| Clear - Wilderness Freeway |
| Passable - Clear |
| Difficult - Passable |
| Impassable - Difficult |
|"Almost Lost" (some tread remains)|
| Officially Closed |
use my distillation of VWA (Ventana Wilderness Alliance) Trail Reports
plus private reports, parsing out
different ratings for different trail sections -
use at your own discretion.
These ratings consider "defined tread"
more important than "clear of brush"
since knowing where the route lies is more important than the ease of following it.
Clicking on a trail line pops up a window giving a summary and date for the latest reports, and a link to the detailed trail reports.
The indicated condition of any trail depends upon the date of its last trail report,
For "non-green" trails, reading the detailed reports is strongly suggested (and do recognize that each might only report on one section of the trail)
Red means hikers are losing the trail and not getting through, or getting through only with great difficulty, with much brush and little tread to follow.
My color ratings use Ventana/SilverPeak wilderness norms, where brush grows quickly and trail maintenance is sporadic - a "passable" trail here might be considered "difficult" in other areas.
trails/roads, shown to supply context:
Dark green = unrated trail
Orange = "use trail"
Blue = open public road (paved or dirt)
Turquoise = gated road (paved or dirt) closed to vehicles
State Park trail closures
are indicated but otherwise are unrated (since no VWA reports are available)
- if open, they should be "passable" or better.
Magenta lines = closed trails (hiking not permitted)
or roads closed to both hikers and vehicles
. Magenta icons = closed sites (campgrounds/camps/rec.areas)
Turquoise lines = gated roads
or roads closed to vehicles
For longer-term closures of roads normally open, a barrier
icon is also displayed.
due to road scraping budget limitations, Monterey County has been officially "closing" some dirt roads with a "soft" closure - they are still being driven (carefully with 4WD when dry, with the usual cautions) by residents and others - such are shown
in turquoise with a separated-barrier icon.
= wilderness areas
= 2020/2021 burn areas
Trail Conditions⇄Big Sur Trailmap
toggles between 'conditions' vs. 'details' modes. For clarity, the 'Trail Conditions'
map does not include less needed details such as "use" camps, "lost" trails, water sources, waterfalls, scenic points, distinction between dirt and paved roads, etc. -
instead, such information is provided by the more detailed 'Big Sur Trailmap'
(Note: with interactive buttons hidden, you can quickly switch modes by clicking the mode title box)
toggles between 'show' vs. 'hide' of interactive buttons ("Search", "Mode Use", "Legend", "Mode")
, to provide more map area when desired.
(if not visible, click SHOW button)
Partial word/name searches allowed - all matches containing the search phrase will be displayed.
Clicking on a found name will mark and pan to that location.
If no Big Sur Trailmap match found, gives Google search results, with location
, for Big Sur region.
VERY USEFUL if unfamiliar with Big Sur but do know a (partial) trail or place name
(always use a partial word/name when unsure of entire name or spelling - e.g. 'Bot' or 'chers' or 'Gap' will find 'Bottchers Gap')
Also, inputting a latitude,longitude (e.g. 36.1,‑121.5) moves map to that location.
provides a full-screen display for the current location, zoom, and background map.
For bookmarks, a direct link to the full-screen version (with controls hidden)
see map legend link
Smartphone Usage Info:
The full-screen version of the trail conditions map
provides a much better small-screen experience than this map-in-a-window webpage!
Smartphone users should read info provided on this webpage once, then use the full-screen webpage for subsequent usage.
(Still, this is not a smartphone-intended slimmed-down app and its download has much data - so is susceptible to small-screen limitations and slow display times.)
For a better small-screen experience, use the following tips:
• SHOW⇄HIDE button gives less/more available map area by showing/hiding the interactive buttons - for small screens, the interactive buttons should hidden, displayed only when needed
• With interactive buttons hidden, a map title box appears - tapping it will switch between "Trail Conditions" and "Big Sur Trailmap" map modes
• Tapping the map, away from a trail or icon, removes any displayed pop-up bubble or highlighting
• Wait time can be reduced by zooming in, so fewer lines/icons are displayed
• Often works best in "landscape" orientation
FYI if a small-screen device is detected the following changes occur:
• Hides interactive buttons when pop-up bubble opens
• No mouse "hover" display of trail or icon names
• Uses larger fonts and buttons, narrower info bubbles
Smartphone/Touchscreen display features depend upon user feedback reported to the Trailmap Forum
, since I rarely use mine.
• Popup info bubbles can be closed by clicking on: the map or a provided bubble link or the bubble's top-right corner "X" or the "Escape" key
• Entering a lat/lon ala "36.78,-123.45" in the "Search" box will place a magenta marker
and center the map at that location
Many specialized functions are available using a right-click/long-press on the map:
• Marker displaying the lat/lon at that location (can be moved with a mouse drag)
• Ruler marker(s) displaying distance from the first marker (can be moved with a mouse drag)
• In "Trail Conditions" mode, restoration of last highlighted trail/camp with info window
• A current-map-specific URL link for bookmarking or sharing (uses current map center, zoom, and mode - includes
currently displayed magenta trail/camp highlighting or lat/lon marker)
• A PDF single-page-printable 5½x7½ mi Trailmap section for downloading More section map information
• Ratings are normally made for each section between intersections - sometimes more detailed information is available, allowing different ratings for different parts of a section
• Map is updated weekly based on latest reports
• Zoom level maxima: 16 = "USGS Topo" & "USGS Quad" ❘ 18 = "Terrain" ❘ 20 = "Satellite".
• You can create a browser bookmark to initially display a full-screen
interactive Big Sur Trailmap with customized values for the initial mode, lat/lon, zoom, and interactive button display - right-click/long-press at desired location and select Display Map-Specific Link URL - for details, see
If you find an error (or for smartphone users something needing improvement) you can do your bit to help improve the map by reporting it: