Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Today's Hike – New Almaden Quicksilver

Since school is out (yes, teachers look forward to that, too!) and I have a major pack trip coming up later this summer (more about that later) it is time to get serious about whacking the old body back into some sort of shape. Although I’ve always felt that the best conditioning for backpacking is the first three days of the trip, as I get older I find that I’d rather start those first three days from a little better position if possible.

So, today I decided on a “conditioning” hike that pushed me both in terms of dealing with heat/sun and climbing. I started at the New Almaden entrance to the Almaden Quicksilver County Park and ascended past English Camp by way of the Deep Gulch trail. Deep Gulch is a less-used route that has the disadvantage (or, for my purposes today, the advantage) of being rather steep but on a hot day like this the fact that it is in a, uh, deep gulch means that it is also very shady. After English Camp I continued on past the site of the old mill on the ridge via the Castillero trail to join up with the Mine Hill trail, which I followed back down to the parking lot.

I certainly do not recommend this route in these conditions to anyone out for a pleasant little stroll. It was 90 degrees when I returned to my car and portions of the hike near the highest point are directly in the sun – and I was there right around noon. On the other hand, it seemed like I had the entire park almost to myself. During the several hours I was there I saw exactly five other people.

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June 29, 2009 - Posted by | Commentary, Places, Trails, Trips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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