Yosemite Exploration Center (formerly, Valley Visitor Center) Architecture

Glass doors with large rock walls on either side, a sign says
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center

Originally serving as the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, this building was completed in 1967. For many decades, it included an information desk, exhibits, and retail space in its primary building. Attached buildings include two multi-purpose auditoriums, still in use, surrounding a small plaza.

The low, wide front elevation of the visitor center, as well as several accent walls on the interior and exterior, feature stones from the Merced River embedded into concrete slabs. These natural, local design details harmonize both visually and ideologically with nearby rustic buildings. The auditoriums behind the main visitor center are larger, plain structures not easily visible from the main visitor plaza spaces.

This building now houses exhibits and retail space managed by Yosemite Conservancy. Visitor information services moved to the Welcome Center in 2023.

Yosemite National Park

Last updated: November 6, 2023