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Sunset overlooking Grand Canyon and Kolb Studio on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park photo by NPS Michael Quinn
Day Tours & Basecamp Trips

Kolb Studio Tour

Join Grand Canyon Conservancy for a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic Kolb Studio Residence!

  • Dates:

    Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trip Length: One Hour
  • Cost: $40/person
  • Group size: 8

A Family Home and Photography Studio

Kolb Studio appears to be just an old house perched on the rim of the canyon. However, if you step inside, or see it from Bright Angel Trail on your hike out of the canyon, you get the sense it is much more than that.

This is the Victorian-era home of the Kolb Brothers, who created a lasting legacy of adventure, exploration, family love, and amazing Grand Canyon photography that will last as long as the canyon itself.

Photographers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb helped turn the Grand Canyon into a national icon. They built Kolb Studio, one of the earliest tourist destinations on the South Rim. The brothers began to take photographs of the mule riders from a small toll shack on the Bright Angel Trail. The toll shack would later become today's five story home, theater and photo studio built right on the edge of the canyon! The studio was used to document the trips of visitors and create imagery of Grand Canyon for 75 years.

Kolb Studio Thumbnail Image

The Kolb Studio is preserved on the edge of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, having once been the home and photography studio of the Amazing Kolb Brothers. The Kolb Brothers brought the beauty and adventure of the Grand Canyon into millions of people’s hearts and minds through their photography, back when a photograph was hard to come by. Take a “Minute Out In It” to listen to excerpts of The Grand Canyon Film Show as narrated by Emery Kolb himself. And be sure to visit the Kolb Studio on your next visit to Grand Canyon National Park! Video by NPS R/Lane.

Trip Details

  • Learn about the wonders of the Kolb Family from an experienced, expert guide
  • Walk through the home of Emery, Blanche, Edith, Ellsworth and family
  • Expect to see sweeping views of the canyon from a home on the edge
  • Learn about the fascinating history of private entrepreneurship and art at Grand Canyon
  • Grab some of the best photos of your vacation
Kolb Studio

Video of the photography room in Kolb Studio


Your group will meet our guide in the gallery of Kolb Studio, where we will weave the stories of the Kolb family into our behind-the-scenes tour. Very few people ever get a chance to visit the rooms throughout this once-private home. You'll get a glimpse of what it was like to live on the rim of Grand Canyon in the early part of the 20th Century.

Meet Location: Gallery (downstairs) of Kolb Studio 

Time: 1 hour

End location: Kolb Studio 

Emery (a young photographer) and Ellsworth (a budding adventurer) put Grand Canyon on the tourist map. 

The brothers filmed the first ever moving picture of the mighty Colorado and performed stunning and death-defying photography stunts, just to show the magnificence of Grand Canyon.

The Kolb family created a business on the edge (quite literally). 

They built a home, a life, and family in the very studio that is used to show artwork today. 

What's included

Price for the class includes:

Our expert instructor.

Behind the scenes access to the lower stories of Kolb Family Home

Instructions on best places to park 

What's not included

You are responsible for:

Being on time (once the tour group has gone behind the residence tours, we cannot allow access)

Reading, understanding, and signing the Assumption of Risk Form before the start of your tour

Transportation to and from the Canyon 

Guide gratuity (industry recommendation 15-20% of trip cost, read this article to receive more guidance)

Additional notes

Where should you stay?

Participants should come seasonally prepared and be enthusiastic about outdoor exploration. We do not cancel or transfer tour dates for weather events.

Cancellation Policy

  • If tickets are cancelled after 24 hours prior the start of your tour, all fees are forfeited.
  • If tickets are cancelled before 24 hours to the start of your tour, a $10 per ticket processing fee is forfeited.
  • Participants who do not show up for the appointed tour time will receive no refund or tour transfer.
  • Participants who are not able to make it to the tour before the residence doors are closed-- forfeit all funds and the ability to attend the tour. Residence doors are located in the museum/COA display room.
  • We do not cancel tours based on circumstances out of GCCFI's control. This includes, but is not limited to: public land closures, weather events, road closures, or fire.  


Family of 4 standing and smiling for photo on rock edge at Grand Canyon

The Zelkovic Family

“Our day with the Field Institute exceeded all our expectations and we came away with a great respect for the canyon and for the work of the Conservancy. It was such a wonderful experience from beginning to end and hope we can return in the not so distant future to participate in one of your multi-day programs.”

Family of 5 standing and smiling for photo on rock edge at Grand Canyon

The Jankowskis

“Our family’s experience was nothing short of amazing! Slim (our guide) provided a perspective we would have never been able to get on our own and we learned so much. Her passion for the canyon and what she does came through too, which made our time something we’ll never forget!”

Five hikers standing on forest cliff edge overlooking Grand Canyon 2017

Amy Waits

“The guides were awesome – so educational and patient!!! Encouraging & helpful in every way. Such an amazing first visit to the canyon – Life changing to have experienced the GC up close & personal… Thank you so much!”

Group of hikers standing and smiling in front of canyon from ground level at Grand Canyon

Joe Sweeney

“I've brought many school groups to the Field Institute and the quality of instruction provides them with an understanding of Indigenous cultures, diverse ecology, and geologic history. Students leave with a stronger sense of self-confidence, an intimate connection to nature, and memories that will last a lifetime.”

Field Institute guide educating group of hiker tourists seated on beach with water and canyon in background

Andy M.

“Top to bottom, the Field Institute exceeded all of my expectations .... they ensured we packed wisely for our trip and saved me from lugging around 5 lbs. of junk I didn't need. Overall, it's packed with value that I don't think commercial outfitters would provide and delivered a deeply rich experience.”