Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

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:
An information desk

A bookstore

Exhibits about the pioneer history of Grand Canyon Village.

Is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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

Several ranger-conducted activities, start here

The Canyon Rim Walk (3:00 p.m.)
An intriguing walk with a park ranger exploring the canyon's natural and cultural history.

The Human Story (1:00 p.m.)
For thousands of years, humans have been part of Grand Canyon.

Since the experiences of the people living and working in Grand Canyon National Park are often overlooked, the exhibits focuses on what it was like to live and work 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.
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 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 in operation for more than a century.
Service First
The Verkamps built their business on service 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, even 50, years. All employees received training to explain the history and meaning of items for sale, 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 of 2008 as a visitor center, including a Grand Canyon Association bookstore.