Black Diamond Mines hike

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, my sister and I did a hike we have wanted to for a long time. It’s called Black Diamond Mines. Located near Antioch, it’s part of the East Bay Regional Park District. From the 1850’s thru the 1900’s, there were several towns there that supported coal mining. Coal was the black diamond. Over 4 million tons of coal were dug out. They also mined underground sand for glass making.

Black Diamond Visitor Center

Rose HIll Cemetery (circa 1860)

Entrance to the Eureka Shaft – 296 feet deep

The Shaft

The park was a pretty good ride from San Jose-by-the-sea, but worth it. Most of the facilities don’t open until March 1 – bummer, but we avoided the $5 entrance fee. The visitor center is open and couple rangers provide help.  Most of the mines are sealed up but during the summer, they give tours of the big mine.

It was a great Half Dome training site. There were humongous hills on either side of the trails. We logged almost 4 hours and slept well that night. This is a recommended hike for Bay area folks.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think.” – Milton Berle

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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3 Responses to Black Diamond Mines hike

  1. Maureen L says:

    yes, Black Diamond Mines is a gem.

    it’s a regional preserve, which means little development away from the central visitor’s center and the silica mine tours.

    watch out for rattlesnakes.

    it’s not a place to train in the summer, but it’s gorgeous other seasons. known for wildflower hikes in the spring.

    at over 100,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, the East Bay Regional Parks are a real delight!

    Rick’s favorite hike on Mission Peak is part of the EBRP too.

    • I agree … East Bay Regional Parks has their act together….very nice parks. I think they are the largest county park system in CA? yes/no?

      • Maureen L says:

        EB Regional Parks describe themselves as “the largest regional park district in the nation,” while others describe them as the “largest urban regional park.” 2 counties: Alameda and Contra Costa.

        either way, 1. setting up the district in the midst of the Great Depression, 2. getting voters to tax themselves in 20 year time chunks for land acquisition (Measure AA in 1988 and Measure WW in 2008), and 3. building contiguous chunks of preserved land in conjunction with California State Parks, the watersheds of East Bay and San Francisco municipal water districts and the open space districts of several local cities, are achievements we are extremely proud of and seek to continue!

        it’s obvious that I’m a huge fan, and as well as being a frequent user, I do as many volunteer trail maintenance days as I can every season.

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