Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located near Mather Point, this large facility is the first stopping point for many South Rim visitors. Watch the natural and cultural history film Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder; the 20-minute film starts on the half hour. Rangers are available to answer questions, and kiosks outside provide 24-hour information on park activities and attractions. There’s also an incredible theater-in-the-round where visitors can sit on benches and watch the geologic history of the Grand Canyon unfold on a film projected on a sphere. There are water bottle refilling stations outside the building.
The Grand Canyon Association Books and More store is next door. A paved walkway leads to scenic Mather Point and Mather Amphitheater where there are daily ranger programs. Four large lots with ample free parking and a shuttle stop make this a good place to leave your car for the day.
Verkamp’s Visitor Center
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Located in Grand Canyon Village, Verkamp’s was built in 1906 and was a gift shop for nearly a century. The park service recently turned it into a visitor center that focuses on pioneer history of Grand Canyon with interpretive displays, a bookstore and ranger programs.
Desert View Visitor Center
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located near the park’s East Entrance at Desert View Point, 25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village. Rangers are on hand to answer questions. There is a bookstore, snack shop, and interpretive displays focusing on how Grand Canyon has inspired artists, writers, and musicians.
Backcountry Information Center
Open daily, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 pm. Located behind Maswik Lodge, the center is staffed with helpful backcountry rangers who are available to answer questions about backpacking or day hiking in the park. They also issue backcountry permits but no river permits. The large, free parking area here is a good place to leave your car and hop a shuttle to the trailhead.