The Front Gates are really just a cluster of warning signs–but the warnings carry stiff enough penalties, that they may as well be razor wire.
The real gates, located at the guard shack, are actually a mile down Groom Lake Road past the warning signs. And you won’t find Area 51 for almost eight miles past the guard shack (in other words, there’s no use planning to storm the gates hoping to get a glimpse of the base–their FLIR-equipped Sikorsky MH-60G Pave Hawk choppers will get to you before you make it anywhere).
While you can’t actually see anything from the warning signs, you can climb Hawkeye Hill, if you are very careful not to cross the poorly-marked border, and see the actual guard shack.
If you really just want to see an obligatory gate and cross bars, your better bet would be to travel to Area 51′s back gates, where you can almost drive up to this entrance.
What can I see at the front gates?
The notable sites here are the warning signs themselves, where you can get a nice picture of your group in front of signs warning against taking photos.
If you are there for any amount of time, you’ll get to see the Area 51 border security (known as the cammo dudes) in their vehicles. If you do take their picture, make sure you never post a photo where you can see their face–as they will get fired if their face is put on the internet.
You’ll also want to carefully climb Hawkeye Hill to see the guard shack, but make sure you read our guide on how to do this without getting arrested. If you climb this hill, you do so at your own risk.
Probably the most exciting attraction is the White Bus which arrives every morning around 8:30 AM Mountain Time. Make sure to be there early, and if you are Hawkeye Hill, you may even be able to see the bus entering their first security checkpoint at the guard shack.