Project goal: Design educational and informational signs for a future welcome center at Big Oak Flat, as part of a planned upgrade to entrance station facilities.

Why this work matters: For many people entering Yosemite from the west, the information station at Big Oak Flat is their first encounter with the park’s visitor facilities. The existing building, however, strains to house important services, including wilderness permits, campground reservations and a Yosemite Conservancy bookstore — in just 200 square feet. With limited space and no helpful directional materials, the structure is ill-equipped to accommodate the thousands of people entering the park via Highway 120 each day.

To improve the cramped, inefficient conditions, the park is planning to build a more spacious, visitor-focused welcome center and plaza at the Big Oak Flat Entrance. This grant funded initial design work for practical, permanent signs that will be installed in the outdoor plaza to help visitors get oriented and take advantage of self-service information about hiking and camping, getting around the park, staying safe, protecting wildlife and wilderness, and more. Clear instructions will help people quickly find trip-planning tips on their own and ensure they can find the information they need to start their Yosemite journey, while freeing up rangers to assist visitors who need one-on-one help.

Project partner: Yosemite National Park.

Adrienne Freeman

Visual Information Specialist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

"The existing Big Oak Flat Information Station houses four important visitor services in an approximately 200 square-foot space. The crowded, inefficient area; lack of physical separation between the different functions; lack of space for visitors to queue; and complete absence of self-serve information and orientation creates a chaotic and unwelcoming experience for visitors."