Maps & Publications

Motor Vehicle Use Maps

Los Padres National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps

Los Padres National Forest has had a system of designated Off-Highway Vehicle routes in place for more than 30 years. These existing designated Off-Highway Vehicle routes, together with other roads designated "open for motorized travel" are displayed on recently published Motor Vehicle Use Maps. Three (two-sided)maps have been published for Los Padres National Forest: one covers the Monterey Ranger District, the second map covers the Santa Lucia Ranger District, and the third displays the Santa Barbara, Ojai and Mount Pinos Ranger Districts.

The Motor Vehicle Use Map is a requirement of the Travel Management Final Rule. The Motor Vehicle Use Map displays National Forest System routes (roads and trails) or areas designated open to motorized travel. The Motor Vehicle Use Map also displays uses allowed by vehicle class (highway-legal vehicles, vehicles less than 50 inches wide and motorcycles), and seasonal allowances. The Motor Vehicle Use Map also provides information on other travel rules and regulations. Routes not shown on the Motor Vehicle Use Map are not open to public motor vehicle travel. Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed on the ground but will be identified on the Motor Vehicle Use Map. It will be the public's responsibility to refer to the Motor Vehicle Use Map to determine designated routes for motor vehicle use. The Motor Vehicle Use Map will be updated annually to correct mapping errors or discrepancies.

The Motor Vehicle Use Map is a black and white map with no topographic features. It is best used in conjunction with a Forest Visitor Map, a Motor Vehicle Opportunity Guide (available for the Santa Lucia and Mount Pinos Ranger Districts) or other topographic map. Motor Vehicle Use Maps are offered free to the public and are available at each local Ranger District office. The map is also available online at the links listed below. If you do not already have a PDF Reader, you can download a free plugin at:

Los Padres National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps:

Paper copies are available free of charge at each of the Forest Service offices in King City, Santa Maria, Los Prietos, Ojai ,Frazier Park, and the Forest Supervisor's Office in Goleta. Other partners and distribution locations may be developed over time to help disseminate maps.

Monterey Ranger District (North) 

Monterey Ranger District (South) 

Santa Lucia Ranger District 

Santa Lucia Ranger District (Navajo Staging Area)

Southern Ranger Districts (Main Division) 

Southern Ranger Districts (Santa Barbara and Mt. Pinos) 

How do I print the Motor Vehicle Use Map?

A full-size version of the Motor Vehicle Use Map is 34" x 44" and cannot be printed on conventional home printers. A full-size version can only be printed from a large plotter. Many local engineering and survey business can print the map for a nominal fee.

To be readable, only a portion of the Motor Vehicle Use Map can be printed on 8 ½" x 11" paper using home printers. With Acrobat Reader, use the "Print Current View" function to print the view on your screen. It is recommended that the legend box, as well as applicable special designations, be printed to aid in interpretation of the Motor Vehicle Use Map.

What does the Motor Vehicle Use Map show me?

  • The Motor Vehicle Use Map shows all National Forest System roads, trails and designated areas allowing public motor vehicle use. Motorized use includes but is not limited to motorcycles, All-Terrain Vehicles, and 4-wheel drive vehicles;
  • The Motor Vehicle Use Map shows designation details, including vehicle class, time of year, and any motorized access for the purpose of dispersed camping (camping in locations other than campgrounds);
  • The Motor Vehicle Use Map shows roads where only highway-legal vehicles are allowed because of user safety considerations;
  • Motor vehicle access may occur on routes not shown on the Motor Vehicle Use Map for the purpose of limited administrative access by Forest Service personnel; for fire and law enforcement for emergency purposes and; by persons authorized by a written special use permit or contract from the Forest Service.

Does the Motor Vehicle Use Map show non-motorized trails?

No. A Forest Visitor Map will provide information on motorized routes and non-motorized routes, including hiking and horse trails.

What do you mean by vehicle class?

Vehicle class refers to certain categories 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 inches or less in width (All-Terrain Vehicles, motorcycle, etc.)
  • Trails open to all vehicles (trails may be rugged and narrow; not suitable for some Sport Utility Vehicles)
  • Trails open to motorcycles only (single track)

It is important to understand that showing routes and areas as open to certain vehicle classes does not mean that they are maintained for, or suitable for, travel using those vehicles. It simply 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 local Ranger District Offices for more information. Phone numbers, addresses and email addresses are available on our Forest Headquarters page.

What do you mean by a season allowance?

Some routes or areas may be open only during certain times of the year for various reasons such as to reduce wildlife disturbance, protect users from unsafe or impassable conditions and to reduce impacts to other resource values.

Are there road and trail route marker signs on the ground?

Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed. In some cases, a route marker may exist at the entrance of the road/trail with symbols indicating which classes of vehicles are allowed. Routes designated for motorized uses will be identified on the Motor Vehicle Use Map. The Motor Vehicle Use Map is an enforcement tool to ensure individuals are on the correct route. It is the responsibility of the user to determine if they are on a route designated for the motor vehicle being used.