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Arts and Culture in the Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon, with its steep red and copper-colored rocky walls and ages-old canyon floor, provides endless amounts of beauty, adventure, and exploration. But when you want to discover the area’s rich cultural heritage, you won’t be let down by the Grand Canyon region’s museums, galleries, and landmarks.

 

Galleries

 

If you feel like taking a day trip to some of the region’s surrounding cities, you’re sure to discover plenty of art galleries - like the store, studio, and showroom of the Artist’s Gallery in Flagstaff - but there are also some hidden away in the heart of the Grand Canyon.

 

The Kolb Studio

 

This historic studio once belonged to the Kolb brothers, pioneering photographers who explored the canyon and captured its magic on film. Built in 1904, this large wooden building perches on the canyon’s South Rim, providing breathtaking views. The studio now operates as a gallery, with rotating temporary displays of local art. There’s also a small exhibit that tells the brothers’ story, and displays their early black and white photographs.

 

Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park AZ 86023. Tel: +1 928 638 2481

 

The Kolb Studio website

 

Museums

 

The Grand Canyon has a rich human history, being an important site for Native Americans, and explored by Europeans as far back as the 16th century. As such, the region has important stories to tell, and there’s no better place to hear them than at the museums.

 

Tusayan Ruins and Museum

 

The Tusayan Ruins is considered one of Arizona’s key historical sites. These Pueblo Indian ruins - including a house, food storage shelter, and ceremonial religious room - date back over 800 years. You can either take a self-guided walking tour of the ruins and learn about them from the informative markers and small indoor displays, or you can take ranger-led tour, offered daily.

 

Desert View Drive, Grand Canyon National Park AZ 86023. Tel: +1 928 638 2305

 

Tusayan Ruins and Museum website

 

Amazing geology

 

Of course, the human history of the Grand Canyon only scratches the surface. The canyon itself has been formed over millions and millions of years, as the mighty Colorado River cut through the rock - ultimately exposing Earth’s amazing geology.
Trail of Time

 

The Trail of Time is an interactive walking trail of almost 3 miles which twists and turns through rock formations and exhibits, giving a timeline of the Grand Canyon’s geological history. Bronze markers tell you what time period you’re standing in - and when you realize that the markers quickly span millions of years, you’ll get an appreciation of the area’s historical magnitude. At the end of the trail, you’ll find the Yavapai Geology Museum, which continues this remarkable tale.

 

Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park AZ 86023. Tel: +1 928 638 2481

 

Trail of Time website

 

Architectural wonders

 

It's not just Mother Nature whose handiwork you can admire during a visit to the Grand Canyon. The human-hewn landmarks will dazzle as well.

 

Hopi House

 

This National Historic Landmark, opened in 1905, was designed by renowned American architect Mary Colter. Channeling the simple, pragmatic, and beautiful designs of the ancient Hopi Pueblos, Colter designed this Hopi House to perfectly complement the surrounding environment and culture. Marvel at its stacked, deep-red walls speared by smooth branches, and look through the authentic Native American crafts on sale inside.

 

Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park AZ 86023. Tel: +1 928 638 2468

 

Hopi House website

 

Desert View Watch Tower

 

Another Colter design, this stone tower stands at a jaw-dropping 70 feet high, and is the tallest point on the South Rim, offering unbeatable views across the canyon, cliffs, and Painted Desert behind. Again, the golden stone color and bare-bones design matches the surroundings, and its curved walls are covered in genuine Native American murals.

 

Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park AZ 86023. Tel: +1 928 638 2736

 

Desert View Watch Tower website