Project overview: Design a study and collect data on visitor patterns and preferences to inform improvements at the Yosemite Village Visitor Center complex, including pathways, wayfinding signage, and interpretive activities.

The backstory: For many visitors, the Yosemite Village and Valley Visitor Center complex are their first stop when they arrive in the park. As the National Park Service prepares for a revitalization of the Village’s infrastructure, planners and designers first need to better understand how visitors are currently engaging with services and amenities in this busy part of the park.

Project managers have identified three key questions on which they’ll survey visitors to inform the Yosemite Village revitalization:

  1. Visitor information: How are visitors to Yosemite Village getting the information they need to orient themselves to the park and plan their trips? What communication channels do they rely on and prefer — printed brochures, digital media (e.g. Yosemite National Park app), physical signage, or conversations with visitor center staff?
  2. Visitor services: What facilities and resources are most valuable to Yosemite Village visitors — and what might be missing?
  3. Visitor movement: With the opening of the new Welcome Center in 2023, how will visitor flow through the Yosemite Village shift? How can roads, pathways and signage be redesigned to accommodate this change, and help visitors to navigate this high-traffic area of the Valley?

This year: This project funds the assembly of a team and the design of a study to answer these questions with help from visitors, likely via information-gathering from visitor surveys (both in-person in the park, and online post-visit), and strategic monitoring of visitor movements, including their engagement with existing signage in the park. This data will then be analyzed for patterns and a final report will be prepared, outlining observations and making recommendations for the future of the Yosemite Village.

Project partners: Yosemite National Park and the University of California, Merced.

Ephriam Dickson

Interpretation and Education, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

“Visitor data helps inform design decisions.”