#PixinParks 2022 Almaden Quicksilver

Submitted by Brandy Maldonado on Mon, 07/18/2022 - 7:00 AM
Almaden Quicksilver

The Hike

Almaden Quicksilver
English Camp at Almaden Quicksilver County Park, #PixinParks 2022 photo op ©Brandy Maldonado

This is a 3.5 mile hike with a difficulty rating of moderate. This trail has a mix of shade and sun cover, it is recommended to bring plenty of water and to wear sunblock. I did this hike in mid April, before the official #PixinParks 2022 challenge roster had been released. As you can see from my photographs, much of the park was dry and sunny.

This hike has a mix of inclines and declines with breath taking views of the Santa Clara valley. Although the grassland can be quite dry, many wildflowers can be found along the trail.

A Brief History

Hand holding rock with cinnabar
Rock with traces of Cinnabar, Almaden Quicksilver County Park ©Brandy Maldonado

The current Almaden Quicksilver County park was once inhabited by the Ohlone Native people. The Ohlone used the red cinnabar, mercury ore as part of their customs.

In 1820, Mexican colonizers discovered the mercury mine and named it New Almaden Quicksilver Mercury mine after the mercury mine in Almaden, Spain. During the California Gold Rush (1860-1900's) mercury from the mine was used to pull gold particles from gravel and sand. The mining process at the New Almaden Quicksilver mine polluted the Guadalupe River and San Francisco Bay with mercury.

The mine closed it's doors in 1976 and was acquired by the Santa Clara County parks department. All openings to the mine have been closed off, though remnants of the mine can be seen throughout the park. Environmental impacts of the mine have been reported and the park is currently safe for visitors and wildlife.


A Librarian Recommendation

Mining Equipment
Mining Equipment, Almaden Quicksilver County Park ©Brandy Maldonado

In April of this year I attended the Santa Clara County Parks department Quicksilver History Hike. As an avid outdoor explorer and local history buff I can confidently say that this hike was a lot of fun! If you are interested in learning more about the history of our county parks I definitely recommend it.

Learn more about guided history hikes and events with the Santa Clara County Parks department here.

Special thanks to our friends at the Santa Clara County Parks Department for making this challenge available for Santa Clara County residents.

Blog Category
Adult Nonfiction
Local History

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