double clickKolb Rapids - Site of Early Photography Business in Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
3 Day Expedition

Mile 205 - Kolb Rapids

Ellsworth and Emery Kolb ran Grand Canyon in two wooden boats, the Defiance and Edith, starting on the Green River in Wyoming and following the Colorado all the way to Needles, California in 1911-12. They began their Grand Canyon careers together by selling photographs to tourists at the South Rim. Without a reliable source of water on the top, the brothers built a darkroom for developing their images at Indian Gardens three miles below the rim. Ellsworth and Emery would take photographs of tourists riding mules at the head of Bright Angel Trail, then run down to their darkroom to develop the film. Once the images were ready, the brothers would hurry back to the top of the canyon with the photographs ready to sell to the tourists, soon to be arriving again from the bottom of the canyon.

Filming the Grand Canyon »

The Kolbs filmed much of their voyage through the canyon’s of the Green and Colorado with a motion picture camera. The film was shown at the Kolb Studio on a daily basis for seven decades. Emery Kolb narrated the footage in person until he died in 1976. Visitors to the South Rim frequent the Kolb Studio at the canyon’s edge, which is now operated by the Grand Canyon Association, and is used as a book sales location and gallery. Tours of the entire structure are often available, which had five additions built into it over many years.

Upper Gorge Grand Canyon

Upper Grand Canyon Mile by Mile »

The upper Grand Canyon, as traveled by Western's 6 or 7 day expedition begins at Lees Ferry (mile 0) and finishes at Whitmore Wash (mile 188)

See Lower Grand Canyon