Visitor and Information Centers

Jump to: Desert View ........ North Rim
The South Rim and Desert View (open all year)
Grand Canyon Visitor Center

The Grand Canyon Visitor Center (on the South Rim by Mather Point.)

  • Outdoor exhibits provide information about Grand Canyon National Park and what to do when you arrive.
  • Stop by the Visitor Center and large Bookstore - across the Plaza.
  • Indoor Exhibits include: interactive trip planners, The Canyon World, in the new Science On a Sphere Theater®, A large 3-D relief map with videos featuring a variety of canyon experiences. Exhibit cubes displaying items from the park's natural and cultural history collections.
  • Watch the film, Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder, in the theater.The movie is 20 minutes long and starts on the hour and the half-hour.
This winter, the Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Interior of Grand Canyon Visitor Center - April 2012.

Interior of Grand Canyon Visitor Center with new exhibits.

NPS photo by Tyson Joye

Bright Angel Bicycle Rental Logo
Bicycle rentals, and guided bicycle tours are located by the Visitor Center, and are available between March 15 and October 31. (other times, when weather permits - visit the link for updates) Also available is a coffee bar/ café with a "grab & go" menu targeted towards hikers, bikers and pedestrians. The Café is open year-round. View photos here.
View from Mather Point on the South Rim

Mather Point

From the Visitor Center, its just a short walk - or shuttle ride to Mather Point for a spectacular view of the canyon.

Many visitors choose to park their vehicles in one of the 4 parking lots (shown in the map below) that surround the Visitor Center, then use the free shuttle buses to get around the village and out to the scenic overlooks.

Grand Canyon Visitor Center Parking Map

Map showing the Grand Canyon Visitor Center with the location of parking lots 1-4, in relation to Mather Point and the Rim Trai.

Backcountry Information Center

Backcountry Information Center

Backcountry Information Center (South Rim)

Chat with park rangers to obtain backcounty information and permits. Open: 8:00 a.m. - noon; then, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (M.S.T.)

Located in the village historic district just east of Maswik Lodge. Parking is available in lot D. The Village Loop Shuttle Bus stops here.

Learn how to obtain a backcountry permit here.


Verkamp's visitor center

Verkamp's Visitor Center

Verkamp's Visitor Center
Just east of the El Tovar Hotel and Hopi House, Verkamp's Visitor Center is the canyon's newest contact station - in one of its oldest buildings. At the information desk, National Park Service rangers and Grand Canyon Association staff will answer any questions you may have. From the Verkamp's Visitor Center, follow the Rim Trail west to other businesses and viewpoints along the rim.

Open daily 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (winter hours)
Pioneer history exhibits

Pioneer History Exhibits

The Verkamp's home and business was constructed in 1906, and it was open as a gift shop (that featured Grand Canyon souvenirs and Native American arts and crafts) through September 17, 2008.

Verkamp's re-opened as a park visitor center on November 26, 2008. The National Park Service now owns the building and it hosts a bookstore and exhibits about the pioneer history of Grand Canyon Village. Several ranger-conducted activities start here.

yavapi observation station in 1927 view

Yavapai Geology Museum and Observation Station

Yavapai Geology Museum
How old is the Grand Canyon? How did it form?
The exhibits at Yavapai Geology Museum answer these and other geology questions.

Displays include three-dimensional models, powerful photographs, and exhibits which allow park visitors to see and understand the complicated geologic story of the area. The historic building, located one mile (1.6 km) east of Market Plaza, features expansive canyon views.

Bookstore in the Yavapai Museum of Geology

Yavapai Geology Museum and Observation Station

Dedicated in July 1928, the building was erected on a site selected by a team of geologists for the express purpose of observing and understanding Grand Canyon geology.

The Geology Museum Bookstore offers a variety of materials about the Grand Canyon region. Several ranger programs begin here.

Open daily 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (winter hours)

view of kolb studio

Kolb Studio on the Rim

Kolb Studio
Once the home and business of the Kolb Brothers, pioneering photographers and filmmakers at Grand Canyon, this rambling, Victorian era building (1905) is currently being restored to its original splendor through the help of donors. Learn more... The studio showcases the Kolb Brothers Exhibit and the annual Grand Canyon Celebration of Art exhibit.

Kolb Studio is located in the Village Historic District at the renovated Bright Angel Trailhead. Open 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (winter hours)

Additional Visitor Centers
cell phone audio tour logo with brown phone shown.

Your phone provides a fun way to learn more about the Park.
Listen to park rangers give 2 minute audio tours at various points of interest on the South Rim, from Hermit Road to Yaki Point, and the North Rim. Learn more...


Desert View (open all year)
Photo from Desert View Point by Kristen M Caldon

View from Desert View Point

NPS Photo by Kristen M. Caldon

Desert View is a settlement located 25 miles/ 41 km east
of Grand Canyon Village, near the eastern edge of Grand Canyon National Park.

At Desert View, the Colorado River makes a turn to the north while the Painted Desert extends toward the Navaho and Hopi Indian Reservations. On a clear day, one can see well over 100 miles. (161 km)

Download the map (235kb PDF File)

Download the Trail Guide (1MB PDF File)
Desert View Watchtower

Desert View Watchtower

The Desert View Watchtower, one of the most prominent architectural features on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, underwent major renovations during 2010. The 70-foot tower contains a book store, and its upper floors serve as observation decks where visitors from around the world enjoy magnificent views of the canyon and the Painted Desert.

Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the tower was constructed in 1932. Architect Mary Colter's design takes its influences from the architecture of the ancestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau.

Tusayan Museum at Desert View

Tusayan Museum (1932)

Tusayan Museum

A visit to Tusayan Museum provides a glimpse into Pueblo Indian life at Grand Canyon some 800 years ago. Admission is free. This was a thriving community as illustrated by its pottery, arrowheads and other household artifacts.

The Tusayan Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and is located 3 miles (5 km) west of Desert View.

tusayan museum exhibits

Tusayan Museum Exhibits

Also shown here are representative handicrafts from today's local tribes, providing a glimpse into their rich cultures.

The museum features some of the original 2,000–4,000 year old split-twig figurines. Often they are made in the shape of deer or bighorn sheep, sometimes with horns or antlers.

Free admission.
Ruin of Tusayan Pueblo

Walk around Tusayan Ruin

Tusayan Ruin
A self-guiding trail leads through the adjacent 800-year-old Tusayan Ruin. Ranger-led ruin tours are offered daily. Educational materials about the park and region are sold in the non-profit bookstore.

Download: Tusayan Museum Trail Guide (821kb PDF file)


North Rim
Open May 15 through October 15, 2015
The entrance to the North Rim Visitor Center and bookstore.

The North Rim Visitor Center

The North Rim Visitor Center
Located adjacent to the parking lot on Bright Angel Peninsula, by the Grand Canyon Lodge. The North Rim Visitor Center has park and regional information, maps, brochures, exhibits, and a bookstore. Open May 15 to October 15, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Interpretive programs are offered during the season. Public restrooms are located in back of the building.

Download the North Rim Map (289kb PDF File)

Relief map and geological exhibit at the North Rim Visitor Center.

Relief map - geology exhibit.

The North Rim Visitor Center is a great place to start your adventure on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

  • Speak to a ranger who will be happy to help with questions you may have about the area.
  • The Visitor Center also features interpretive exhibits and a bookstore.
Bookstore and information desk.

Information desk, bookstore

The Grand Canyon Association, a non-profit park partner since 1932, operates the North Rim bookstore, where your tax-free purchases help support ranger programs and research projects in Grand Canyon National Park.

Did You Know?