San Cristobal Tunnel - New Almaden, CA
Posted by: DougK
N 37° 10.698 W 121° 50.823
10S E 602346 N 4115274
Quick Description: The San Cristobal Tunnel is along the Mine Hill Trail in Almaden Quicksilver Park in New Almaden, CA
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 10/3/2009 1:31:23 AM
Waymark Code: WM7BZY
The word Almaden in Spanish implies "mineral" or "mine". During 1845, Andres Castillero found mercury deposit in the area now known as Almaden hills. At that time the only other mercury producing mine was in Almaden, Spain, so this area became known as New Almaden. New Almaden was the first mining community in California.
Shortly after this discovery, the California Gold Rush in 1849 began and the New Almaden mines became inextricably linked to this boom. The mercury mined here was used in the extraction of gold from its ore. The New Almaden Mine was the biggest mercury-producing mine in the Americas. New Almaden was the site of the richest mine in California, surpassing the monetary value of any gold mine in California. Much of the history of this area can be found at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum.
The San Cristobal Tunnel and the Buena Vista Shaft were all owned by the Quicksilver Mining Company. To get to the San Cristobal Tunnel, park at the Hacienda Entrance of Almaden Quicksilver Park. From there take the Mine Hill Trail, actually one of the old mining roads, up to around elevation 1740 feet. From there the entrance to the tunnel can be found and is easily visible. There is a picnic table nearby the tunnel. This trip van be made by horse, bicycle or on foot.