The Desert View area is a virtual requirement for visitors to the South Rim. It offers some of the most spectacular views of the Grand Canyon, along with an all ages experience that combines history, art, architecture and Native American culture.
Modeled after ancient ancestral Puebloan watchtowers found in the Four Corners region, the Desert View Watchtower® is a unique example of Mary Colter's design style. Built in 1932, the 70-foot tower is the highest point on the South Rim and offers stunning 360-degree views of the Painted Desert, the San Francisco Peaks, the Vermilion Cliffs, and beyond. You can climb the stairs all the way to enjoy these spectacular views. The walls of the tower feature murals by Hopi artist Frank Kabotie.
The Desert View Deli offers healthy, made-to-order menu items inspired by regional and Native American cuisine, as well as a selection of grab and go foods. Choose from things like sandwiches, salads, southwestern chili and more. It's also a great place to pick up trail-ready snacks.
Tusayan Museum features exhibits of Pueblo Indian life at Grand Canyon 800 years ago. Then take a self-guided walk through the Tusayan Ruins, amid the juniper and pines to get a true sense of perspective on how these ancient people lived in harmony with nature. Ranger-led tours are also offered daily.
Raft peacefully down Colorado River as your tour guide describes the wildlife, history and geology of one of the nation’s most beautiful areas. The 12-hour tour ends at historic Lees Ferry. You’ll be returned to the South Rim by shuttle in the late afternoon/early evening.
Featuring a relaxed atmosphere with southwestern flavor, no Grand Canyon trip is complete without dining at Yavapai Lodge®. Whether you want smoked beef brisket, a grilled flat iron steak, or a vegetarian meal, there's something to love at Yavapai Lodge Restaurant. Newly remodeled, and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Stop by the Yavapai Lodge® Coffee Shop for a quick cup of coffee in the morning or to grab food to go before you head out on a hike. Fuel up on baked goods like bagels and croissants, or pick up a sandwich, wrap or salad to go.
Explore the beauty of the Grand Canyon's West Rim on this two-hour bus tour. As it winds along West Rim Road, the original old wagon road built by the Santa Fe Railway, the tour makes several stops for passengers to gaze upon spectacular views of the West Rim and the rapids of the Colorado River below. The tour travels eight miles to Hermits Rest®, an impressive building of native stone designed by Mary E. J. Colter in 1914, before returning along the same route.
Lookout Studio offers shoppers a unique collection of photography and books related to the Grand Canyon, rock and fossil specimens (none collected inside the park), traditional souvenirs, books and photographic prints.
Built by Ellsworth and Emery Kolb, brothers who were pioneering Grand Canyon photographers, Kolb Studio features changing art exhibits displayed in the auditorium throughout the year. It is situated in the Village Historic District at the Bright Angel trailhead and also features a bookstore and auditorium that are open to the public.
The Trail of Time is an interpretive walking timeline that focuses on Grand Canyon vistas and rocks and invites visitors to ponder, explore, and understand the magnitude of geologic time and the stories encoded by Grand Canyon rock layers and landscapes. The exhibit follows the existing paved rim trail on the South Rim of Grand Canyon between Yavapai Observation Station and Grand Canyon Village and is marked by brass markers every meter, representing one million years of time.
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