West of Fresno near Hollister, the Clear Creek Management Area has 270 miles of old roads open to ATV riding. The routes are known to be rugged. The best riding conditions are in the late Fall through the early Spring. Although beautiful, this area does contain natural asbestos, and the BLM encourages visitors to avoid the area during dry dusty conditions.
To reach the trailhead from San Jose, head south on US101 to Gilroy. Just past Gilroy, take the SR25 exit towards Hollister. Continue through town (SR25 runs through the town of Hollister) and head south for about 35 miles. You will pass by the Pinnacles National Monument. Turn left onto the Coalinga-Los Gatos Creek County road. Continue approximately 14 miles. At the BLM sign indicating the entrance to the Clear Creek Management Area, turn left. You will then be on the main road, Clear Creek Road, which is an unpaved road bisecting the Management Area. From Coalinga, take the Coalinga-Los Gatos Creek County Road to the turn-off to the Management Area, which will be a right-hand turn. From I-5, take the Panoche Road exit, and head west approximately 25 miles (the road turns to dirt within 2 miles of the highway, and turns back to pavement again after 14 miles). Continue on Panoche Road to the Idria Road, and left. This road will lead you to the north entrance of the Clear Creek Management Area. As of 9/97, there is a washout on this main road as you enter the Management Area. Travelers are advised to take a detour on the Aurora Mine Road, which will bypass the washout.
There is probably no place in California quite like Clear Creek for vehicle recreation. The old roads provide an infrastructure for exploring Clear Creek. Whether you enjoy four-wheeling or dirt-biking, you will be able to find a trail to enjoy. There are technically difficult routes and there are easy routes, and most are ruggedly spectacular throughout. The Clear Creek Management Area is managed under a Limited - Use policy, providing access to challenging routes and trails that are numbered and signed.
Note: Helmets are required. No double riding on ATVs.
Old trail maps are currently obsolete, especially the January 2003 edition. Make sure to contact the BLM about getting the latest map before heading to the trailhead.
Note: A majority of this area was temporarily closed to OHV usage on May 1, 2008 in order to limit Asbestos exposure. Please confirm that this area has reopened before heading out.
Overall, Clear Creek Management Area is the 37th most popular ATV riding trail of all 106 ATV trails in California.