The Maps app in macOS 15 Sequoia: Hiking routes and design customization

During WWDC24 keynote Apple has announced that the Maps app will offer a selection of integrated hiking routes including elevation display for national parks and similar natural regions. This new feature is already available in the first beta version of macOS Sequoia. However, you can only select hiking trails in the USA for now. However, I have also found changes that affect the global map material. These include a few design adjustments, which I will show below.

Starting with macOS 15 Sequoia, the Mac Maps app not only contains hiking trails and navigation including elevation. The design of map content has also been adapted.
Starting with macOS 15 Sequoia, the Mac Maps app not only contains hiking trails and navigation including elevation. The design of map content has also been adapted.

Hiking routes for US national parks in Apple's Maps app

I'll start with the new map feature highlighted at WWDC, even if it's not yet available outside the USA - the hiking trails and the navigation that can be selected for them. In the following combination of screenshots, I've first shown what the information for the Grand Canyon looks like in the Maps app under macOS 14 Sonoma. Then we'll move on to the new information under macOS 15 Sequoia.

The information about the Grand Canyon in the Maps app under macOS 14 Sonoma.
The information about the Grand Canyon in the Maps app under macOS 14 Sonoma.

The current version of the maps app already contains a lot of information, as well as travel guide links, reviews, an official website and so on. Starting with macOS 15 Sequoia, the "Popular Hikes" section will also be added. In this section, you can choose a suitable hiking route depending on the selected park or hiking region and have detailed navigation including elevation displayed.

Starting with macOS 15 Sequoia, the information about the Grand Canyon also includes the “Popular Hikes” section.
Starting with macOS 15 Sequoia, the information about the Grand Canyon also includes the “Popular Hikes” section.
As a test, I clicked on one of the hikes and came to the hiking navigation including altitude display.
As a test, I clicked on one of the hikes and came to the hiking navigation including altitude display.

Of course, the Mac version of these hiking trail maps is only suitable for planning and not for real-time navigation during the trip. However, this is possible using the iPhone with iOS 18 and the Apple Watch with iOS 11. And to be realistic: often you just have to follow the markings to stay on the path. But knowing the altitude to be covered in advance is definitely a nice feature. 

Design changes in the Maps app starting with macOS Sequoia

As you may have noticed from the screenshots above, the hiking routes are not the only new feature in the Maps app for the Apple Mac. The design of the world map has also been adjusted. In comparison, as of macOS 15 Sequoia, more cities and places can now only be seen at a higher zoom level. This makes the map a little clearer (see screenshots). In addition, nature and national parks as well as mountains and other sights are now highlighted more clearly. The symbols are larger, brighter and more three-dimensional.

Display under macOS Sonoma.
Display under macOS Sonoma.
Display under macOS Sequoia.
Display under macOS Sequoia.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.

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