SOUTH RIM VISITOR
south entrance to the south rim is about one mile north of Tusayan. The entrance fee
is $25 per car for a seven day period. An America the Beautiful Annual Pass, which may be
purchased at the park, costs $80 and is good for admission to any national
park or national monument for one calendar year from the date of purchase.
This is the replacement for the old Golden Eagle and
National Parks Pass. United States residents age 62 years or
older may purchase an America the Beautiful Senior Pass for $10, which grants them free
admission for life to all National Parks and Monuments. This is the
replacement for the old Golden Access pass. An America the Beautiful
Access Pass may be obtained
free of charge by any United States resident who has a permanent physical, mental or
sensory impairment. This is the replacement for the old Golden Access Passport. You should use the far left lane if you
have already paid or have a pass.
new Visitor Center at the Canyon View Information Plaza is a great place to
start your visit to the Grand Canyon. You can park your car in brand
new parking lots next to the Visitor Center or ride the
free shuttle there from anywhere in the park. The
Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Bookstore
is run by the Grand Canyon Association with all profits returned for the
benefit of the Canyon. The Bookstore is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Santa Fe Railroad commissioned construction of the El Tovar in 1902.
Originally it was to be named the "Bright Angel Tavern." By the
time it was completed on January 14, 1905, it had been renamed El Tovar
in honor of Pedro de Tovar, of the Coronado Expedition. It cost
$250,000 to construct and was considered by many to be the most elegant
hotel west of the Mississippi. The first floor has log slab siding
with corners carefully notched to give it the appearance of solid logs.
Electric lights were powered by the hotel's coal-fired generator.
It had its own greenhouse for vegetables, chicken house for eggs, and
dairy herd for fresh milk. Parking is limited, so you may have to
park in the street and walk up the hill to the hotel. The building
was extensively remodeled in 2005. The El Tovar
is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Rooms vary in price
from $183-440 per night. Call Xanterra at 888-297-2757 for
Hopi House was completed on January 1, 1905, just weeks before the El
Tovar. Designed by
Jane Colter, the Hopi House started an
association with the Fred Harvey Company that spanned more than 40
years. It is a multi-story structure of stone and adobe masonry
typical of the Pueblo buildings in Old Oraibi. The ceilings on the
inside are thatched with successive layers of saplings and timbers.
It also features wall niches, corner fireplaces, and adobe walls similar
to Hopi pueblos. Even the construction was done mainly by Hopi
Indians. The Hopi House serves as a gift shop and is currently
being restored. It is located on the east side of the El Tovar and
has very limited parking. The Hopi House is listed as a National
was the first curio shop to open at the Grand Canyon in 1898. John G.
Verkamp sold Indian crafts and curios for Babbit Brothers' Trading Company
in a rented tent. When business was poor, he sold out to the Bright
Angel Hotel. In 1905 he returned to the Grand Canyon to build Verkamp's
Curios at its present location just east of the Hopi House. Verkamp's
is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Verkamp's closed for good on September 18, 2008, a sad ending to this
long-standing historic business at the South Rim. On November 26,
2008, the National Park Service reopened Verkamp's Curios as a combination visitor
center and retail outlet operated by the Grand Canyon Association.
Ellsworth L. Kolb and Emery C. Kolb played an important
role in the early development of visitor services to the Grand Canyon.
They brought their photographic equipment from Williams, Arizona, to the Canyon in 1902. Their
business started out by photographing parties going down the Bright Angel
Trail. Because water supplies were limited on the rim, they would
photograph the mule passengers, then run the 4 1/2 miles to Indian Garden
where they had set up a photographic lab. Water was available there
for processing the film. They then returned to the rim with the
processed pictures ready for the mule passengers on their return. The
Kolb Studio was constructed from 1904 to 1926.
The Grand Canyon Association is in the process of renovating the building
and currently operates a book store in the front room. All proceeds
from sales made here go directly to restoration costs for the studio. In the
basement auditorium, you will normally find some sort of exhibit relating to the
cultural and/or geological history of the Grand Canyon. Kolb Studio is
listed as a National Historic Landmark.
is another building designed by
Jane Colter. It was completed in 1914, the same year as Hermit's Rest.
In keeping with her style of architecture, it was carefully designed with
native stone and an irregular roofline to blend into the rim of the Grand
Canyon. On the porch was a high power telescope, now on display in the
History Room of the Bright Angel Lodge. Here visitors could view the
features of the Canyon and watch mule riders descending into the Canyon.
The studio is now a gift shop. When finishing a hike coming up the
Bright Angel Trail, I always stop here for a memento of my trip.
Lookout Studio is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Mary Jane Colter started work on the Bright Angel
Lodge, completing it on July 22, 1935. It followed the general theme
of the El Tovar, boasting curio shops, a restaurant, and an open-framed
lobby with peeled log supports. With its moderately
priced accommodations, it was designed for tourists with moderate incomes. The color
Mary Colter selected for the interior of the lodge was a particular shade of
blue. Her insistence on the right shade prompted the painters to call
it "Mary Jane Blue." Lodge rooms vary in price from
$83-188 per night. Call Xanterra at 888-297-2757 for reservations.
The Bright Angel Fountain is located on the back side of the Bright Angel
Lodge. It offers drinks, ice cream, and walk through food service.
The inner canyon is easily viewed from this area.
Next to the Bright Angel Lodge is the
Buckey O'Neill cabin. It is the
oldest continuously standing structure on the rim. It was built in the
1890's by William Owen O'Neill. Everyone knew him as "Buckey."
