MVUM Frequently Asked Questions

MVUM Downloads

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MVUM?

MVUM stands for Motor Vehicle Use Map.  

MVUM is a map that displays all roads, trails and areas open to motorized vehicles.

These are maps that the Forest revises once a year and prints for public distribution in order to notify recreationalists where they may legally ride.

Where can I get MVUM?

Maps are posted and available for printing from this website and the Pacific Southwest Region and National Forest Service websites.

 Paper copies of the Shasta-Trinity MVUMs will be available free of charge at each of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest offices in Redding (Forest Supervisor’s Office), Hayfork, Harrison Gulch (Platina area), Weaverville, Big Bar, Shasta Lake (Mountain Gate), Mt. Shasta City and McCloud.

Free paper copies of the Shasta-Trinity MVUMs will be available at these Forest Service offices beginning on March 8, 2013. Other partners and distribution locations may be developed over time to help disseminate maps.

How much do the MVUMs cost?

There is no charge for the MVUM.

How do I print the MVUM?

Full-size prints of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest MVUMs are 24" x 36". Therefore, full-size versions of the MVUMs cannot be printed on conventional home printers. A full-size version can only be printed from a large plotter. Many local office supply, engineering and survey businesses can print the full-size maps for a nominal fee.

To be readable, only a portion of the MVUM can be printed on 8½" x 11" paper typically used on home printers. The best way to do this is to download a copy of an MVUM and open it in Adobe Reader. If you open the link by clicking with the primary mouse button (frequently the left), it will be very difficult to print. To successfully print, use the secondary mouse button (frequently the right) and click the MVUM links and select Save Link As or Save Target As (depending on the browser program). When the download is finished (a minute or two), open it in Adobe Reader, and 'zoom in' to a part that interests you. Bring up the 'Print' window, select More Options then Current View to print the zoomed in view on your screen (when using Adobe Reader X). We recommended that the legend box, as well as applicable special designations be printed to aid in interpretation of the MVUM. These tables and legends are available below:

What does an MVUM show me?

The MVUM shows the designated motorized roads, trails and areas where the public can drive motorized vehicles.

Motorized uses for special permits for such as firewood and cattle grazing are covered under the conditions of the permit.

The MVUM is the legal document directing motorized traffic on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed. It is the user’s responsibility to reference the MVUM in order to determine if they are on a route designated for the motor vehicle they are using.

Does the MVUM also show mechanized (bicycle) and non-motorized trails and over-snow vehicle uses?

No, the MVUM does not include these types of trails. A number of other free and for sale maps are available that include this information.

A map of the groomed network of snowmobile trails located on the Shasta McCloud Management Unit of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest (also includes the Klamath and Modoc National Forests) is available here.

What is meant by vehicle class?

Vehicle class refers to a category of motorized vehicles. The following are typical vehicle class route designations:

  • Roads open to highway legal vehicles only
  • Roads open to all vehicles (licensed and unlicensed)
  • Trails open to vehicles 50” or less in width (ATV, motorcycle, etc.)
  • Trails open to all vehicles (trails may be rugged and narrow - intended for jeeps)
  • Trails open to motorcycles only (single track)

A designation of routes and areas open to certain vehicle classes does not mean they are maintained for, or suitable, for travel using those vehicles. Such designation means it is legal to use them. For example, many low standard roads may be open to all motor vehicles. This designation includes passenger cars, although it may not be prudent to drive this type of vehicle on the route due to the condition of the surface or during inclement weather. Please check with the local Ranger Station offices for more information.

What are road maintenance levels and how do those affect open vs. closed roads?

Forest Service roads are divided into five maintenance levels. These are:

  • Level 1 – Closed to vehicular traffic but may be available and suitable for non-motorized uses.
  • Level 2 – Open to high clearance vehicles.
  • Level 3 – Assigned to roads open and maintained for travel by a prudent driver in a standard passenger car. User comfort and convenience are not considered priorities. Roads in this maintenance level are typically low speed with single lanes and turnouts.
  • Level 4 – Assigned to roads that provide a moderate degree of user comfort and convenience at moderate travel speeds. Most roads are double lane and aggregate surfaced. However, some roads may be single lane. Some roads may be paved and/or dust abated.
  • Level 5 – Assigned to roads that provide a high degree of user comfort and convenience. These roads are normally double lane, paved facilities.

What is meant by season of use?

Some routes may be open only during certain times of the year for various reasons such as;

  • to reduce wildlife disturbance,
  • to protect users from unsafe or impassable conditions,
  •  to protect saturated (wet) road surface from damage/rutting and
  • to reduce impacts to other resource values.

Some MVUMs include season of use information. That information is compiled here.

How far can I park off a designated route?

You may park a motor vehicle on the side of the road when it is safe to do so without causing damage to forest resources or facilities, unless prohibited by state law, a traffic sign, or an order.

Parking is allowed up to a vehicle length from the edge of the road surface.

Does the MVUM shut down access to dispersed camping, fuel wood gathering and other activities such as game retrieval?

  • The MVUMs do not shut down access to dispersed camping, fuel wood gathering and other activities and it does not address where such activities may occur.
  • The MVUMs limit direct motorized access into some campsites and other locations, because driving off designated roads and trails is prohibited (36 CFR 261.13).

However, you will be able to park within one vehicle length from the edge of an authorized route where it is safe to do so without causing damage to forest facilities and resources. You will then be able to walk in to access those sites.

Why are there gaps along roads on the MVUM?

The mixed ownership within National Forest boundaries presents a unique situation with regard to road jurisdiction. It is not unusual for a road to weave in and out of private lands – we do not always have a legal right-of-way across private parcels.

We are not authorized to show any road segments on the MVUM under private jurisdiction. This results in a road with gaps for which we cannot show or authorize access - even to reach National Forest road segments.

When will the MVUM become enforceable?

The MVUM is enforceable as of March 8, 2013.Forest Service employees will begin providing information on the MVUM as of that date.

After MVUMs are available to the public in map form and on the web, what will be the Forest Service enforcement strategy?

Forest Service employees, including law enforcement employees and Forest Protection Officers, will continually check with the public to encourage compliance and clarify information printed on the MVUM.

There will be a transition period to ensure that information on the requirements stated on the MVUM is known by the public. The public is asked to notify their local Forest Service office if they observe any prohibited activity.

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest is working with local and State governments to coordinate education and enforcement.

What is the fine for violations?

Once the transition period is complete, and Forest users understand the requirements stated on the MVUM, violations will be issued.

Violations of 36 CFR 261.13 are subject of a fine up to $5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment (18 U.S.C. 3571(e)).

Will there be any special allowances for hunting for disabled hunters with special permits from the State of California?

A quality network of roads, trails and areas are available for public motorized use. Using this network, no special provision is needed for people with disabilities who depend on motorized transportation to enjoy the Forest. Allowing people with disabilities to use OHVs or other motor vehicles on roads, trails, and areas closed to motor vehicle use is not authorized. People with disabilities may use motorized wheelchairs and similar devices (devices normally used within a residential setting) to travel anywhere in the Forest.

Can you drive greater than a vehicle length off a system road to load firewood?


Are you closing routes - and if you aren’t closing them - why can’t I ride on them?

Only National Forest Transportation System routes marked with a sign and/or shown as open on the MVUMs will be open to motorized use.