Like a lone sentinel keeping watch of the east entrance to one of the grandest views around. The Desert View Watchtower perches over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon just as the Colorado River tracks north into the scenic desert landscape of Arizona. The Desert View Watchtower seems like an ancient relic of the Puebloan people. However, it was constructed in the 1930s by famed architect Mary Colter. She painstakingly handpicked every stone striving for a weathered look to make the Desert View Watchtower a relic from the past.
The Desert View Watchtower interior is just as impressive as its exterior. A circular staircase leads to three floors each with windows allowing unparalleled views of the canyon below. Native American symbols and pictographs adorn the walls. Including a mural of the Hopi Snake Legend. May Colter’s work paying homage to the native people of the Grand Canyon region was so well done it has become a must see in the land of incredible views.
Like all popular national parks, go early. Visit during the shoulder season. The views are worth it but the Desert View Watchtower loses some of its mystique when walking up the stairs packed like sardines peering around those in front to see. Much harder to appreciate the grandeur that is the Grand Canyon when sharing those fine views with tens of thousands of people.
The Desert View Watchtower is a great stop either on the way into the Grand Canyon or on the way out. To me the Desert View area will always be a special place. It was the first time my wife saw the Grand Canyon and I was there with her. Making it one of the finest views I will ever see in the park.
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