PORTALS AND ENTRANCE STATIONS
Entry portals are the “front door” to national
forest sites. Before visitors reach this forest
gateway, they should receive clear direction from
well-placed signs on the main highway. The entry
road should include appropriate traffic controls
(such as a light or turn lane) so visitors can
enter and exit with safety and convenience.
• When possible, place the portal near a natural
landmark, such as a rock outcrop, specimen
tree, or the mouth of a canyon.
• If there is no natural feature available, bracket
the station with “embracing elements,” such
as a curving wall, fence, or planting.
• Place the portal entry station, when provided,
in an attractively landscaped island in the
middle of a road section outfitted with curb
• When a portal entry station is provided, place
a turnaround and short-term parking area
adequate for all kinds of vehicles just beyond
the entry station.
• When access control is needed, provide an
• Orchestrate the “entry experience” so that
visitors can find their way and will be enticed
to explore the facilities and landscape.
• Locate the approach road or the destination,
if it is a building or other constructed feature,
so that visitors may catch glimpses of their
destination as they approach.
• Place good directional signs to help visitors
find the access road or approach road.
• When possible, create landscape openings to
frame the view of the facility or attraction
for approaching visitors.
• To preserve vegetation and create vistas,
align the access road and parking with natural
• Identify each segment in this entry sequence
through tasteful use of the Forest Service
shield and the family of signs.
Figure of Positive Characteristics of a Major Entry Portal:
Monumental entry element with a Tapered wall, signage, and Gate Facility
Background trees at the entrance
Fee station with near-by Short-term parking, and a Turn-around