Alum Rock Park – Former Mineral Springs

I was working in the East San Jose area in the spring and summer of last year and the big outdoor destination other than Mt. Hamilton is Alum Rock Park. A former mineral spring area, it is now a (rather pricey) county park with tons of picnic areas and many miles of trails for people, horses and bikes.

 

This county park was initially developed the 1800’s when aristocrats and then the middle class started coming here for diversion from the hustle and bustle of San Jose and Santa Clara. A train brought people up each day and they had a menagerie of attractions.

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Remnants of the rail trestles

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The drought’s impact on the surrounding forest was apparent in all the dead trees

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They built monuments to the artisan waters

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This one, a drinking fountain

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And bridges spanning the creek

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With hidden grottos that have since been reclaimed by nature

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A path runs on both sides of the creek connecting the ruins of the springs

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Bridge to nature center

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The outlets to the remaining springs were layered with deposits of the various minerals, each one has a different content

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More deposits

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This one was so colorful

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Drip drip drip

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Lots of algae in the creek

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A layered black deposit

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The waters harbor unique bacteria that form films, I saw some scientists measuring one of them

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So pretty, so smelly

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One was carbonated, but the pool was full of mosquito larvae

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Here are the former entrances they built from piped spring water

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More deposits

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An oozing hillside

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Some go waaay back

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But many were mostly dry

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Here is one of the pools

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A better view

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Must have been awesome in its heyday

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But nothing more than a trickle now

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Although some were full, you would’t want to take a dip

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The springs were so popular they exhausted the water table and it was abandoned and gifted to the park system

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Not sure why they bricked up this tree

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An old retaining wall

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I was very curious as to what was locked in here

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Saw a garter snake, very fast

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The area also had marine fossils, I think this might be one

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Next up: Chinese gardens

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One Response to Alum Rock Park – Former Mineral Springs

  1. Mary says:

    Fantastic pictures! Looks like a cool place to visit.

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