Visit the Desert View Watchtower

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Added by Edward Webb

Visit the Desert View Watchtower see a design from the Ancestral Puebloans. Don't forget to catch the view of the Grand Canyon at the top of the 70-foot structure.

While not a replica of any known watchtower along the Grand Canyon, the Desert View Watchtower is an art installation to honor the Hopi Native Americans. The watchtower was designed by Mary Colter, the same woman responsible for the Bright Angel Lodge renovations in 1935. Much of the painting within the tower was done by Fred Kabotie, a Hopi from second Mesa with the ceiling images done by Fred Geary.

Going up into the Desert View Watchtower is completely free. In the tower you will be able to see the unique combination of Native American and Euro-American symbolism which serves as an example of how cultural groups have interacted in areas such as the Grand Canyon. 

The tower also boasts some amazing views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. The panoramic views atop the 70-foot structure are worth the trip to the top, even on a busy day.

Don't forget to stay and photograph a sunset while you're here!

A more detailed history of the Watchtower can be found here thanks to the National Park Service.

Friendly reminder: the road to the Desert View Watchtower is open year round, but the park sometimes closes the road due to snow. 

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🥇Top Contributor

9 months ago

Art and history mixed together

A cool part of the park that has a significant architectural building perched at the rim. Can get crowded.

🥈 Contributor

almost 2 years ago

Amazing views of the Grand Canyon

This was the first stop we made upon arriving to the Grand Canyon and it did not disappoint. The views from here are absolutely amazing, the edge is safeguarded and friendly for all ages, wheelchair accessible and there are food and souvenir options. This stop does get crowded - the watchtower gets backed up with people going up the stairs to the various lookouts. I recommend you check out another viewpoint if this one is backed up.

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4.5/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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