk their dogs on leash.
A number of picnic tables are scattered throughout the park adjacent to the trails and horse water troughs are available in a few locations. No potable water is available within the park except at the Hacienda and Mockingbird Hill entrances.
There are also remnants of mining structures throughout the park. All mines and adits have been sealed. However, the San Cristobal mine may be viewed from behind a locked gate. For your safety, please do not climb on any structures.
Guided nature and history walks are available upon request. Call (408) 918-7770 for more information. For information on school field trip opportunities and custom tours of the Mining Museum, visit the education page or email email@example.com.
CATCH AND RELEASE… PLEASE DON’T EAT THE FISH
Mercury has been found to accumulate in Guadalupe and Almaden Reservoirs at levels that make the fish from those reservoirs unsafe to eat. Almaden Quicksilver County Park was once the site of extensive quicksilver (mercury) mining. Sediments that contain mercury have been deposited in some of the local reservoirs and streams. Over time, the mercury in the sediment may have been converted to methyl mercury by naturally occurring bacteria. Methyl mercury is absorbed by aquatic plants and fish, and subsequently by humans who may eat the contaminated fish. If you have any questions regarding mercury and its effects, please contact the County’s Environmental Health Services at (408) 918-3400 .
If you have any questions regarding the above information, please call (408) 355-2215 or email Tamara Clark, Public Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours and Fees
The park is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. until sunset. Park trails are subject to closure due to poor conditions, typically after heavy rains. No fees are required at any entrances.