Grand Canyon Village


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Grand Canyon Village Map

The Grand Canyon Village is the center of business for the Grand Canyon. You will find lodging, grocery store, post office, gas station, restaurants and shops. The more famous points to view the canyon are in this area at Mather Point and Yavapai Observation Station. A free Grand Canyon newspaper, The Guide, for visitors can be found at the Visitor's Center along with an Accessibility Guide for the physically challenged person.

Let's take a glimpse back into history -

In 1883 if you were to travel to the Grand Canyon you would leave Flagstaff, Arizona on a stage coach. After an eleven hour trip at the cost of $20, you would arrive at Grandview Point. Here you would stay in the only lodging accommodations on the south rim, Grandview Hotel.
In 1901 the first train full of tourist arrived after a three hour trip that cost $3.95. Since the train station did not reach Grandeur Point, the Bright Angel Hotel was built for guest accommodations. (Today, Bright Angel Lodge has been built on the site of the once Bright Angel Hotel.) To improve tourist comforts while visiting the canyon, in 1905 the Sante Fe Railway completed building the first class El Tovar Hotel.

Mather Point (7,120 feet or 2,170 meters above sea level)

This point was named after the first National Park Service Director, Stephen T. Mather. From here you can see Phantom Ranch, named by Mary Jane Colter, were the N. Kaibab Trail, Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail meet. Just south of the ranch is the bridge that connects the south and north rim hiking trails to make it possible to hike from rim to rim.

Yavapai Observation Station (7,090 feet or 2,161 meters above sea level)

This point is located east of the once famous Grandeur Point. Here you can see Desert View to the east and the Havasupai Point in the west. Parts of the Bright Angel Trail are visible, too. The observation station and bookstore is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. There are ranger talks and walks beginning here each day. This is a great way to learn more about the canyon and its flora and fauna. Even if you are unable to be part of a planned walk, the park rangers are very friendly and eager to answer your questions.

Bright Angel Trail

In the late 1880's Cameron's Trail was the only trail to the canyon floor. Proprietor, Ralph Cameron, charged each person $1 to use "his" trail. Once the park service gained control of the trail in 1928 many improvements were made and the trail name became known as Bright Angel Trail. 

Historic Buildings

Red Horse Station

This rough hewn log building was built as a stopping point for the stage route. Here horses were changed and passengers had the opportunity to stretch before the final part of their journey to Grandeur Point. Later Ralph Cameron moved the building to its present location to become part of the Cameron Hotel. Between 1910 and 1935 Red Horse Station, the oldest building at the canyon today, served as the U. S. Post Office.

Kolb Studio

After the mining industry yielded very little money, Ellsworth and Emery Kolb decided they would like to stay in the Grand Canyon area. Therefore, they started a photography business. Every day Emery would run four miles down Bright Angel Trail to take tourist's pictures on their mules then run back up to the studio. The brothers would develop the film to have the pictures ready to sell to the mule riders as they arrived back to the rim. The shop was operated by Emery Kolb until his death in 1976 and is still open to Grand Canyon visitors between 8 AM and 5 PM daily.

Lookout Studio

In 1914 the Fred Harvey Company asked one of the first woman architects in the United States, Mary Jane Colter, to design this lookout. She created a camouflaged building due to its irregular lines and limestone building materials. A fantastic canyon view can be seen from this building that sits right at the edge of the rim.

Buckey O'Neill Cabin

Buckey O'Neill, one of the canyons earliest residence, built his home in the early 1880's. He had a major role in convincing the mining company to build a railroad to the canyon to haul the ore. Since the ore was difficult to mine, the mining company went bankrupt and the railroad was not completed until 1901 by the Sante Fe Railroad Company.

Hopi House

This house, designed by Mary Jane Colter, was built for the Fred Harvey Company in 1905. The Hopi artisans, who made their wares to be sold in souvenir shops, lived here.

Verkamp's Curios

In 1905 John G. Verkamp, a merchant in Flagstaff, built this shop to sell his one-of-a-kind curios. Today, the Verkamp family operates the business.

Santa Fe Railway Depot

In 1909 Santa Fe Railway built this station to accommodate their customers.

First National Park Service Administration Building

East of the train depot this stone and timber structure was designed by Daniel Hull. Today, it serves a the Park Superintendent's house.


The original mule and horse barn built in 1907 is still used today. Each morning the mules selected for the days trip are sent to the round rock corral. Here the mule rider will meet their mule. After a hard days work carrying their passenger, the mules are taken back to the livery for a big meal and a chance to relax.

El Tovar Hotel

This beautiful hotel was built in 1905 by the Fred Harvey Company to provide first class accommodations to Grand Canyon visitors. The hotel was named after a Spanish officer in Coronado's expedition to find the Seven Cities of Gold.

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