Photograph a Grand Canyon Sunset at the Desert View Watchtower

Rate this Adventure Desert View Watchtower

A short 25 mile drive takes you to some of the most beautiful locations for sunset, with far fewer tourists.

25 miles east of the Grand Canyon Visitor's Center is Desert View, here you will find the Desert View Watchtower and plenty of space to set up a tripod to photograph the sunset. Make sure to arrive early to get a good spot, even though this location is less trafficked compared to the Visitor's Center.

Desert View is open year round, but do take note that the road is not maintained in the winter so sometimes the NPS does close the road. This happened to me 3 years ago in March and I was not able to visit the Desert View Watchtower until 2017.

There is also a seasonal campground that is typically open from mid-April through mid-October, and I highly suggest camping outside of the Visitor's Center if that is your plan.

Pro Tip: The sun casts colors all over the Grand Canyon, so don't keep your eyes peeled on just one spot. Depending on the day you could see great color in the wall of the Canyon to the east or to the west! 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Remote Shutter
  • Water
  • Snack
  • Friends & Family
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Romantic
Scenic

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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