Almaden Quicksilver Regional Park

By Carol at 8:11 am on Sunday, November 22, 2009

Guadalupe Reservoir

We traveled about 45 minutes to this historic mercury mining area to view the old mine sites, and the valleys below from challenging but well maintained trails – lots of ups and downs.

Guadalupe Reservoir, above, is low after three years of drought. The new grass needs the rain predicted for tomorrow, to sustain its growth.

monumental rock

The rock in this area contains cinnabar, the ore from which mercury is extracted.

old mercury mines

Some of the structures involved with the mining processes are still standing, but off limits in their currently dilapidated state. They are infested with rodents that carry the potentially deadly hantavirus.

miners' cemetery

And speaking of deadly, above is the old cemetery where miners and their families are buried. Not a single headstone was in view, but the picket fence and rows of ancient evergreens remain to mark the graveyard.

silicon valley from Jacques Ridge

In the far distance is Cupertino and Silicon Valley.

Mt. Ummunum

Mt. Umunhum, which means “resting place of the hummngbird” in the Ohlone Indian tongue, is visible in the distance, a part of the Sierra Azul Open Space. It is topped by a weather station, but was formerly an early warning radar site.

mountain lion

As we approach the parking lot at the end of the hike, we see the warning signs for the predators that are an important part of this ecosystem. So far, our only siting of a cougar has been the kitten that crossed the road in front of our car near Pescadero, last year at this time. We have seen bobcats, which are not quite as shy.

Filed under: MainComments Off on Almaden Quicksilver Regional Park

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.