Kolb Studio At Grand Canyon National Park
- Date Visited: April 2021
- Address: Village Loop Drive, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
- Phone: (928) 638-2481
- Hours: 9 AM-7 PM Daily (Times may change seasonally)
- Price: Free
The historic Kolb Studio was established in 1904 by Ellsworth and Emery Kolb as a photographic studio and home for the brothers. Emery Kolb continued operating the studio until his death in 1976. Today it serves as a gift shop and small museum located on the edge of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
It is run by the Grand Canyon Conservancy with all proceeds going to Grand Canyon National Park. The building can be found near the Bright Angel Trailhead.
They started their business camped out in a small tent on the canyon rim. In 1906 they built a small wooden house which became Kolb Studio. They became famous for capturing unorthodox photos of hard-to-reach areas of the Grand Canyon. The brothers were also known for their photographs of visitors riding mules down into the Grand Canyon.
One of their other adventures was spending 101 days navigating the Colorado River capturing the whole journey on film with a motion-picture camera. Between their film and photographs they became well known around the country as exceptional photographers and grand adventurers. Besides selling their photos the made money touring the country to present their film lecture series.
The museum has information and exhibits on the Kolb Brothers’ life and adventures living and running a business on the edge of the Grand Canyon. The walls are lined with incredible photos taken by the brothers and other artists of the Grand Canyon.
Display cases hold items owned by the brothers including a bunch of their old camera equipment. I just love looking at old cameras so I was really excited about checking all these old pieces out. Each piece has information cards on them as well describing the items and providing some history.
One of the coolest pieces they have is the canvas boat located right in the center of the museum. For a lot of their pictures the brothers would have to cross the Colorado River or use it to travel. Weighing in at only 125 pounds (much lighter than a wooden boat) it was easier to carry when traveling down into the canyon or using trails to get to a new location.
The Kolb Studio is a very cool little spot and should not be missed when visiting Grand Canyon National Park. It won’t take you long to visit and it’s free. You can learn more about the history of the Kolb Brothers and the studio on the national park website here.