Desert View Drive

Most Desert View Facilities Remain Closed

Updated December 4, 2020

Visitors driving on US Route 89 in northern Arizona will be travelling through the Navajo Nation, which requires face masks to be worn at public facilities and businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19.

IMPORTANT > The East Entrance to the park at Desert View remains closed because of COVID-19 lockdowns on the neighboring Navajo Nation. The East Entrance gate is locked.

You must use the South Entrance near the town of Tusayan to enter and exit the park. The driving distance from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View along Desert View Drive (SR 64) necessitates a 50 mile (80 km) round-trip, since you must enter and exit the park through the South Entrance.

The following Desert View areas and services are open for visitors:

• Viewpoints in the Desert View vicinity
• Desert View parking lot and RV parking
• Porta-toilets located near the Desert View parking lot


With public health in mind, the following facilities and areas remain closed at this time:

  • The East Entrance to the park on SR 64 CLOSED
  • Desert View Watchtower, including visitor contact station and bookstore CLOSED
  • Desert View Visitor Center CLOSED
  • Desert View Campground CLOSED
  • Desert View Chevron Gas Station CLOSED
  • Desert View Trading Post & Ice Cream CLOSED
  • Desert View Market and Deli CLOSED
  • Tusayan Ruin and Museum CLOSED

Grand Canyon National Park is continuing to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance, and is adjusting operations as needed. The information presented here is primarily to help you plan a visit during 2021.

Visit this web page for the current list of what is open, and for park-wide updates >
 

Locations Described On This Page Navigation

 

The Desert View Drive portion of SR 64 is a scenic road from Grand Canyon Village. Private vehicles can drive east along the canyon rim for 25 miles (40 km) to the Desert View Services Area, and East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Along the way there are:

  • Six developed canyon viewpoints
  • Four picnic areas
  • Five unmarked pullouts
  • Tusayan Museum and ruin site (Ancestral Puebloan)
 
Map of Desert View Drive on South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Overview shows the entire 25 mile length of the drive. On the right, an insert of Desert View settlement with parking lots and buildings.
 
Pipe creek
View from Pipe Creek Vista.

NPS/Marge Ullmann

Pipe Creek Vista


This pullout can be accessed by private vehicle or by using the free Kaibab Rim Route (Orange) Shuttle Bus, departing from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.

The Canyon Rim Trail may be accessed here, with a 1.3 mile / 2.1 km walk on a paved trail west to Mather Point, or a 0.8 mile / 1.3 km walk east to the South Kaibab Trailhead.

 
Temple structure seen from a distance.
View from Yaki Point.

Yaki Point

(Elevation: 7262 feet / 2213 meters)

Yaki Point is the only viewpoint on Desert View Drive that is not accessible with a private vehicle. It can be reached using the free Kaibab Rim Route (Orange) Shuttle Bus departing from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.

Yaki Point is a quiet place from which to enjoy sunset or sunrise.

Restrooms are located here.

 
Rounded pale rock formation against Grand Canyon in the background.
The Colorado River sweeps through the canyon below Desert View.

Duck on a Rock

(Elevation: 7,096 feet / 2,162 meters)

This unmarked rock formation is located just east of Yaki Point. It gets its name from the Kaibab sandstone formation, which some say resembles a duck on a rock. Can you see it?

 
Grand Canyon landscape with clouds overhead.
View from Grandview Point.

Grandview Point

(Elevation: 7399 feet / 2256 meters)

This popular viewpoint offers panoramic views of Grand Canyon from east to west, including several bends of the Colorado River to the east.

The historic Grandview Trail begins here. This trail is VERY steep! In the summer much of the trail is in full sun. In the winter ice and snow can make hiking treacherous. Always use caution on the Grandview Trail.

 
Red cliffs speckled with snow.
The Colorado River is a prominent feature below Moran Point.

Moran Point

(Elevation: 7160 feet / 2182 meters)

Geology is a prominent feature at any Grand Canyon viewpoint but at Moran Point three main rock groups are clearly visible.

The Layered Paleozoic Rocks represent the sedimentary rocks that make up most of the Grand Canyon's depth. The Grand Canyon Supergroup represents a significant portion of the canyon's geologic record even though it is only in isolated remnants, visible at only a few spots along the rim. The Vishnu Basement Rocks are the oldest at the canyon, consisting of both metamorphic and igneous rock.

 
A stone wall circles around bare dirt with pine trees in the background, two informative signs in the foreground.
A large kiva, or ceremonial room, can be seen at the Tusayan Ruin.

Tusayan Pueblo & Museum

Tusayan Pueblo is the remains of a small ancestral Puebloan village. A relatively flat 0.1 mile (200 meter) trail wraps around the ruin and offers the opportunity to learn more about the place and the people who once called this home. Note: Tusayan Pueblo and Musuem remain closed untill further notice due to concerns about COVID-19. Updated: 11/6/2020

Download the Tusayan Ruin Trail Guide
(820kb pdf file)

The Tusayan Museum and Bookstore have displays that help bring the ruin to life. A picnic area and restrooms are located here.

 
Rock formations surrounded by fog and low clouds.
View from Lipan point.

Lipan Point

(Elevation: 7360 feet / 2243 meters)

From this viewpoint can be seen several points of interest.

Hance Rapid is one of the many powerful whitewater rapids along the Colorado River.

Unkar Delta was once home to ancestral Puebloan people and is the site of active archeological study.

The Grand Canyon Supergroup is a unique rock strata at Grand Canyon, visible to this extent from only a few places on the South Rim.

 
Large cliff goes out into the canyon with a tower at the end.
Desert View Watchtower can be seen from Navajo point.

Navajo Point

(Elevation: 7461 feet / 2275 meters)

Just a few minutes west of the Desert View Watchtower, this viewpoint offers a great view of the watchtower as well as panoramic vistas to the west and a view north up the Colorado River.

Navajo Point is the highest overlook on the South Rim - unless one is standing on the top observation deck of the watchtower itself. The top of the tower measures slightly higher.

 
Stone tower overlooks the canyon with flat desert to the right.
The Colorado River sweeps through the canyon below Desert View.

Desert View

(Elevation: 7438 feet / 2267 meters)
NOTE: The East Entrance to the park and most Desert View Facilities remain CLOSED because of COVID-19 lockdowns on the Navajo Nation. 11/6/2020

A short ¼-mile (½-km) walk leads from the parking area, past historic buildings, to the rim.

From Desert View Point you can see the Colorado River make a big bend to the west.

Last updated: December 4, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

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