CLEAR CREEK MANAGEMENT AREA
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 Central Coast Field Office. 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 decide 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 in their name and on their person. An individual is allowed a total of five permits per calendar year. If you are purchasing a permit for the weekend, it is necessary to call the Bureau of Land Management’s Central Coast Field Office during normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (831) 582-2200 for the combination to the ACEC entrance gate.
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.
If you are purchasing a permit for the weekend, it is necessary to call during our normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (831) 582-2200 for the combination to the entrance gate to Clear Creek ACEC area.