Transportation systems as cultural landscapes in national parks: The case of Yosemite

Y. L Yolonda L Youngs, Dave White, Jill A. Wodrich

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Scopus citations


    Historical cultural geography and interpretive research are used to examine how Yosemite National Park visitors travel through and perceive the transportation system in order to explore broader meanings of transportation systems as cultural landscapes in national parks. Qualitative analysis of 160 semistructured interviews revealed that influences on visitors' transportation-related behavior include: (a) situational influences of the park environment and transportation system, such as convenience, access, cost, congestion, educational opportunities, and route finding; and (b) individual characteristics and experiential factors, such as subjective perceptions of freedom, environmental values, motivation for socializing, for solitude, and for accomplishment, and experience-use-history. This analysis sheds light on how the Park Service and visitors have embraced roads and cars in national parks, leading to a particular manifestation of cultural landscape and a choreographed and scripted visitor experience best defined as a travel narrative. Implications for park education and interpretation designed to influence visitors' expectations and behaviors are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)797-811
    Number of pages15
    JournalSociety and Natural Resources
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Oct 2008


    • Environmental policy
    • National parks and preserves
    • Parks management
    • Public lands
    • Tourism

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Development
    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science


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