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

operable gate.

• 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:

Access road with curbing and entry plantings

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




Chapter 4 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide