Welcome to a rugged and remote area of Central California!
Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) encompasses approximately 75,000 acres, of which 63,000 acres are public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management Hollister Field Office (HFO). Topography is rugged with elevations ranging from 1,830 feet at Pine Canyon to 5,241 feet on San Benito Mountain. The Mediterranean climate is punctuated by cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Annual precipitation occurs primarily as winter rain with some snow occurring most years at the highest elevations on San Benito Mountain.
Recreational opportunities include hunting, camping, hobby gem/mineral collecting, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking/backpacking, and sightseeing. Hobby gem and mineral collectors are drawn to the Clear Creek area, one of the most highly mineralized areas in California, by the presence of over 150 semi-precious minerals and gemstones. Among these are serpentine, jadeite, cinnabar, tremolite, topazite, neptunite, and the extremely rare California state gem, benitoite.
There are two developed campgrounds in the CCMA, Oak Flat and Jade Mill, both with picnic tables, shade structures, fire rings, and pit toilets.
You will find great views of the Central Valley and the Sierras in some areas, and you'll find yourself deep in the forest at others. Many places show evidence of past human activity, while others are so remote you might wonder if you are the first to travel there. Please be aware that there are many parcels of private land interspersed with the public land. Tread lightly and be courteous of the interests of others.
Visiting Clear Creek Management Area
Permits are required when visiting the CCMA. Please note that you may need multiple permits to access areas within the CCMA. Carefully read each permit description and use this chart to help you decise which permit(s) you may need. The following permits are available for advanced reservation:
Serpentine Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Permit: This free permit allows an individual to access the Serpentine ACEC within the Clear Creek Management Area for the duration of one day. Each person, regardless of age, entering the Serpentine ACEC is required to have a permit on their person. An individual is allowed a total of five permits per calendar year.
Clear Creek Vehicle Permit: Vehicles entering the Clear Creek Management Area, including the Condon Peak campground and trailhead, are required to have a Clear Creek Vehicle Permit. The permit is $5 per vehicle and allows the vehicle to enter the Clear Creek Management Area for seven days from the date of entry. Each vehicle must display the permit on its dash while in the Clear Creek Management Area.
Condon Peak All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Permit: Every ATV or Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) entering Condon Peak’s trail network is required to have a permit. The permit cost is $10 and allows the ATV/UTV driver, age 16 and older, access to the route network at Condon Peak for seven days from the entry date.
Know Before You GoASBESTOS ALERT
The risk of exposure to airborne asbestos exists within Clear Creek year -round. Visitors should take measures to reduce exposure to dust while in the area. Children are most at risk from exposure. Recommendations to reduce exposure include: avoid the area during dry or dusty conditions, avoid opening vehicle doors until visible dust has cleared, keep windows closed and ventilation on recirculate, wash vehicles before returning home, launder clothing separately, use HEPA vacuum to clean vehicle interior.
Please think twice before bringing your child to the CCMA. Click here
for additional information on naturally occurring asbestos and the associated health risks.
Rules and Regulations
Vehicles only allowed on designated open routes. All other areas are closed. Open routes are signed with brown Carsonite markers.
Roads have two-way traffic. Reduce speed and use caution when approaching blind corners. Stay to the right, be alert and be prepared to yield the right of way at any time.
No shooting is allowed within ¼ mile of Clear Creek Road.
No camping is allowed in the San Benito Mountain Research Natural Area.
Do not cut live vegetation. Use only down wood for campfires. When leaving ensure your fire is “dead out.”
Leave the area clean; “Pack -it -in-, Pack -it -Out.”
Stay out of closed areas (posted and/or barricaded) – these are protected for riparian, wildlife and watershed values.
WET WEATHER CLOSURES
During periods of heavy rainfall, the area may be closed temporarily to motorized vehicle traffic to prevent damage to roads and trails, and for safety reasons. For current conditions, call the Hollister Field Office, 831-630-5000.