Desert View Watchtower Tours
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Enjoy a sweeping panoramic view of the Grand Canyon from the historic Desert View Watchtower. Architect Mary Colter created the tower, built in the early 1930s, as an homage to the watchtowers built by the Ancestral Puebloan people who once inhabited the Four Corners area. The murals inside were painted by a local Hopi artist.
The Desert View Watchtower serves as the official national park visitor center for the Desert View area of Grand Canyon National Park. Most guided tours of the South Rim, including day trips from Flagstaff and Sedona, stop at the Watchtower, along with other area attractions such as Grand Canyon Village, Yavapai Point, and Lipan Point. Fixed-wing flightseeing tours offer a unique perspective on the Grand Canyon landmark from above.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Desert View Watchtower is a must-see for art lovers, history buffs, and photographers.
- Be prepared to climb 85 steps to reach the tower’s observation deck.
- The Kiva Room within the structure houses a shop selling books and gifts.
- Only the bottom floor of the Desert View Watchtower is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Desert View Watchtower stands at the East Gate of Grand Canyon National Park. Getting there takes about 90 minutes by car from Flagstaff and 40 minutes from Grand Canyon Village.
When to Get There
The best time to visit the Desert View Watchtower is during either the spring or autumn shoulder season, when temperatures are cool and summer crowds have thinned. The watchtower often hosts cultural and ranger programs, so check the calendar before your trip.
Desert View Drive
This scenic route through Grand Canyon National Park follows the South Rim from just east of Grand Canyon Village all the way to the Desert View Watchtower and the park’s east entrance. Visitors who make the drive will pass six marked canyon viewpoints, four picnic areas, an Ancestral Puebloan ruin site, and the Tusayan Museum, which displays artifacts and traditional handicrafts made by local native tribes.
Address: Desert View, Grand Canyon Village 86023, USA
3 Tours and Activities to Experience Desert View Watchtower
Nature and Wildlife
Get to know the Grand Canyon on this guided Jeep tour around the East Rim. Begin with a visit to the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater and watch “Grand Canyon: the Movie.” Then choose one of three different tours: a daytime voyage and two sunset options. Enjoy amazing views of the Grand Canyon’s brilliant colors and various rock formations while learning about the history and geology of the area from the expert tour guide. A hotel pickup and drop-off in the town of Tusayan, AZ is included.
Explore the Grand Canyon on this guided, small-group full-day sightseeing adventure around the South Rim. Beginning in Las Vegas, travel through the Mojave Desert and along famous Route 66 en route to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim for an entertaining and educational narrated minivan tour. See a number of different panoramic views from various lookout locations while learning about the history and geology of the canyon from the expert tour guide. A picnic lunch, snack, and bottled water, plus transportation, entry fees and a Las Vegas hotel pickup and drop-off are all included.
Join one of our family-friendly group sightseeing tours and visit the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in style. Our customized Vans and SUVs never have more than 10 guests, so you enjoy a comfortable tour with a knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic guide who loves what they do. We provide door-to-door service from your hotel or campground in Williams, Tusayan, or Grand Canyon Village with everything you need to have a great time. Grab your camera and leave the lunch (Mar 15 - Oct 31)*, snacks, beverages, and driving to us! Please contact us with sandwich order after booking: Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey, Vegetarian, PB & J. Gluten and/or dairy free available upon request. * In winter we take you to the historic El Tovar for lunch where you will be responsible for your own bill. The tour is automatically discounted $20 per person during this time of year.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Desert View Watchtower?
The best ways to experience Desert View Watchtower are:
- Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie
- Grand Canyon South Rim Day Trip from Las Vegas with Optional Helicopter Tour
- Grand Canyon Sightseeing Tour from Williams, Tusayan, and Grand Canyon
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