Desert View Drive

aerial view above a paved road traveling through a forested plateau on the edge of a mile deep canyon filled with colorful peaks and cliffs.
Open to private vehicles, Desert View Drive travels along the South Rim of the canyon 23 miles (37 km) between Grand Canyon Village and Desert View.
 

Drop-down Index of Locations and Scenic Overlooks Described On This Page Navigation

 

Most Desert View Facilities Are Open

Updated May 7, 2021. For the details, scroll down to the bottom of this page, or click here >

 
two cars parked by the side of the road at a scenic overlook. Behind a stone guard wall, four people are viewing a colorful canyon landscape of peaks and cliffs.
The 23 mile (37 km) long Desert View Drive features marvelous panoramic views of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. There is parking at every viewpoint.

Along Desert View Drive

Desert View Drive portion of SR 64 is a scenic road that begins near Grand Canyon Village. Private vehicles can drive east along the canyon rim for 23 miles (37 km) to the Desert View Services Area, and the East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park.

What's Along the Desert View Drive portion of SR 64:

  • Six developed canyon viewpoints
  • Four picnic areas
  • Five unmarked pullouts
  • Tusayan Museum and ruin site (Ancestral Puebloan) CLOSED

Desert View Drive begins at the juction with South Entrance Road: Mile Marker 241.5

 
Map of Desert View Drive on the S.Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. an overview is shown at the top, showing the entire length of the drive. On the right, an insert of the Desert View developed area. Additional text is on this page.
There is just one scenic drive open to private cars on the South Rim, Desert View Drive. The 22 mile (35 km) long Desert View Drive features marvelous panoramic views of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. There is parking at every viewpoint. Most Desert View services remain closed at this time. Be sure to bring enough food and water for everyone in your group. 4/8/2021
 
on an overcast day with dramatic shadows, a view down a ridgeline of vermilion colored stratified rock to a lone promontory. In the distance peaks and cliffs are seen rising from the floor of a mile-deep canyon.
The view looking north from Pipe Creek Vista.

Pipe Creek Vista

Mile Marker 242.5

This pullout can be accessed by private vehicle or by using the free Kaibab Rim (Orange Route) Shuttle Bus, departing from Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Since this is the first view of the canyon along Desert View Drive, it can be a congested area with limited parking.

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

 
Rounded pale rock formation against Grand Canyon in the background.
Rock formations provide food for thought. What shape do you see?

Duck on a Rock

(Elevation: 7,096 feet / 2,162 meters) Mile Marker 246

Grand Canyon’s seemingly endless rock formations evoke shapes that only our imaginations can bring to life. Early mapmakers saw castles and temples in the rocks. Decade after decade, visitors have come to this spot to look for the “Duck on a Rock.” What do you see?

Duck on a Rock is the next canyon viewpoint beyond Pipe Creek Overlook.

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

Grandview Point

(Elevation: 7399 feet / 2256 meters) Mile Marker 251

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.
Moran Point, named after the painter, Thomas Moran, features a wide pallet of colors.

Moran Point

(Elevation: 7160 feet / 2182 meters) Mile Marker 258

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. The 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 outline of a large kiva, or ceremonial room, can be seen within the pueblo

Tusayan Pueblo & Museum CLOSED

Mile Marker 262
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: 3/27/2021

Download Tusayan Ruin Trail Guide (820kb pdf)

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

 
Rock formations surrounded by fog and low clouds.
View from Lipan point with Vishnu Temple breaking through the clouds.

Lipan Point

(Elevation: 7360 feet / 2243 meters) Mile Marker 263.5

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) Mile Marker 264

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) Mile Marker 264.5
NOTE: Several Desert View Facilities remain CLOSED. An updated list is below. 5/7/2021

  • 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.
 

Most Desert View Facilities Are Open

Updated May 7, 2021

Visitors can enter and exit the park through the East Entrance at Desert View.

The following Desert View areas and services are open for visitors:
• Viewpoints in the Desert View vicinity
• Desert View parking lot and RV parking
• Restrooms located between the Desert View parking lot and the canyon rim.

Trading Post - Coffee and Ice Cream 9 am - 5 pm
Desert View Market 9 am - 5 pm
Pay-at-the-Pump Service Station

Desert View Watchtower Retail Store (Kiva Room)
Fridays through Mondays 9 am.- 5 pm.
CDC guidelines and physical distancing measures are in place. Face coverings are required to shop in the store. Only the ground level retail location is open to the public. The tower itself remains closed until further notice.

Desert View Campground is open for the season. (NO HOOK-UPS). Due to high demand, Desert View Campground now requires advanced reservations. You may book reservations up to 6 months in advance online at recreation.gov, or by phone (877-444-6777). Same Day Reservations may also be made online or by phone. Desert View Campground does not hold back any campsites for first-come, first-served camping, and it does not have a wait list or call back system. More >

With public health in mind, some facilities remain closed:

  • Desert View Watchtower, the tower itself is CLOSED
  • Desert View Camping Supplies at the Gas Station CLOSED
  • Desert View Deli CLOSED
  • Tusayan Ruin and Museum CLOSED

Last updated: May 7, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

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