Yavapai Museum of Geology

A rustic stone building on the edge of a cliff that overlooks colorful cliffs and peaks at sunset.
View of the canyon from Yavapai Geology Museum.


Located at Yavapai Point, between Grand Canyon Visitor Center and Grand Canyon Village.
Current Hours: 9 am - 5 pm (12/1/2020)

Open daily (Normal Operating Hours
8 am – 7 pm (March 3 through May 18)
8 am – 8 pm (May 19 through Aug. 17)
9 am - 8 pm (Aug. 18 through Sept. 7)
8 am – 7 pm (Sept. 8 through Nov. 30)
9 am – 5 pm (Dec. 1 through March 1)

The Museum Features:

  • Bookstore and Museum Shop
  • Large Picture Windows for viewing the canyon

  • Exhibits (about the geology of Grand Canyon)
  • Daily Park Ranger Programs about geology. Schedule

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Perched right on the very edge of the canyon rim at Yavapai Point, Yavapai Geology Museum offers one of the best vantage points for an overview of Grand Canyon geology. Annotated displays at the base of the panoramic windows show you where to look to see each group of rocks. You can walk between rock column models of the North and South Rims, learn the names of the various rock layers, discover information about the geologic history recorded in the rocks, and visualize the carving of the modern landscape.

Interior of Yavapai Museum of Geology. Bookstore (far left) and exhibits. (July 5, 2011)
Interior of Yavapai Museum of Geology. Bookstore (far left) and exhibits. (July 5, 2011) NPS/M. Quinn
View north from inside Yavapai Museum of Geology, looking out across Grand Canyon. (March 27, 2013)
View north from inside Yavapai Museum of Geology, looking out across Grand Canyon. (March 27, 2013) NPS/William T. Joye
Looking past a row of geologic exhibits with text and photos, through a large glass picture window at a colorful Grand Canyon Landscape.
Planning to visit the South Rim this winter?  Ever wish for a warm place with a window wide enough to see Grand Canyon? Look no further than Yavapai Geology Museum.



Current View of Grand Canyon National Park
(From Yavapai Point Geology Museum, on the South Rim)
Click on photo for current air quality information.

Yavapai Observation Station
Yavapai Observation Station - NPS/M.Quinn

Museum Features & History

On May 24, 2007, the National Park Service re-dedicated the historic Yavapai Observation Station — originally called the Yavapai Point Trailside Museum — on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

New geology exhibits, consistent with the vision of the building’s designers to “make the out-of-doors intelligible,” were also unveiled.

Immersion into Geology
Immersion into Geology - NPS/M.Quinn

Museum Exhibits

Explain the deposition of the rock layers, the uplift of the Colorado Plateau, and the carving of the Grand Canyon. Displays include:

  • Beautifully crafted artwork,
  • Three-dimensional models,
  • Powerful photographs,

and interpretive panels which allow visitors to see and understand the complicated geologic story of the area.

Large Topographic Relief Model
Large Topographic Relief Model - Photo/Konrad Szelock, GCA

Large Topographic Relief Map

in the front room of the Yavapai Observation Station mimics the canyon view in remarkable detail.

The map is a dimensional, tactile model that has true color and labeling directly applied.

Visitors can quickly gain an eye-opening vantage to the three-dimensional nature and scale of the Grand Canyon.

Yavapai Point Trailside Museum in 1929.
Yavapai Point Trailside Museum (1929)
NPS Photo by George Grant

The Original Structure

which was first dedicated in July 1928, was designed by architect Herbert C. Maier.

The building was erected on a site selected by a team of geologists for the express purpose of observing and understanding Grand Canyon geology.

Maier designed the Yavapai Point Trailside Museum to blend into its setting, and used indigenous Kaibab limestone and ponderosa pine in its construction.

West Facing Exposure of Yavapai Museum in 1929.
West Facing Exposure of Yavapai Museum (June 17, 1929)
NPS Photo by George Gant

West Facing Exposure of Yavapai Museum. Shows talus and cliff below. Canyon beyond. June 17,1929.

Naturalist Edwin McKee shows the Canyon to visitors from the parapet of Yavapai Observation Station
NPS Photo
Naturalist Edwin McKee shows the Canyon to visitors from the parapet of Yavapai Observation Station. Circa 1930.
Ralph Reburn shows visitors the geological column
Ralph Reburn Shows Visitors the Geological Column
NPS Photo
Ranger naturalist Ralph Reburn shows Yavapai Museum visitors the geological column. September 1932.
Park staff planting memorial tree for Stephen Mather. 1931.
Park Staff Planting Memorial Tree for Stephen Mather in 1931
NPS Photo
1931 photo of park staff planting Steven Mather Memorial Tree at Yavapai Observation Station. From left to right:

1.) Woman not identified, 2.) Mrs. Edwin McKee, 3.) James Brooks, Chief Ranger, 4.) Ranger not identified, 5.) Edwin McKee, Park Naturalist, holding shovel, 6.) Donald McHenry, Jr. Naturalist, 7.) Polly Mead-Patraw, Naturalist, 8.) Carl Lehnert, Ranger, 9.) Art Brown, Ranger, 10.) Clark Carrol, Engineer, standing, 11.) Preston Patraw, Assistant Superintendent.

Last updated: January 30, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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