Gibraltar Dam and the Mercury Mine.
[out of 5]
|For:||Very long, exposed to the sun, some hills, if you go to the mine. Rates a 3 if you just go to the mine.|
The Sunbird Quicksilver Mine
Hiking to the Dam is mostly hiking along a fire road, but the views are worth it. The mine is an interesting historical curiosity. Before it was cleaned up, I imagined Twilight Zone episodes being filmed there. The mine sits perched above Gibraltar Reservoir, making it a pleasant, lakeside destination for lunch.
You will need an Adventure Pass to park your car in the area.
The hike to Red Rock is only about 1 mile or less, but you will get your feet wet sloshing through the creek.
The dam is a 6 mile round trip hike, and the mercury mine is a 10 mile round trip hike. You can bicycle these hikes, too.
Gibraltar Dam and the Mercury Mine Updates
Update trail conditions
Posted: January 8, 2013, 5:26 pm
Hiked to the Mercury Mine this weekend (1/5/2013) along the fire trail. The trail was very muddy in some parts due to the rain but manageable by walking along the edges of the fire trail. The Mercury Mine itself is fenced in now but you can still get pretty close to it. Got this spooky feeling when I saw it. Overall it was a challenging hike but very fun!
Posted: February 26, 2011, 4:30 am
by: Cross Tie Walker
As part of a longer hike last month (see [url] http://www.santabarbarahikes.com/community/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=843[/url]),
we hiked the Gibraltar Trail from the Cold Spring (east) end out to Red Rock Trailhead.
Everything’s in great shape, freshly-clipped as preparations for the SBER (http://www.sber.co/
) get under way. Enjoy it before the road reopens!
Posted: October 26, 2009, 11:42 pm
I walked to the dam and back today. It took me 3 full hours. Good exercise. The dam itself is not that much impressive. There were 2 tables we could sit and eat. But legally we can't really get too close to the dam's water. There are "NO TRESPASSING" signs all over the area. So I didn't stay long -- afraid I might get in trouble.
There are a few merges and intersections along the way. On your way back, be sure to pick the right path (make note on your way there!). Otherwise, you could get lost easily... like I did (I often do anyway). But I was able to notice it and backtrack in time before I ran out of energy. So that wasn't too bad.
I took the road both ways. But I think it would have been more fun to take the river route, as the road is not really near any water holes that I could jump in.
Oh, and there were a lot of annoying flies following me around.
A note: it's a 45 minutes drive from UCSB to the trail head, assuming no traffic and driving the speed limit-ish.
Posted: May 3, 2009, 4:50 pm
Hiked to the mine and back yesterday and the conditions were perfect. The weather was mild, the trail was in fine shape up to the dam, and wildflowers were still abundant on the road to the mine. We made it a nice full day hike, stopping along the way to swim in the river. I'd recommend doing this hike on a hot day in early summer before the river dries up too much. Only downside was some motorcycles on the road.
Posted: March 21, 2007, 12:35 am
I just ran it with my gps and it clicked a 12 mile round trip from gate to dam. Perhaps the 7 mile listed above is the trail and not the fire road.
Posted: January 17, 2007, 4:45 pm
Walked the road up to the dam and took the trail back. (If you wanted to bike you could do so, just make sure you take the fire road and not the trail)The trail was definitely a much more interesting hike. There was actually inch thick ice covering parts of the river that was fun to play with.
Posted: November 15, 2005, 11:29 am
It is mentioned in the description of the hike that it is also bikable. If you would like to have a good ride, DO NOT BIKE THIS TRAIL. It is very frustrating as you are in river bed more time than not. The flys were also very thick in the area - an unpleasant added annoyance when you are hiking your bike.
Posted: April 22, 2005, 10:00 pm
Trail from Dam Road (damn road?) out to the mine is better than I remember it. We were surprised that nearly all of the old mine buildings are still there- what happened to the removal project a few years back?
I highly recommend boulder-hopping up Gidney Creek a half-mile to get to the most incredible jumble of enormous, mossy boulders with swirling water and subterranean waterfalls and pools I've seen anywhere in our backcountry. Or just anywhere. Travel gets VERY interesting, to say the least. (Chimney, wade, crawl, boulder moves, etc...) If you can find a way through them all, I'd like to hear how!
Posted: March 23, 2005, 8:29 pm
Post your update here.