Mine Hill Loop

Almaden Quicksilver County Park
6.3 miles987 feet elevation gain
You can see quick a few remnants of an old mining site here. Minutes away from Highway 85, this is a great quick escape.

Almaden Quicksilver County Park sits on a former mining operation. Santa Clara County bought the mines in 1976, ended operations, and opened up the park for recreation. The mine itself was used to extract mercury found within cinnabar ore, and remnants of the operation can still be seen. In various parts of the park, you can find abandoned buildings, old mining equipment, collapsed mine shaft entrances, and even abandoned vehicles. The New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum is also nearby if you wish to learn more.

Parking is extremely plentiful (and free!), with an overflow lot that can probably accommodate a few hundred cars.

  • Start at the eastern Hacienda Park Entrance
  • Hike along the Mine Hill Trail
  • Turn left onto Randol Trail
  • Turn left at Day Tunnel Trail
  • Turn right to stay on Great Eastern Trail
  • Turn onto Mine Hill Trail
  • There is a short detour to get to San Cristobal Mine; otherwise, continue on Mine Hill Trail
  • Turn right to visit Catherine Tunnel, with a magnificent overlook into South San Jose. This is a great lunch spot, with a full picnic bench at the scenic overlook.
  • Retrace your steps back to Mine Hill Trail and continue West on Castillero Trail
  • Turn left to stay on Castillero Trail
  • Turn right back the buildings and benches to get on English Camp Trail
  • Turn right onto Deep Gulch Trail
  • You'll find yourself at the far end of the parking lot, with a few interactive exhibits and signs that teach you all about the mining process and equipment.
Trail Type
44 - 62°F
45 - 63°F
44 - 61°F
January 24
43 - 63°F
January 25
37.174°, -121.825°