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 Cameron, 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 is credited for designing many buildings at the Grand Canyon.

Recent research is now indicating that she probably only decorated 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 which is 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 accessible 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.

Not sure which area of the Grand Canyon to Visit?

Download our Free Quick and Easy Guide to the Grand Canyon’s 4 Areas!


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

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

Planning a vacation shouldn’t be stressful. We created a step-by-step itinerary for the Grand Canyon so you can visit the best places at the right times.

Not only that, but we’ll tell you about the park while you drive with our audio guide!  Stop planning and start having the vacation of your dreams now!


GRAND CANYON GUIDE: To read or watch all of our content about the Grand Canyon, Check out our Grand Canyon Homepage

AREAS: The Grand Canyon is divided into 4 areas: The South Rim, North Rim, Grand Canyon West, and the East Side of the Grand Canyon (Page, AZ). Learn about the 4 areas of the Grand Canyon with our Free Printable.

THINGS TO DO: There is much more to do than hike and look at viewpoints.  Explore Antelope Canyon or ride a mule.

WHERE TO STAY: Learn all about where to camp or stay when visiting the Grand Canyon.

WHERE TO EAT: Check out the best places to eat and get groceries at the South Rim

WATCH: Enjoy videos of the beautiful Grand Canyon while learning our best tips by watching our Grand Canyon YouTube Playlist


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