5 Things to do at Desert View in Grand Canyon National Park

Desert View is a great spot to see the Grand Canyon because it provides the best view of the Colorado River below. It’s also far away from the Grand Canyon Village, meaning fewer people!

Getting there

To access Desert View, you must drive the 23-mile Desert View Drive from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, or enter the park from Cameraon, AZ through the lesser-used Desert View Entrance.

Viewpoints along Desert View Drive

The drive from the visitor center has multiple viewpoints along the way. Some of our favorites are Grandview Point and Moran Point.

Grandview Point
Moran Point

Desert View Entrance

A ranger booth is located just east of the Desert View stop. It’s not a bad idea to enter through this entrance as it is much less crowded than the South Entrance near Tusayan.

To get there, you must go to Cameron, AZ, and turn onto Route 64.

Desert View Watchtower

The main attraction at Desert View is the Watchtower. Like Hermits Rest, this building was supposedly designed by Mary Colter, who took credit for designing many buildings at the Grand Canyon.

But she probably only decorate them, not designed them. Check out the book called False Architect and decide for yourself!

Desert View Campground

The Desert View Campground has only 49 sites, much fewer than the 300+ Mather Campground closer to the Grand Canyon Village. It is reservable on

National Historical Landmark

A national historical marker is located at Desert View commemorating a mostly-forgotten but incredibly tragic event when two airplanes collided in mid-air over the Grand Canyon.

Grandview Trail

The Grandview Trailhead is located at Grandview Point along the Desert View Road, and is one of four hikes into the Grand Canyon from the South Rim. It’s a brutally steep hike, and should not be taken lightly. See our tips for hiking in the Grand Canyon for more.


The Desert View Deli serves sandwitches and snacks, and the Desert View Trading Post serves coffee and ice cream.

You’re never far away from food at the Grand Canyon.

Additional Resources


Matt and Cheryl

We’re Matt and Cheryl, and we’re in the Rockies. :) We are both teachers. Cheryl teaches special ed, and Matt teaches American history. We love the American West and the national parks. We want to help you have a great vacation on your next trip to the Rockies.


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