Note: The artistic rendering featured above shows a draft concept for the exterior of the new Yosemite Valley Welcome Center, not a final design.
Today, if you arrive in Yosemite Valley and decide to head to the visitor center in Yosemite Village, you’ll encounter a less-than-ideal situation: a confusing half-mile walk from the nearest parking area, a small space often packed with people waiting to talk to rangers, and few resources available outside of business hours.
The new Yosemite Valley Welcome Center will vastly improve that arrival experience. To create the welcome center, the park is remodeling a 3,000-square-foot building at the southern end of the village into a spacious, versatile visitor hub just a short stroll from accessible parking.
Easy-to-follow pathways will guide visitors to the new welcome center, which will occupy the south wing of the historic Yosemite Village Store building. The spacious, now vacant structure was originally built in the late 1950s through the National Park Service’s Mission 66 program to improve visitor facilities.
The retrofitted interior will feature educational and trip-planning resources, including videos and interactive touchscreens, and it will be staffed by park rangers ready to answer questions and provide guidance. Outside, an expansive, inviting plaza will offer stadium seating, informational signs and maps, all available 24 hours a day, creating a gathering place where visitors can plan itineraries or regroup after a day in the park. The new visitor hub will also offer opportunities for people to connect with Yosemite Conservancy, including by purchasing our retail items, talking to Conservancy staff and volunteers, learning about programs we offer in the park, and more. Nearby, visitors will be able to explore other Yosemite Village buildings and resources, including places to purchase food, stock up on camping supplies, browse artwork and museum exhibits, and more.
With your generous support, this project will transform the experience of arriving in Yosemite Valley to ensure millions of people can start their journeys with the information they need to stay safe, be good stewards and enjoy their time in the park.