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 and Museum Shop
  • Exhibits Grand Canyon Community and Pioneer History

    Open daily: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
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. Daily ranger-led history walks also start here.

Parking in the nearby lot may be limited during busy periods, which include spring break, summer and fall months. You can ride the free Village Route shuttle to the Train Depot/ El Tovar Hotel stop, then climb the stairway to the top of the hill. Here you will find El Tovar Hotel, Hopi House, and Verkamps Visitor Center

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 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.

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Verkamp’s is the park's newest Visitor Center in one of its oldest buildings.

Last updated: November 2, 2017

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PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023


(928) 638-7888

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