Visit the Desert View Watchtower see a design from the Ancestral Puebloans. Don't forget to catch the view of the Grand Canyon at the top of the 70-foot structure.

While not a replica of any known watchtower along the Grand Canyon, the Desert View Watchtower is an art installation to honor the Hopi Native Americans. The watchtower was designed by Mary Colter, the same woman responsible for the Bright Angel Lodge renovations in 1935. Much of the painting within the tower was done by Fred Kabotie, a Hopi from second Mesa with the ceiling images done by Fred Geary.

Going up into the Desert View Watchtower is completely free. In the tower you will be able to see the unique combination of Native American and Euro-American symbolism which serves as an example of how cultural groups have interacted in areas such as the Grand Canyon. 

The tower also boasts some amazing views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. The panoramic views atop the 70-foot structure are worth the trip to the top, even on a busy day.

Don't forget to stay and photograph a sunset while you're here!

A more detailed history of the Watchtower can be found here thanks to the National Park Service.

Friendly reminder: the road to the Desert View Watchtower is open year round, but the park sometimes closes the road due to snow. 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Water
  • Snack
  • Friends & Family
Show More
Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Scenic

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

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Photograph a Grand Canyon Sunset at the Desert View Watchtower

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.

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Photograph Desert View Watchtower

Desert View Watchtower is a 70-foot high stone tower located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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Capturing the Monsoons in Grand Canyon NP

Being in the right place at the right time is the biggest challenge when attempting to photograph the monsoons at the Grand Canyon.

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