Place

Verkamp's Visitor Center

Lights glow in the windows of a two-story historic brown building displaying the name
Once a privately-owned business, historic Verkamp's is now a visitor center and park store.

NPS photo by Michael Quinn

Quick Facts

Benches/Seating, Gifts/Souvenirs/Books, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information, Information - Maps Available, Parking - Auto, Picnic Table, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Trash Dumpster, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Water - Bottle-Filling Station, Water - Drinking/Potable, Wheelchair Accessible

Verkamp's Visitor Center features interpretive exhibits that tell the story of Grand Canyon Village, a Grand Canyon Conservancy Park Store, an information desk staffed by Grand Canyon Conservancy staff, and park ranger-led activities during the summer months.

A water filling station is located outside of the building next to the canyon rim, and a public restroom is available behind the Visitor Center.

Hours of Operation

Open daily: 8:00am - 6:00pm.

What's in a Name?

John George Verkamp made several attempts at selling souvenirs on the edge of the Grand Canyon, but a lack of sufficient business forced him to close his shop in a matter of weeks. Following the arrival of the railroad in 1901 and the construction of the El Tovar Hotel in 1905, the south rim was booming. In 1906 John Verkamps opened his family ran Verkamp's Curio Store where they sold Native American made jewelry, pottery, rugs and baskets, as well as postcards and trinkets. As an independent family-owned business, the store played an important role in the development of Grand Canyon Village.

During the Great Depression, the family moved to the residence in the upper floor of the building, where Mr. Verkamp managed the business until his death in 1944. His family continued to live in the upper floor residence until 1978 and continued to manage business operations until the fall of 2008, when the National Park Service purchased the building and soon reopened it as a visitor center in November of that same year. In 2006, the store marked its 100th anniversary, making it the oldest family-owned concession in the entire National Park Service. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Verkamp family lived and breathed Grand Canyon, and over many decades, four generations of the family were involved in the South Rim community. Instrumental in developing the Grand Canyon School, John Verkamp was also a charter member of the Grand Canyon Rotary Club, and his family provided assistance to the Community Library, the Shrine of the Ages community building, and the local Boy Scouts of America troop.