The Desert View Watchtower, constructed in 1932 as a replica of a prehistoric Indian tower, commands a magnificent view of the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert to the east and the San Fransico Peaks to the south. This 70 foot (21 meter) tower is the highest point on the South Rim. The interior walls of the tower feature murals by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie.
I realized a bucket list item here --- I got my first view of the Grand Canyon and it took my breath away!
This is one of the first spots where you can get a look at this amazing sight after entering the south end of the Grand Canyon National Park. The kids had no idea what we out to see there. They complained all the way down the trail until the sight of the canyon spread out in front of us. Suddenly they were quiet, that's how stunning this view was.
Adjacent to the viewing platform rails is a 70-foot tower with a bookstore and its upper floors that serve as observation decks offering magnificent views of the canyon and the Painted Desert., many of the floors also contain murals and other artifacts representing the area's early Indian residents.
Climb the stairs, there is no charge for doing so and treat yourself to an even more vast perspective of the breathtaking view than you'll get from the viewing platform below it. Amazing!
My favorite place that we stopped on our visit to the Grand Canyon was the Desert View Watchtower. It is a great way to step away from the crowds and see the canyon from a higher perspective. Stop and chat with a ranger and they will be more than happy to answer all your questions about what you’re seeing below. The views are fantastic from up on top of the tower, and you are outside, so there is no dirty glass to peer through, unlike on the lower levels where the wind has scratched and blasted the glass viewing windows. The gift shop below is well-stocked and even has some exhibits of its own for those interested. Take the time to climb the tower and you will get a view like no other.