Desert View

Most Desert View Facilities Remain Closed

Updated November 6, 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
 
View north past tree-covered rocky outcrop towards green Colorado Rover in the distance. To the right are steep red-colored cliffs that extend from foreground, back along the river.
View north from Desert View Point at the Colorado River. NPS/Kristen M. Caldon
 

Desert View

The information below is for reference only.

We are continuing to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance and adjust operations as needed.

 

Desert View is a small settlement on the South Rim located 25 miles/ 41 km east of Grand Canyon Village, and near the eastern edge of Grand Canyon. Arizona Highway 64, Also known as Desert View Drive, is a scenic road that connects Desert view with Grand Canyon Village.

For visitors coming into the park via the East Entrance, a stop at Desert View provides the first views of Grand Canyon.

 
Map of Desert View settlement showing parking lots, footpaths and buildings, in relation to the canyon rim.
Map of Desert View settlement showing parking lots, footpaths and buildings, in relation to the canyon rim.

Attractions include:

  • Some of the finest views of the Colorado River and canyon geology
  • Park ranger programs and cultural demonstrations
  • Historic 70 ft. Desert View Watchtower with observation deck.
  • The nearby Tusayan Museum highlighting the story of American Indians of the region

Facilities include:

Learn more about the 25 mile scenic Desert View Drive >

 
looking acros round Kiva Room of Watchtower. Large picture windows around the circumfrence alternate with stone pillars that hold up a circular log roof. Flagstone floor. In the center, a primitive ladder that goes from floor to ceiling.
Perched on the rim of the canyon, the Watchtower reflects the architecture of the ancestral Puebloans in the Four Corners region. Climb the stairs for views up and down the canyon. . On a clear day, one can see well over 100 miles. (161 km) This photo shows Watchtower Kiva Room after retail shop removed, and partially restored to architect Mary Colter's original design. January 2015.
 
Front side of Watchtower as seen from ground level looking up. to the left is the wall of partially collapsed structure. A partial glimpse of Grand Canyon barely seen boyond the tower.
Desert View Watchtower

Desert View Watchtower (1932) CLOSED

An unusual stone tower designed by Mary Colter, in the style of Ancestral Puebloan towers. Watchtower Video.

  • The Watchtower is the official visitor contact station at Desert View.
  • Climb 85 steps for a 360° view from observation deck 70 ft (21 m) above.
  • Study wall murals by Hopi Artist Fred Kabotie
  • Meet cultural demonstrators and watch them work
  • Spot the Colorado River turning north and the Painted Desert extending towards Navajo and Hopi Indian lands.
  • Visit the Kiva Room for expansive views through large windows and Grand Canyon Conservancy shop with books and gifts.
 
On the left, remains of pueblo walls several feet high. On the right a small group of people is listening to ranger with back towards camera conducting tour
During the summer, park rangers lead tours of the site

Tusayan Pueblo and Museum (1928)

Tusayan Pueblo is the remains of a small Ancestral Puebloan village located 3 miles (5 km) west of Desert View. This was a thriving community that created pottery, arrowheads and other household artifacts. Hours: 9 am to 5 pm

  • Walk the relatively flat 0.1 mile (200 m) self-guiding trail around the site.
  • Imagine Puebloan Indian life some 800 years ago.
  • Attend daily ranger-led ruin tours at 11 am and 2 pm (summer season)
  • Download: Tusayan Ruin Trail Guide (821kb PDF file)
 
front of Tusayan Museum, a small mostly stone building with log vigas and lentils. NPS Arrowhead above front door.
Tusayan Museum

Tusayan Museum has exhibits that help bring the pueblo to life. Admission is free. Hours: 9 am to 5 pm
Note: Tusayan Pueblo and Musuem has been closed untill further notice as a precaution - due to concerns about COVID-19 11/6/2020

  • View 2,000–4,000 year old artifacts along with traditional handicrafts made by regional tribes.
  • Learn about the prehistoric people who once made this place their home.
  • Visit the museum's bookstore/shop.
 
 
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Duration:
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The Desert View area has been used as a gathering place for thousands of years. Visitors can see a glimpse of the ancient past at the Tusayan Ruin and Museum. The Desert View Watchtower, is modeled after the architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau. Today Desert View represents the physical and cultural gateway from Grand Canyon National Park to the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

Last updated: November 6, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

Contact Us