Cameron Trading Post
The Cameron Trading Post has been providing visitors, travelers and explorers to the desert southwest with needed supplies for nearly a century. In the early days, that meant trading almost exclusively with the Navajo and Hopi Native American Indians for wool, blankets, livestock and dry goods.
Today, the Cameron Trading Post is well worth a long and leisurely visit, and you will find much more than wool and dry goods. It has become a showplace for Native American and southwestern artwork — everything from traditional blankets, baskets, dolls and pots to the most gorgeous Native American Indian art and jewelry to be found anywhere. The gift shop and market carry all sorts of modern southwestern domestics, imports, Native American and southwestern décor and floor coverings.
“Nearly 70 percent of our resources go toward the purchase of Native American handmade items,” says General Manager Carl Coleson. “We often trade with other trading posts for other artists’ works.”
“In the old days, the trading post saw mostly local traffic and the Native Americans came to the trading post for advice, translation services, counseling and trading. Today we probably have 2,000 visitors a day during the season (April – October) and we get visitors from all over the world! Every day we see busloads and busloads of people who are traveling through. Sometimes you come into the trading post and it sounds like Babel, with everyone speaking a different language,” says Carl.
“But while it’s a whole different world at the trading post these days thanks to the automobile and airplane, we still trade in a broad range of items of very high quality,” says Carl.
But that’s not all! Situated on the Little
Colorado River on State Route 89, the Lodge at the Cameron Trading Post offers a central location to visit the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, the Painted Desert, Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments, Monument Valley and much more — all within a couple hours drive of the Lodge.
The restaurant serves a mix of traditional, American, Mexican and local cuisines. The most popular item on the menu is the Navajo Taco, made with traditional Native American fry bread, spicy ground beef and beans, green chilis and more.
Once you have eaten your fill, take several hours to tour the gift shop, the gallery filled with gorgeous Native American arts and crafts, or the market, which is a grocery store, convenience store, and old-fashioned mercantile all rolled into one, and includes such delightful items as campfire coffee pots and outdoor cooking gear.
The Cameron Trading Post History
A swayback suspension bridge across the Little Colorado River provided the first easy crossing point for many miles. Shortly after the bridge was completed, Hubert and C.D. Richardson established a trading post on the south bank to assist travelers.
Today the Cameron Trading Post is owned by the people who work there, many from Native American tribes of the area and with roots going back for generations.
“After the Richardson brothers, the trading post passed through many hands until a descendent of the Richardsons, Joe Atkinson, bought it and set it up as an employee-owned corporation in the 1980s,” says Carl. “Cameron is different today because we are employee owned, and that means we are proud to make it the best place it can possibly be!”
Other attractions in the area include:
The Grand Canyon
Wupatki National Monument
Walnut Canyon National Monument