One thing you’ve probably discovered about the Grand Canyon is that there’s no quick way to get across it – you’ve got to drive around it! That very fact no doubt perturbed would-be travelers, settlers and entrepreneurs back in the early 1900’s, when a trip to the Grand Canyon was a bone-jarring stagecoach journey that took days instead of hours. Back then, folks were also starting to realize that there were more riches to be found in tourism than in mining, so in 1911, a modest suspension bridge was constructed across the Little Colorado River Gorge at a lonely outpost on the Navajo Indian Reservation called Cameron. In 1915, local traders Hubert and C.D. Richardson opened the Cameron Trading Post, and Cameron soon established itself as integral commerce center for the Native American people who lived nearby.
Back in the early days of the Trading Post, visitors were limited to Navajo and Hopi Indians who came to barter their hand-made goods for food staples. Today, the Cameron Trading Post is enjoyed by visitors from all around the world as a Grand Canyon gateway. A visit to Cameron is more than just a routine stop on your tour. It is a cultural experience; an opportunity to learn about Navajo culture first-hand through their art. Still a vital part of the local economy, the Cameron Trading Post sells hand-crafted jewelry of silver and turquoise, colorful rugs painstakingly crafted on looms handed down through generations, as well as pottery, baskets and paintings from many tribes throughout the Southwest. In the gallery, you’ll find one of Northern Arizona’s most exquisite collections of Native made crafts. In addition to its retail store, the Cameron Trading Post also has a hotel, RV Park, convenience store, gas station, and a restaurant that has earned a cult-like following among people from all over the area, who gladly drive hundreds of miles to enjoy the house specialty, the Navajo Taco.
Cameron is also ideally situated as a “base camp” from which to explore all the scenic treasures that Northern Arizona and Southern Utah have to offer. It is one hour from Grand Canyon’s South Rim, one hour from Flagstaff, Arizona, 90 minutes from Lake Powell, 2 hours from Sedona, and 3 hours from Monument Valley, the Petrified Forest, and Zion National Park.