Map Updates: MVUM, and USFS Roads and Trails

We’re excited to announce some great updates to two map layers from the USFS: the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), and the Roads and Trails layer. These updates include improvements to the style of the maps, as well as improved data.

To improve map readability, we created more polished, more compatible styles for both layers. The new styles adopts the same symbology used by the U.S. Forest Service on their PDF maps, making it easier to cross-reference your paper backups with your layered maps in Gaia GPS.

To improve the data, we re-rendered the maps to add more trails to the MVUM overlay, and added both snow-only and water-only (canoe and boating) routes to the USFS Roads and Trails layer.

Style Updates to the USFS Roads and Trails Overlay

For USFS Roads and Trails, the update declutters the map. Thoughtfully designed trail styles reduce visual overlap of nearby routes, letting you view more possibilities at a higher zoom level.

The symbology is also more intuitive. For example, a series of progressively dashed and dotted lines delineate trail accessibility by vehicle type. They’re also color-coded to distinguish snow- and water-only routes from maintained trails.

The new symbology is similar to what you might find in USFS Visitor maps, allowing you to mesh these maps together without having to reference separate legends.

Style Updates to the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) Overlay

You’ll find similar style updates in the MVUM overlay. The result is a cleaner, more efficient navigation experience and better integration with other maps, including USFS Roads and Trails. Roads are now labeled by road ID number instead of name to better correlate with the signage you’re likely to encounter in the field.

To view map keys for either overlay, visit the Gaia GPS Map Legends page.

How to Use the MVUM and USFS Roads and Trails Maps

Both the MVUM overlay and the USFS Roads and Trails overlay are available to users with a Premium Membership. You can find them in the Feature/Weather Overlays category of the map manager.

If you’ve already downloaded the layer, delete and re-add it to see the updated styling.

We recommend using the MVUM overlay in conjunction with USFS Roads and Trails to make sure you’re looking at all the possibilities available to you. Since the maps come from different datasets, the MVUM overlay contains routes unavailable in USFS Roads and Trails, and vice versa.

These maps are transparent overlays that contain only linear features marking roads, trails, and other routes. As such, they’re best used layered over Gaia Topo, satellite imagery, or any other base map of your choice.