With the number of Grand Canyon viewpoints available, it can be difficult to choose which ones to visit. It can be especially overwhelming if your trip is short and you will not have the opportunity to visit each point throughout the Canyon. As such, it may be wise to limit your sightseeing to the Grand Canyon South Rim or whichever rim you choose to visit. Each rim offers a different view and experience of the Canyon.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is one of the most popular destinations and attracts countless visitors. However, other locations such as Yavapai Point allow panoramic and unobstructed views of the Grand Canyon. Other viewpoints, such as those in the Grand Canyon North Rim, are further away from crowds and tourist areas. In addition, secluded viewing areas allow you to spend more time hiking if that is your intent. Evidently, there are many viewpoints from which to see the wonders of the Grand Canyon. Read below to learn about the top viewing areas.
1. Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is one of the most popular attractions in the Canyon. It is a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that is suspended over the gorge below. The Skywalk extends approximately 70 feet from the edge of the rim and allows visitors to view the ravine more than 4,000 feet below them. This glass bridge allows visitors to have a panoramic view of the West Rim of the Grand Canyon.
It is located in the Grand Canyon West Rim but is not actually owned by the Grand Canyon National Park. Rather, the land, including the Skywalk, is owned by the Hualapai tribe. Thus, to visit the Skywalk, you must go through the Hualapai tribal lands and pay the associated entrance fees.
2. Mather Point
Mather Point is located in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is one of the most easily accessible viewpoints due to its proximity to the Grand Canyon National Park entrance. In fact, it is only a short walk from the parking lot. This makes it one of the most popular viewing points.
The Mather viewpoint is a great spot to see the sunset. In addition, you can view nearly one-quarter of the entire Canyon including the Vishnu Temple and Temple of Zoroaster pinnacles. This viewpoint is along Desert View Drive and is at an elevation of more than 7,000 feet.
3. Havasu Falls
The Havasu Falls Grand Canyon destination is one of the most popular hiking spots in the Canyon. The falls are a blue-green color and incredibly beautiful. However, they can only be accessed on foot. Vehicles are not permitted. The waterfall is 10 miles from the Hilltop where visitors can park.
In order to visit Havasu Falls, tourists must make a reservation well in advance with the Havasupai tribe, as they own the land. The tribe limits the number of visitors that it accepts each year in order to preserve the environment. Thus, during the hike to the falls, travelers can witness beautiful sites that are not tarnished by human activity.
4. Yavapai Point
Yavapai Point offers a spectacular view for visitors who venture a little farther west down the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. At this viewpoint, you can observe the Colorado River unobstructed by any plateaus or canyons. Moreover, this point allows you to see Bright Angel Canyon, North Kaibab Trail and Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the gorge.
At Yavapai, visitor can have a panoramic view of much of the Grand Canyon South Rim. You can also see several other viewpoints including Yaki Point, Plateau Point and Desert View. Additionally, Yavapai Point allows visitors to see deep into the Canyon without dealing with large crowds of other tourists.
5. Desert View
The Desert View Grand Canyon is located at the easternmost part of the South Rim and is the final viewpoint before the gorge diverges into Cedar Canyon. Desert View is one of the highest points in the Grand Canyon at nearly 7,500 feet. From there, you can watch both the sunrise and sunset as well as observe a variety of rock formations.
The Desert View Watchtower Grand Canyon enables visitors to get a 360-degree view of the Canyon. However, tourists must first climb the 85 steps of the watchtower. From here, you can partially see the plains around the Colorado River in addition to the floor of the Canyon. Moreover, the watchtower contains wall murals and Navajo history that can also be viewed.
6. Pima Point
Pima Point Grand Canyon is located at the westernmost part of the South Rim. Here, visitors can observe the sunset as well as the Colorado River. Additionally, guests will find an unobstructed view of more than 40 miles of the Grand Canyon. This viewpoint can be accessed by the park’s shuttle that drives along Hermit’s Road.
7. Grandview Point
Grandview Point is the highest point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at nearly 7,500 feet elevation. Thus, it provides a sweeping view of the Canyon and several buttes including Shiva Temple and Vishnu, Rama and Krishna Shrines. You can also see the Horseshoe Mesa, which used to be the location of a copper mine, from this location.
This viewpoint can be accessed by following the Grandview Trail. However, this trail is steep and narrow and can be dangerous in the winter and after precipitation. It is important for you to know how to remain safe while at the Grand Canyon.
8. Hopi Point
Hopi Point Grand Canyon is located at the northernmost part of the South Rim and offers a view of the western parts of the Canyon. Visitors can view a number of prominent vistas and mesas including the Great Scenic Divide, Isis Temple and Osiris Temple. Salt Creek, Monument Creek and Granite Rapids can also be seen from Hopi Point. Moreover, the Hopi Point viewpoint is one of the best spots to find unobstructed views of both the sunset and sunrise.
9. Point Imperial
At the highest point of the Grand Canyon North Rim is Point Imperial. It is at an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet and offers a wide panorama of the Canyon, which is an excellent alternative if you do not want to experience a Grand Canyon helicopter tour.
Visitors can see the eastern part of the Grand Canyon as well as the Painted Desert from this spot. In addition, this Point Imperial is where the Canyon transforms from narrow at Marble Canyon to “grand.”