He acquired the name by "bucking the odds" in the card game faro. He
became an author, journalist, miner, politician, and judge. He once
made the following entry in the guest book at
ranch: "God made the canyon, John Hance made the trails. Without
one, neither would be complete." He was
elected mayor of Prescott, Arizona, and soon volunteered to fight in the
Spanish American War. He became one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders
and lost his life in 1898 during the assault on San Juan Hill.
On September 17, 1901, the first steam-driven train
rolled into Grand Canyon Village after a relatively smooth trip from
Williams, Arizona. The 3-hour trip cost $3.95. At the time, an
all day and rather rigorous stage ride to the Village from Flagstaff,
Arizona, cost $20. The Santa Fe Railway station was completed in 1909.
It is one of only three remaining log depots in the country and one of an
estimated fourteen log depots ever constructed in the United States. Train rides
are available from Williams, Arizona, to the Canyon. Call 800-843-8724
or www.thetrain.com for information. The Grand Canyon
Depot is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
to the east of the Bright Angel Lodge and Bright Angel Fountain is the
Arizona Steakhouse, more commonly known as the Arizona Room. Many people believe it has the finest steaks on
the rim. It is very popular and reservations are not accepted, so get
to the east of the Arizona Room is the Kachina Lodge. Rooms vary
in price from $180-191 per night. Call Xanterra at 888-297-2757 for
to the east of the Kachina Lodge is the Thunderbird Lodge. Their rooms vary
in price from $180-191 per night. Call Xanterra at 888-297-2757 for
Rest is at the end of the
West Rim Drive. Here, visitors to the Canyon will find a
snack bar, gift shop, restrooms and water. Named for the French
Louis Boucher, who lived alone in the area for more
than 20 years, the site holds the impressive limestone building also
Mary Jane Colter in 1914. Bikers and hikers find their way to
Hermits Rest, as well as those who take the shuttles in the summertime or
drive their own vehicles during the rest of the year. A magnificent
fireplace occupies the back side of the building. Hermit's Rest is
listed as a National Historic Landmark.
in the Maswik Lodge vary in price from $94-176 per night. Call Xanterra at
888-297-2757 for reservations. They have a great walk through dining
room and cafeteria with several different food menus. This is my
favorite place to eat at the South Rim.
Backcountry Office is back in their newly refurbished building just east of
the Maswik Lodge. They are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day
of the year. You may call and speak to a Ranger at the Backcountry
Office at 928-638-7875 Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard
Park Headquarters building is located across the street north of the Village
Marketplace in the old visitor center. The Park research library is inside the
headquarters building. Just outside the headquarters building on the
northwest side is the Shrine of the Ages. The
Grand Canyon Cemetery, also called the Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery, is located at the west end of the headquarters
building parking lot. Emery Kolb, Ellsworth Kolb, John Hance, Ralph
Cameron, Bert Lauzon, and many other
people associated with the Grand Canyon are buried there.
in medical care is available at the Grand Canyon Clinic Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and
on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Dial 911 for emergency care
(9911 from hotel rooms).
you are only moderately bad and get a ticket or Misdemeanor charge, you will
have to face the music here. Magistrate's Court is located just south
and across from the Grand Canyon Depot. If you are really bad, you
will be prosecuted in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Arizona. Cases are heard in
entrance to Mather Campground is located next to the Village Marketplace.
During the peak season (April to October), the campgrounds are usually full.
Advance reservations are a must this time of year. You may camp in
tents or RV's. Hookups are not available in the campground, but are in
Trailer Village. The cost is $18 per night (1/2 price for Golden Age
or Golden Access cardholders). Call Spherix at 800-365-2267 for
reservations or reserve online at
http://www.recreation.gov. Picnic tables and fire rings are
provided at each site. Bathrooms with flush toilets and running water
are close to all sites. Showers and a laundry are located just outside
the campground entrance.
and a laundry are located just outside the entrance to Mather Campground.
Showers cost $2.00 (8 quarters only) for a five-to-eight minute shower. Towels
and wash rags are provided. The attendant will also provide the quarters necessary
for the coin operated shower.
You must bring your own soap. Washers and dryers are
available in the same building. Oddly enough, an internet hookup is
also inside the building. An ice machine is right outside the door.
Located beside the shower and laundry building is an RV dump station.
Village is adjacent to the Village Marketplace and Mather Campground.
It offers 80 full hookup sites for RV's (30-50 amp service, water, sewer,
and cable TV).
Restrooms are located throughout the campground, but do not have showers.
The Grand Canyon is the only national park I am aware of that offers
anything other than dry camping, much less a full service campground. Like Mather Campground, it is usually full during the peak season (April to
October), and advance reservations are a must then. Cost is $32 per
night. Discounts for Golden Age and Golden Access can NOT be used. Call Xanterra at 877-638-2887 for reservations.
the Yavapai Lodge vary in price from $125-166
per night. Call Xanterra at 888-297-2757 for reservations. They
have a walk through dining room and cafeteria with several different food
branch of BanK One is located in the Village Marketplace. It is open Monday
- Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Friday 9:00 to 6:00. Phone
928-638-2437. Next to it
is the Post Office. It is open Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Phone 928-638-2512.
General Store is located in the Village Marketplace. It has a full
service grocery store and deli. The deli offers both hot and cold
meals in a walk through line. The General Store also has one of the finest
camping and hiking departments found anywhere. If you need to buy or rent any camping or hiking gear,
chances are they have it. They also have one of the better gift and
curio shops around. When I am buying gifts or postcards, this is one
of the places where
I do my shopping. Phone 928-638-2262.
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