• View of Grand Canyon National Park at sunset from the South Rim

    Grand Canyon

    National Park Arizona

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  • Expect Isolated Afternoon and Evening Thunderstorms Through the Weekend

    Monsoonal weather patterns have moved into the Grand Canyon area decreasing fire danger. As a result, on Tuesday, July 8 at 8 a.m. fire managers lifted fire restrictions within Grand Canyon National Park. More »

  • Two Bats Collected in the Park Have Tested Positive for Rabies

    One on the North Kaibab Trail and the other at Tusayan Ruin/Museum. Any persons having physical contact with bats in Grand Canyon National Park, please call 928-638-7767. Rabies can be prevented if appropriate medical care is given following an exposure. More »

Verkamp's Visitor Center

The front entrance to Verkamps Visitor Center.

Verkamp's Visitor Center

A short walk east of the El Tovar Hotel and the Hopi House, Verkamp's Visitor Center is located in one of the canyon's oldest buildings. The facility features:

  • Information Desk
  • Bookstore
  • Exhibits Grand Canyon Pioneer History
  • Ranger Programs

    Open daily: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (summer hours)
 
Visitors talking to park ranger at Verkamp's Visitor Center

Staff on hand to answer your questions

At the Information Desk, National Park Service rangers and Grand Canyon Association staff will answer any questions you may have.




Ride the free Village Route shuttle to the Train Depot. Parking in the nearby lot may be limited during the busy summer months.

 
Exhibits at Verkamp's Visitor Center

The history timeline through the exhibits.

The Exhibit Area

Exhibits focus on the Grand Canyon Community; what it was like to live and work here on the brink of one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

A walking history timeline on the floor leads visitors through the exhibits on a tour of the important moments in local, national and international history.

 

 
JOHN GEORGE VERKAMP STANDING BY  HIS TENT/CURIO STORE. 1897

John G. Verkamp by his 1898 tent store.

Verkamp Family History

John Verkamp headed to the developing South Rim in 1898. He set up a tent and sold souvenirs to the few people who made the long stagecoach trip to the rim. Not happy with the volume of business, at the end of the summer he sold his inventory to one of the hotel operators and went back to Flagstaff.

Development of the South Rim boomed with the completion of the railroad spur in 1901. Verkamp returned to the South Rim in 1905 and constructed the current building with supplies shipped in from Los Angeles. He opened his business early in 1906.

 

January 31, 1906 $4.98 A good day.

So recorded John Verkamp in the ledger for his first day of business in the new store on the South Rim of Grand Canyon. After such a promising start, Verkamp's Curios would continue operations for more than a century.

 
John G. Verkamp

John G. Verkamp (circa 1941)

Service First

The Verkamps built their business on service to their guests, service to their employees, and service to their community.

The Verkamps bought from some of the same Native American artisans for 25 to 50 years. All employees received training to explain the history and meaning of sales items, believing that an informed guest was a pleased buyer.

For decades the Verkamp family was involved in the South Rim community They were instrumental in developing the Grand Canyon School and continued to offer their committed support.

The Shrine of the Ages and community library also received assistance from the family. A Verkamp was a charter member of the Grand Canyon Rotary Club. The Boy Scouts received much support from the family.
 

For decades the Verkamp family operated the Verkamp's store as a concession permitted by the National Park Service. When their contract last came up for renewal, the Verkamps chose not to compete for a new one. The National Park Service purchased the building and opened it in November 2008 as a visitor center and Grand Canyon Association bookstore.

Return to the Visitor and Information Centers page.

 

Did You Know?

THE VIEW FROM TOROWEAP OVERLOOK

The view from Toroweap Overlook (North Rim), 3,000 vertical feet above the Colorado River, is breathtaking; the sheer drop, dramatic! Renowned Lava Falls Rapid, just downriver, can be seen and heard easily from the overlook. This remote area is located on the northwest rim of the Grand Canyon. More...