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Desert View Watchtower Tours and Activities

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741 Reviews
Desert View Watchtower
Enjoy a sweeping panoramic view of the Grand Canyon from the historic Desert View Watchtower. Architect Mary Colter created the tower, built in the early 1930s, as an homage to the watchtowers built by the Ancestral Puebloan people who once inhabited the Four Corners area. The murals inside were painted by a local Hopi artist.

The Basics
The Desert View Watchtower serves as the official national park visitor center for the Desert View area of Grand Canyon National Park. Most guided tours of the South Rim, including day trips from Flagstaff and Sedona, stop at the Watchtower, along with other area attractions such as Grand Canyon Village, Yavapai Point, and Lipan Point. Fixed-wing flightseeing tours offer a unique perspective on the Grand Canyon landmark from above. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Desert View Watchtower is a must-see for art lovers, history buffs, and photographers.
  • Be prepared to climb 85 steps to reach the tower’s observation deck. 
  • The Kiva Room within the structure houses a shop selling books and gifts.
  • Only the bottom floor of the Desert View Watchtower is wheelchair accessible.

How to Get There
The Desert View Watchtower stands at the East Gate of Grand Canyon National Park. Getting there takes about 90 minutes by car from Flagstaff and 40 minutes from Grand Canyon Village.

When to Get There
The best time to visit the Desert View Watchtower is during either the spring or autumn shoulder season, when temperatures are cool and summer crowds have thinned. The watchtower often hosts cultural and ranger programs, so check the calendar before your trip.

Desert View Drive
This scenic route through Grand Canyon National Park follows the South Rim from just east of Grand Canyon Village all the way to the Desert View Watchtower and the park’s east entrance. Visitors who make the drive will pass six marked canyon viewpoints, four picnic areas, an Ancestral Puebloan ruin site, and the Tusayan Museum, which displays artifacts and traditional handicrafts made by local native tribes.
Address: Desert View, Grand Canyon Village 86023, USA
Admission: Varies
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4 Tours and Activities to Experience Desert View Watchtower

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45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona

45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona

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939
Take an exhilarating helicopter flight that whisks you from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to the North Rim. Through the ECO-Star helicopter’s panoramic windows, see the world's largest ponderosa pines in Kaibab National Forest and the mighty Colorado River. Snap photos of the Painted Desert, Desert View Watchtower, Marble Canyon, and Point Imperial before your return flight takes you through the dramatic backdrop of the Dragon Corridor. Choose from a wide selection of departure times to suit your schedule.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$279.99
From
$279.99
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie

Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie

star-4.5
172
Get to know the Grand Canyon on this guided Jeep tour around the East Rim. Begin with a visit to the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater and watch “Grand Canyon: the Movie.” Then choose one of three different tours: a daytime voyage and two sunset options. Enjoy amazing views of the Grand Canyon’s brilliant colors and various rock formations while learning about the history and geology of the area from the expert tour guide. A hotel pickup and drop-off in the town of Tusayan, AZ is included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.80
From
$128.80
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane with Optional Hummer Tour

Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane with Optional Hummer Tour

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85
See some of the Grand Canyon's most popular landmarks on this incredible 40-minute, fixed-wing airplane adventure. Enjoy aerial views of the Grand Canyon’s East Rim, the Painted Desert of badlands, located in the Four Corners area from Grand Canyon National Park into Petrified Forest National Park and Imperial Point, the Grand Canyon’s highest spire. Also, fly over the North Rim and Kaibab National Forest, which borders both the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon.
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  • 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$159.99
From
$159.99
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon Sightseeing Tour from Williams, Tusayan, and Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Sightseeing Tour from Williams, Tusayan, and Grand Canyon

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7
Currently the Park Service is not allowing us to mix groups due to COVID-19 safety procedures, so we are unable to provide this tour for less than 6 people. If you have a smaller group, please reach out to our company directly to discuss other options. Family-friendly sightseeing of the South Rim of Grand Canyon in style. Our customized Vans never have more than 9 guests, so you enjoy a comfortable tour with a knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic guide who loves what they do. We provide transportation from your hotel or campground in Williams, Tusayan, or Grand Canyon Village with everything you need to have a great time. Grab your camera and leave the lunch (Mar 15 - Oct 31)*, snacks, beverages, and driving to us! Lunch ordered after booking: Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey, Vegetarian, PB & J. Gluten and/or dairy free available upon request. * In winter we take you to the El Tovar for lunch. You will be responsible for your own bill. The tour is automatically discounted $20 per person.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$178.21
From
$178.21
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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Things to do near Grand Canyon National Park