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# California Deciphering trail names in National Forest?

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Anyone know how to decode the trail names in national forests? such as 3N16? Does the N mean its Northbound? does the 3 represent its an easy trail? etc... Or is it just the next number randomly available?

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3=C

N=n

1=A

6=F

Cnaf

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Anyone know how to decode the trail names in national forests? such as 3N16? Does the N mean its Northbound? does the 3 represent its an easy trail? etc... Or is it just the next number randomly available?

It is trail # 16 starting in township 3N.

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This may raise more questions than answers.....

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If you see a black diamond symbol, take it. Its the easy route!

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Love this one....

Edited by BSAVictor

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Love this one....

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Black diamond is the easiest route on any of the CA forestry trails. Good to know before you go.

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Anyone know how to decode the trail names in national forests? such as 3N16? Does the N mean its Northbound? does the 3 represent its an easy trail? etc... Or is it just the next number randomly available?

Road numbers represent a standardized national numbering system.  The N is a separator.

The signage on the roads tells you something.  A squarish sign with two numbers is used to identify the primary well graded through road.

A four number road with a N in the middle of the numbers is a secondary road originating from the primary through road.  If the sign numbers are parallel to the ground it means the road is graded for two wheel drive vehicles.  If the sign numbers are perpendicular to the ground it means the road is graded for four wheel drive.

A four number road with any letter other than N at the end is a dead end extension road.

In some forests there are three digit roads.  These are usually unimproved user-maintained four wheel drive roads only that are considered trails and may or may not connect to anything other than the road of origination. (best bike riding roads in the NF!!!)

Theoretically if one were “lost” in the National Forest and could find road number signs one could meander back to the primary through road which should lead one to a paved highway, county road, or town.

So, now you know……… for now until the FS changes everything if they haven’t already?

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