Desert View Drive

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Desert View Drive

The Desert View Drive portion of SR 64 is a scenic road from Grand Canyon Village - 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)
  • Private vehicles, are allowed on Desert View Drive
 
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 area.
 
Pipe creek
View from Pipe Creek Vista.

NPS/Marge Ullmann

Stops Along the Way

Beginning in Grand Canyon Village, and traveling east.

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 Ruin and Museum

The Tusayan Ruin 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.

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)

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.

Climb the stairs to the top of the watchtower for outstanding views of the canyon.



Download the Desert View Brochure (1 MB pdf file)
 

Desert View Services Area

.
  • Desert View Point
  • Desert View Watchtower/Grand Canyon Conservancy store
  • Desert View Trading Post gift shop
  • Desert View General Store and Deli
  • Desert View Service Station
  • Restrooms
  • Desert View Campground Closed for the Winter. The campground will be open for the 2019 season between mid-April and mid-October 2019.
 
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Duration:
10 minutes, 48 seconds

Perched on the edge of Grand Canyon, a surprising stone tower celebrates ancient mysteries of the Southwest. The Desert View Watchtower is a monument to a time, a place and a people. Discover what inspired architect Mary Colter to build the Watchtower in 1932.

Last updated: October 20, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

(928) 638-7888

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