Almaden Quicksilver: 9.3 Mile Moderate Hike
July 27, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
CARPOOL REQUEST COMMENTS ARE NOT PERMITTED DUE TO THE LARGE SIZE OF THE GROUP. Please read below how to carpool.
Total Distance: 9.3 miles, loop
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Elevation Change: 1200 feet.
Parking/Entrance fee: Free
Official Trail Use: No dogs.
Shade: Don’t forget your sunhat for your own personal shade. Shade does not matter if you have your sunhat. I never leave home without it.
Facilities Restrooms located off the parking lot.
PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO GO BEFORE YOU ARRIVE SO WE CAN START ON TIME.
• Please use the Google Maps link above to familiarize yourself with the trip and explore various route options from your home. Zoom in all the way.
• The GPS locations below and the map link above are accurate enough to find us by looking around with your eyes when you get there.
(Most Cars) GPS Degrees Minutes Seconds Format:
(Google Maps) GPS Degrees Decimal Format:
Nearest street address:
21785 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA
The Google Waze app will route around “restricted access” roads, unlike the Google Maps app, using the same map data as Google Maps. Therefore, Waze is recommended over the Google Maps app for your phone.
If you have the Waze app installed on your phone, click this URL:
Just click it. It will open Waze and start navigating to the trail head.
• As always, it is good practice to confirm the night before that any app you use takes you to where you expect by comparing the destination with what is posted above on your PC/Mac.
• Most street addresses provided are approximate, and may be up to a couple of miles from the hike location. Use GPS coordinates when driving, if possible.
Plan to arrive 30 minutes early to find parking, and walk to the trail head.
Carpooling: We will use this link for carpooling:
Please sign up here.
Please refrain from trying to negotiate your carpool in the comments, as it is equivalent to sending multiple “Reply All” emails to everyone.
Please start your carpool quest, by first adding yourself to the carpool link above.
Then, use the contact info provided by the driver or rider in the link above to contact them directly and privately.
Please be considerate of others and resist the urge to “Reply All”.
Thank you for understanding.
Almaden Quicksilver occupies the site of the first mining enterprise in California (check out the historical marker across the street from the Hacienda Trailhead entrance).
In spring, Almaden Quicksilver is famous for grand displays of wildflowers, but the park is pretty in autumn as well, when bigleaf maples, and black and blue oaks shed their colorful leaves. Anyone with a curiosity about mining and local history will enjoy the remnants of the mines. And with over 33 miles of hiking trails, you can design many different loop hikes of varying lengths.
For this featured hike, start at the Hacienda Trail head. Walk around the gate and uphill on Mine Hill Trail.
At 0.39 mile, you’ll reach a signed junction, with Hacienda Trail departing to the right, and English Camp Trail setting off to the left. Continue straight on Mine Hill Trail.
At 1.13 miles, after climbing about 300 feet, Mine Hill Trail reaches Capehorn Pass. A picnic table at this flat spot makes a good place to consult the map, and drink some water. From this signed junction Hacienda Trail runs north through chaparral, then cuts east and loops back south to meet up with Mine Hill Trail. Turn left to stay on Mine Hill Trail.
At 1.53 miles, pass Day Tunnel Trail on your right.
At 1.83 miles stay to the right to continue on Mill Hill Trail.
At 1.93 miles stay to the left, passing by Great Eastern Trail.
At 2.03 miles stay to the left, passing by April Trail.
At 2.43 miles stay to the right, passing by San Cristobal Mine.
At 2.73 miles arrive at Bull Run, staying to the right to continue on Mill Hill Trail.
After 322 ft, turn right to complete the Catherine Tunnel loop and arrive back at Mine Hill Trail and 3.0 miles.
At 3.5 miles, stay to the right
Start the inner Providencia Trail Loop in a counter-clockwise direction, passing Prospect Trail on your right after 0.3 miles. Pass by the return leg on your left after 0.2 miles. Stay on Mine Hill Trail for 0.8 miles to meet a junction. Turn left for 0.4 miles and pass by Providenica Mine. After 0.2 miles, pass by a trail on your left and right. After 0.3 miles, arrive back on Mine Hill Trail, completing the loop and 5.5 miles.
At 6.1 miles arrive back at Bull Run, and reaches a signed junction with Castillero Trail. Stay to the right to enter Castillero Trail.
At 6.7 miles, Hidalgo Cemetery Trail heads out on the right. Continue left, downhill on Castillero Trail.
At 7.1 miles, you’ll reach the edge of English Camp, and a series of signed junctions. Yellow Kid Tunnel Trail heads doubles back to the right, toward Hidalgo Cemetery Trail, while Castillero Trail bends left, on its way to connect with Mine Hill Trail. Continue straight, to the right of the flagpole, downhill. You can explore the area, but return to the fire road heading southeast, downhill past the picnic tables, English Camp Trail.
At 7.7 miles, a road sets out on the right side of the trail — this is the Deep Gulch Trail, which is an excellent hot weather alternate descent back to the trailhead. Continue straight on English Camp Trail.
At 9.0 miles, English Camp Trail ends at a signed junction with Mine Hill Trail. Turn right and retrace your steps to the trail head.