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.

This currently vacant south wing of the Village Store building, which most recently served as a retail space, will house the new Yosemite Valley Welcome Center. An outdoor plaza will provide additional resources and gathering space for visitors. Photo: Courtesy of ARG.

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.

by Leslie Stone Associates.
This artistic rendering shows a draft concept for the exterior of the new Yosemite Valley Welcome Center, which will feature a spacious outdoor plaza with stadium seating, maps, trip-planning guidance, and more.
by Leslie Stone Associates.
The interior of the Yosemite Valley Welcome Center will offer a variety of self-service resources for visitors, as well as opportunities to talk to park rangers. Note: This rendering shows a draft concept, not a final design.
by Yosemite Conservancy/Gretchen Roecker.
This project will transform a currently vacant, window-lined space at the south end of Yosemite Village into an inviting hub for visitors.
by Courtesy of NPS.
The building that will house the new Yosemite Valley Welcome Center most recently housed a "Sport Shop," pictured here in 2014.
by Courtesy of NPS.
The new Welcome Center will occupy the south wing of a historic Yosemite Village building that dates back to the late 1950s. The space originally served as a dining area (pictured here, circa 1960), and later as a retail space.