Desert View Watchtower Tours

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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.
Location
Address: Desert View, Grand Canyon Village 86023, USA
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Admission: Varies
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8 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane

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, featuring Horseshoe Bend; 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.
  • Duration: 40 minutes
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USD149.99
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  • Duration: 40 minutes
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USD149.99

Small-Group Grand Canyon Day Tour from Flagstaff

Make the most out of your time at the Grand Canyon by taking this full-day small-group hiking tour from Flagstaff. Get picked up at your Flagstaff hotel and then journey to this natural wonder of the world. Once there, travel along the rim of the Grand Canyon as the guide explains the geology of the area. Have lunch at incredible Native-American ruins and do an optional stop at an old Navajo trading post.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD157.99
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD157.99

Comprehensive Grand Canyon Tour from Flagstaff

Explore the Grand Canyon and other top attractions on a full-day tour from Flagstaff. Visit Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and the Cameron Trading Post to learn about Arizona's Native American tribes and natural history. Continue to the Grand Canyon and soak in its majestic beauty from several lookout points on the South Rim. Includes lunch, bottled water, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD164.78
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  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD164.78

Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie

Get to know the Grand Canyon with this guided, 2- or 3-hour Jeep tour around the East Rim. Begin with a visit to the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater and watch the 34-minute “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.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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USD125.99
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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USD125.99

Grand Canyon Sunset Tour from Sedona

Watch the sun set over the Grand Canyon on a full-day sightseeing tour from Sedona, and some some of the desert’s most scenic places. Drive through Oak Creek Canyon and the Painted Desert, stop at a Native American trading post, visit spectacular overlooks on the South Rim, then eat dinner at the historic Bright Angel Lodge. This 12-hour Grand Canyon trip includes pickup and drop-off at Sedona hotels, National Park fees, and dinner, and it's limited to 14 people for personal service.
  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD175.76
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  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD175.76

Comprehensive Grand Canyon Tour from Sedona

No trip to Arizona is complete without seeing the Grand Canyon, whose beauty is well worth the 2-hour drive from Sedona. See the Canyon and gain insight into the local culture and landscape on this guided 12-hour group tour, including stops at Sunset Crater and the Pueblo ruins at Wupatki National Monument. Dinner, guided narration, and roundtrip transportation are included on this comprehensive excursion.
  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD164.78
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  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD164.78

Grand Canyon Deluxe Tour From Flagstaff

Explore the features of Grand Canyon National Park on this informative day trip from Flagstaff. Discover the South Rim at Yavapai Point, venture through Grand Canyon Village, and snap pics at the Lipan Point overlook. This popular excursion takes you on a scenic drive via the Navajo Nation and makes a stop at the Cameron Trading Post. Lunch at Maswik Lodge is included.
  • Duration: 10 hours
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USD153.09
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  • Duration: 10 hours
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USD153.09

Private Grand Canyon Tour with Ancient Ruins and Lava Field from Flagstaff

Explore the iconic Grand Canyon, along with some of its lesser-known nearby attractions, during this 12-hour private day trip from Flagstaff for up to two guests. Stroll across an ancient lava flow at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, then visit the 1,500-year-old Pueblo ruin of ‘Wupatki.’ Cap it all off with a visit to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, including plenty of free time for independent exploration.
  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD407.20
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  • Duration: 12 hours
From
USD407.20

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