Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower

Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon National Park: Hours, Address, Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower Reviews: 4.5/5

Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower

Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower
4.5
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,245 reviews
Excellent
942
Very good
250
Average
46
Poor
6
Terrible
1

orlandotourist
orlandoflorida900 contributions
Jul 2019
This was the last stop for our tour group as we headed northeast out of the Grand Canyon. This is 25 miles on Desert View Drive from the South Rim, where most of the activity is, but is one of the more interesting.

On the east end are be beginnings of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River, and this Desert View Watchtower is yet another wonderful piece of natural architecture designed by Mary Jane Colter for the Grand Canyon National Park.

Besides the wonderful vistas and natural architecture, the artwork of the Hopi Native Americans that inhabited the area are on full display throughout the inside of the structure, and Hopi stories are told in the artwork as one ascends the different levels of the tower. It is a bit of a climb to the top, but if one takes time to admire the artwork at each level, it's easily accomplished.

There is a small gift shop that has a copy of Mary Jane Colter's book for sale.

Whether coming, or going from The Grand Canyon, experiencing this wonderful place would be lacking without a stop at The Desert View Watchtower.
Written June 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bill K
Mantorville, MN5,970 contributions
Apr 2022
On several previous trips to the Grand Canyon I have only visited the west end of the South Rim. This was my first visit to the East Entrance. I have to say I love the east end of the canyon. It is less crowded, easier to get around, and the views (especially at sunrise and sunset) are outstanding.

This overlook is especially nice with the watchtower and the dining facility/gift shops.
Written May 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jeff T
Saint Thomas, Ontario17 contributions
Dec 2019
As we entered the Park via the east entrance, the Desert View Watchtower was our very first stop. It proved a wonderful introduction to 2 unforgettable days. The weather was very cold but exceptionally clear. We visited twice, but the views are so expansive that the second was just as inspiring as the first. In addition, the Watchtower itself is well worth a visit with exquisite, intricate construction. The climb to the top is well worth the effort, expanding the already huge field of view. The interior of the tower is most interesting, covered with colorful native pictographs. The history of the tower is also fascinating with much of the material salvaged from earlier buildings in the canyon. Visitors will not be disappointed.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brandon K
Flagstaff, AZ1,544 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
This area is either your first stop on the way in to the park if you use the East gates, or it is your last view on your way out if you are driving down Desert View Drive. BE AWARE - right now the East gates are closed because of COVID restrictions and much of this area is restricted. When it is open, there is a great watchtower with amazing views of the canyon, whether it is your first or last view for your visit. If you are staying in the Village, it is well worth the trip out here because of the history of the watchtower and the views. Parking is decent and there is some walking needed, in case that is a concern. There is also food available (usually) but I don’t believe any is available during the COVID restrictions. The Desert View Drive is also worth it as you get a number of pull over vantage points with usually fewer people around than at the visitor’s center or the Village.
Written July 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ReadRibbet
581 contributions
Mar 2022
We decided to do the south rim of the Grand Canyon after an early departure from Page, AZ. The drive along Highway 64 was easy and less traveled in the early morning. Entering the park from the east allowed us to avoid the big crowds and longlines at the west Main entrance. The route is very drivable though you can park and access some trailheads. The pullouts for viewing and photos are designed well and provide spectacular views. The Desert View Watchtower is the first main viewing area from the east. The added bonus is the watchtower which while closed for climbing still provided clean views of the canyon. It also has a giftshop. Each stop often provided new views of the vast variety of rock formations in the canyon. Trees and vegetation also add interesting backgrounds. The further west we went on 64, the more crowded it became -- so start early and go in from the east entrance to enjoy the sites without huge crowds.
Written March 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gottalovepink
McAllen, TX98 contributions
Aug 2019
So I had read about the Watchtower and since it is a structure alongside the Grand Canyon I decided to make this one of my stops. On my first day at Grand Canyon National Park I made the drive to Desert View Watchtower and I was not disappointed. You get a view of the Colorado River and the Watchtower adds to the views. I went inside the Watchtower, but considering this was in August, it felt how and the climbing up the stairs did not help. I stayed for a Park Ranger talk, then decided to catch the sunset from here and the views were spectacular. People from the Park Ranger talk simply walked towards the edge of the rim and chose a place to sit to watch the sunset. It was simply amazing. I was able to a capture painted skies and breathtaking views. This should definitely be a MUST.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NatParkHikerJess
Peoria, IL1,610 contributions
Jul 2021
If it makes sense with your route of travel, I highly recommend coming in the East entrance. That whole road from that entrance is gorgeous with many lovely (and not busy) pull outs. Desert View is the first place you'll get to. There is a campground and a gas station with pumps over 24/7, which is good because the only other places to get gas around here are Cameron or Tusayan. Nothing else in the park.

The day we arrived at Desert View was thunderstorming, unfortunately. It still was breathtaking to see the storm move across the canyon. Due to lightning, the gift shop at the base of the tower closed for some reason (confused as to why since it's totally inside), but we could still go inside and just not go in the gift shop portion. There are also flush toilets and bathrooms and a snack shop that we did not visit. I would love to come back and see this view on a clear, sunny day.
Written August 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lisamarie L
Madison, WI721 contributions
Aug 2021
We were hear near sunset, and the views were strikingly gorgeous. The tower itself is closed due to the pandemic, but the outside of it is such an interesting structure.

Even without the tower, the lookout here is incredible. As the sun was setting, the stripes and colors in the rock were really brought out. We got some stunning views and photos.
Written September 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lance W
Lombard, IL133 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
The Desert View Watchtower exceeded my expectations for it. Having walked and driven a lot of the South Rim, I expected more amazing panoramas, but the view from Desert View north (upstream) and west (downstream) were probably the most beautiful of any point on the Rim. It’s certainly the best view of the Colorado River you can get. But beyond that even was the impressive beauty of the Watchtower itself, especially the artwork covering the walls and ceiling. It felt less like being in a gallery looking at artworks than of being inside an immense work of art.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

P R
53 contributions
Mar 2020
this stop was pretty cool, some history on the area and examples of art work inside the tower were awesome. views were great and the small store has coffee and collectibles for sale. pretty cool educational stop about the history and the area.
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 963
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower

Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 20 Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower tours on Tripadvisor