10 Best gift shops at and near Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is impossible to forget, but it's nice to have a souvenir or two. There are plenty of shops within the National Park and nearby towns where you can pick up gorgeous photo books, hiking guides, warm clothing and artwork. True to the park's mission, many of the items for sale are culturally relevant, such as Navajo jewelry or Hopi pottery, and educational. Tacky tourist knick-knacks give way to keepsakes that educate and help bring back memories of your visit to this natural wonder of the world. Since El Tovar Hotel opened in 1905, tourism was the engine that drove the development and protection of the Grand Canyon. Souvenirs were sold from the beginning, and shops such as the Watch Tower at Desert View and the Hopi House in Grand Canyon Village are as historically significant and architecturally important as any structure built here. Fortunately architect Mary Colter had the foresight to make these gift shops that she designed for the Fred Harvey Company timeless creations that merit appreciation almost a century later.

10 Canyon View Information Plaza
Situated near the entrance to the park's South Rim, this helpful complex is also near Mather Point. You'll have to walk from Mather's parking area or take a shuttle from elsewhere in the park to access Canyon View, because cars aren't permitted in its immediate vicinity. The information plaza is staffed by rangers who will happily direct your visit. It also offers the opportunity for visitors to buy books, take bathroom breaks, and examine informative, outdoor exhibits. In addition, the area is the planned center for the park's public transportation system. (928-638-7888)

9 Cameron Trading Post
Since the early part of the 20th century, this trading post has been a crossroads of commerce and hospitality. Specializing in Native American handicrafts, the place also features a general store, restaurant, motel, RV park, and gardens. Much of the compound features accents and artifacts from the early days, and visitors clamor for such local dishes as fry bread and Navajo tacos. Representative craftwork includes rugs, baskets, beadwork, pottery, kachina dolls, textiles, and carvings. While many are expensive, exquisite examples of Native American artistry intended for collectors, other items are more affordable; souvenir fare is available as well. The manicured gardens are a beautiful, unexpected oasis you'll want to explore. (928-679-2231, 800-338-7385)

8 Bright Angel Lodge Gift Shop
With its big picture windows overlooking the Grand Canyon and Bright Angel Trail, Bright Angel Gift Shop is your one-stop shop for hiking and mule items, t-shirts, hats, children's gifts, gourmet foods, souvenirs, camera supplies, postcards, CDs, and books and DVDs about the Grand Canyon. (928-638-2631 ext 608)

7 Verkamp's
This expansive enterprise, whose current building is distinguished by arched portals, originated from a tent in the late 19th century. Although that attempt wasn't ultimately lucrative, a second endeavor took off, and today, the family-owned business is a certified success. Inside the store, a wealth of souvenirs and handicrafts is available, including rugs, pottery, jewelry, basketry, kachinas, and various types of artwork. Hanging from the rafters, laid out in display cases and racks, or simply positioned to catch the eye, the inventory is large, providing all sorts of opportunity for souvenir-buying and memento-collecting. 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 2008 as a visitor center and Grand Canyon Association bookstore. (888-817-0806, 928-638-2242)

6 Hermit's Rest Gift Shop
Another architectural beauty designed by Mary E.J. Colter, this stone structure was built to resemble the naive efforts of a local prospector and is a tribute to reclusive 19th-century miner Louis Boucher. A massive stone fireplace, substantial wood furniture, and Native American textiles impart a natural, homey feel to the place, which serves (now as then) as a travelers' rest stop. Inside, you'll find a gift shop, refreshments for sale, and restrooms -- all frequently sought after in the Canyon area. (928-638-7888)

5 El Tovar Gift Shop
If you are looking for beautiful southwestern apparel, exquisite Native American jewelry, or unique southwestern gifts, don't miss the El Tovar Gift Shop. Located in the historic El Tovar Hotel, this boutique boasts antique chandeliers and the original wood flooring from 1905. Look for items exclusive to this store, such as El Tovar dinner plates, wine and wine glasses, hotel logo bathrobes, and historic Mimbreno dinnerware. Also featured are National Park Lodges cookbooks and Fred Harvey Trading Company gourmet foods. Browse the many gift items that are made in the USA, and look for our selection of eco-friendly products, including items made of organic cotton and recycled materials. Antique jewelry cases in the lobby display an array of authentic Native American jewelry from noted regional artisans. (928-638-2631)

4 Lookout Studio
Perched on the Canyon rim, this unobtrusive structure is a prime example of architect Mary E.J. Colter's genius in making new buildings blend into the landscape. Intended to mimic Anasazi structures, it was crafted of local stone and timber in 1914. Lookout Studio was built by the Santa Fe Railway Company as a photo studio to compete with the nearby Kolb Studio.Today, it offers gifts, books, and souvenirs to eager tourists and also affords incomparable views of the Canyon's interior from stepped terraces. There are telescopes off the back porch for viewing into the canyon. (928-638-7888)

3 Kolb Studio
In the early days of Grand Canyon tourism, Ellsworth and Emory Kolb set up this studio on the Canyon rim, making it their home base for capturing spectacular views of the local landscape. The two brothers were prominent photographers, and their studio is now on the National Register of Historic Places. These days, it functions as a bookstore, selling Canyon-related merchandise to visitors who hope to take home a bit of nature's immensity. The auditorium hosts art exhibits regularly (free to the public). (928-638-2631)

2 Desert View Watchtower
Desert View Watchtower was designed by Mary Jane Colter and built in 1932. Colter designed the tower in the style of Native American ruins found throughout the Southwest, and hired Hopi artists Fred Kabotie and Chester Dennis to decorate the interior of the round structure with traditional motifs. The gift shop on the first floor sells a variety of Native American-made jewelry, rugs, sand paintings and other artwork. Climb the narrow staircase to reach the open-air top patio that has sweeping views of Grand Canyon. ((928) 638-7888)

1 Hopi House Gift Store and Art Gallery
Built of native stone in a series of ascending terraces, this Mary E.J. Colter-designed structure emulates original Hopi dwellings. It was intended to be a showplace for Native American handicrafts, a purpose which it still embraces. Inside the dramatic building is a wide array of handmade goods, including rugs, pottery, jewelry, kachina dolls, sand paintings, and the like. The high quality is reflected in the prices, and the second floor offers visitors the opportunity to browse through even more spectacular objects. The famous photography of Albert Einstein at the Grand Canyon was taken outside of the Hopi House. Throughout the summer, Hopi and Navajo dancers demonstrate their skill on the stage in front of Hopi House. (928-638-2631)

10Best.com Travel Expert Steve Larese tackles adventure worldwide, from being one of the first people to careen down the world's tallest waterslide to exploring haunted castles-turned posh resorts. Check out his latest book, Balloons Over Albuquerqueand his other projects here. When Larese isn't exploring for 10Best.com, he's writing for National Geographic Traveler, American Way, USA Today Travel and other national travel publications.

Read more about Steve Larese here.

Connect with Steve via: Blog | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

From Our Partners


Maps and Directions

Canyon View Information Plaza 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bookstores, Business Services
Neighborhood: South Rim
Cameron Trading Post 10Best List Arrow
Type: Specialty Shops
Neighborhood: South Rim
Bright Angel Lodge Gift Shop 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bookstores, Gift Stores, Specialty Shops
Neighborhood: South Rim
Verkamp's 10Best List Arrow
Type: Specialty Shops
Neighborhood: South Rim
Hermit's Rest Gift Shop 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bookstores, Gift Stores, Specialty Shops
El Tovar Gift Shop 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bookstores, Gift Stores, Local Picks, Native American Art Galleries, Specialty Shops, Sporting Goods - Summer, Sporting Goods - Winter, Women's Clothing
Neighborhood: South Rim
Lookout Studio 10Best List Arrow
Type: Specialty Shops
Neighborhood: South Rim
Kolb Studio 10Best List Arrow
Type: Specialty Shops
Neighborhood: South Rim
Desert View Watchtower 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bookstores, Fine Craft Galleries, Gift Stores, Jewelry Stores, Specialty Shops
Neighborhood: South Rim
comments powered by Disqus