Description - Welcome to Almaden Quicksilver County Park, 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 3,977 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.
Copyright: - Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Dept.
Equestrians are attracted to the park for its 23 miles of horse trails
- The park includes over 29 miles of hiking trails, 23 miles of equestrian trails and 10 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. Ranger guided nature and history walks are available upon request. See Contact Information for phone number.
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. See Contact Information for phone number.
Many of the park's facilities meet those standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act. For specific information or special accommodations, contact the park office.
The park is open year round from 8 AM until sunset. Park trails are subject to closure due to dangerous conditions, typically after heavy rains. No fees are required at any entrances.
Recreation - Hiking, horseback riding, biking, picnicking, and fishing comprise the recreations enjoyed at Almaden Quicksilver County Park.
Climate - Climate in the San Francisco Bay area varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.
The Almaden Quicksilver County Park is located in south San Jose, in the town of New Almaden, California.
The park may be accessed from three areas. The Mockingbird Hill entrance is accessed off Mockingbird Hill Lane. This entrance is accessible to pedestrians and equestrians only. 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 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 Wood Road entrance is accessed off Wood Road. From Hwy. 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.