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Desert View Visitor Center Trail is a 0.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 0.4 mi Elevation gain 36 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Wheelchair friendly

Kid friendly

Stroller friendly

Hiking

Walking

Partially paved

Views

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Beautiful view of the Grand Canyon! There are steep paths and no railing in some areas but not others. To the northeast you will see the cliffs known as the Palisades of the Desert, which form the southeastern wall of Grand Canyon. If you follow those cliffs north to a significant rock outcropping, you're looking at Comanche Point. Beyond Comanche Point, you can barely see the gorge carved by the Little Colorado River. The flat, mesalike hill to the east is Cedar Mountain. From the Watchtower roof, the highest point on the South Rim at 7,522 feet above sea level, it's possible to see the Colorado River, the Painted Desert to the northeast, the San Francisco Peaks to the south, and Marble Canyon to the north. It's a nice easy paved path to the Watchtower and 85 steps to the top floor; inside is a tapestry of the Puebloan people in petroglyphs, paintings and symbols by various artists.

Arizona Office of Tourism, 2702 N. 3rd St., Suite 4015 , Phoenix, AZ, 85004, Phone: 888-520-3434, Fax: 602-240-5432, mfioritt@pni.com

Directions from East Entrance Station: Drive westward less than a mile on East Rim Drive to reach the Desert View Visitor Center.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (58)
Photos (178)
Recordings (24)
Completed (213)
Trinh Mai
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
Scenic driving

Beautiful drive with lots of stop to enjoy the view..skygazing at night was also amazing.. never seen so many stars in the sky before..we saw the milky way when we were recently there.. absolutely beautiful!

Kaitlin Harvey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 8, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful view, free entry and parking if you are active duty military. Went for a drive to look at more views and saw some beautiful Elks

mando V the beast
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 23, 2020
Walking

awesome place to visit beautiful views

Brittany VanVleck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 16, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely beautiful. Fee to get in ($38? or something around there for a car-full), there was a gift shop near the parking area, with a decently clean restroom. Multiple restrooms all around, good for small kids!. This portion is mostly paved, well maintained. Keep an eye on the kiddos, there are no "barriers" keeping people from getting too close to the edge. This definitely lived up to the hype. Would love to return when we have more time to explore! So much of the park we'd have liked to see but didn't have time on this trip.

Heather Clayton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 22, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful views of the stars (just remember to stop the recording when you get back in the car lol)

View Heather's Recording
Sam Karson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 18, 2020
Walking

Magnificent views.

View Sam's Recording
cherry williamson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 12, 2019
Hiking

Amazing view!

Lucas Gonzaga
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 24, 2019
Hiking

The view from the point is nice. But the concept of the building is disgusting: a fake old fashion/amerindian traditional style made with a concrete base and metal skeleton by white workers. No interpretation about the first nations, their culture and history have been wiped out at the same time than their villages. Best example of cultural appropriation. What a shame for the american people.

Justin Ziegmont
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2019
Scenic driving

Beautiful drive with lots of spots to stop and take pictures along the way. Be prepared for crowds though at almost all of the stops.

View Justin's Recording
Lauren Hartog
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 29, 2019
Hiking

First stop from the east entrance. The tower provides a great view and information about indigenous people. There are bathrooms, gift shop and ice cream right off the parking lot. However it can be quite crowded. If you’re looking for something more secluded pop in for a quick climb up the tower and move onto a less visited area of the canyon.

Melinda Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 12, 2019
Hiking

Only a 20 min drive from the Grand Canyon Visitor center. I wouldn’t consider this to be much of a hike. But climbing up the tower is neat and amazing views from the top. Also a nice place to grab some ice cream and relax.

Chris Goodfellow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 4, 2018
Scenic driving

H to Kim. Remember not Jj Tom CFC

Bill Crain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2017
Hiking

1st time at the canyon 15 yrs ago walking around....

Pat Ribotto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2017
Walking

The first major viewpoint when coming into the park from the east. Worth climbing the tower to the viewing area. I've stopped here a few times when in the park. As with all the viewpoints, the canyon takes on a little different look at each. You can actually see the watchtower from the river when doing a rafting trip. Pretty awesome

Laurie Pastor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 12, 2016
Walking

Fantastic Walk. Awe inspiring views. May 2015

KQ Mae
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 10, 2016
Walking

Beautiful view of the Grand Canyon! I wished I could stay longer. There were so many people on this area, though. There are steep paths and no railing in some areas. Will come back again and hike the trails.

Breck Tuttle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 30, 2016
Walking

I like the way the building looks and the views

Bre Larsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2016
Walking

Easy walk with great views. Be prepared it's very busy. Also many places that have no railing so watch the kiddos!

Jeff Gifford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2016

Nice overlook, 1st major one coming in from the east, worth the stop if you just got into the park, probably could skip if you came in the South entrance, although seeing the East wall of the canyon is best viewed from here

Jeff Tomlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2016
Walking

Nice views, from the tower and the trail, easy walk, woryh a stop

Doug Neidholdt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2016
Walking

Watch tower was nice, great views.

Matt Franklin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 19, 2016
Scenic driving

Incredible views from the tower. Very crowded! Restrooms, store, and grill

Blue H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 1, 2016

Awesome worth the drive and hike! Different angle of the canyon!

Bill Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 24, 2016
Walking

In June 2004, our first stop in the Grand Canyon was the 70-foot high Desert View Watchtower. We were some of the first ones to arrive and got some nice early morning shots. We had to wear sweatshirts, as the breeze, even in late June was brisk. To the northeast we saw the cliffs known as the Palisades of the Desert, which form the southeastern wall of Grand Canyon. If you follow those cliffs north to a significant rock outcropping, you're looking at Comanche Point. Beyond Comanche Point, you can barely see the gorge carved by the Little Colorado River. The flat, mesalike hill to the east is Cedar Mountain. From the Watchtower roof, the highest point on the South Rim at 7,522 feet above sea level, it's possible to see the Colorado River, the Painted Desert to the northeast, the San Francisco Peaks to the south, and Marble Canyon to the north. It's a nice easy paved path to the Watchtower and 85 steps to the top floor; inside is a tapestry of the Puebloan people in petroglyphs, paintings and symbols by various artists. On the outside of the tower used to be a Bible inscription: Psalm 66:4: “All the Earth worships Thee; they sing praises to Thee; sing praises to Thy name.” My understanding is this was supposed to be removed in 2003; however, was still there in June 2004. Also on the outside are intentional flaws designed in by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter; one is a Balolookong, the Pueblo Indian snake spirit on the exterior wall. The Desert Watchtower is a must-see stop on the South Rim!

Eric Walborn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 17, 2016

Great view upon entering the park. The tower is great and gives a great view of the canyon.

Corbin Stokes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 11, 2015
Walking

Short walk along a paved trail to a cool tower.

Jason Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 26, 2015
Hiking

Not much of a hike but the tower is absolutely worth the visit. We had fun exploring the tower and observation deck from the top. There are lots of buildings around the site with a general store. Our favorite stop in the 1 day we spend along the south rim.

Jack Tatsch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 27, 2013
Walking
First to Review

This trail is really just a walk on a paved path out from the visitor's center to the Watchman Tower, and is about .4 mile round trip. Grand Canyon gets lots of visitors and to avoid the worst of the crowds, go early in the AM.

Adognis S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 12, 2020
Hiking
View Adognis's Recording
Alyse R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 7, 2020
Hiking
View Alyse's Recording
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