Watchtower, Grand Canyon
The Watchtower built in 1932 and designed by Mary Colter. It is located 25 Miles east of Grand Canyon Village on the East Rim Drive, the Watchtower was built to replicate an ancient pueblo tower. Climb to the top of the tower for 360-degree views. The walls of the tower feature murals by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie. The "Kiva" gift store features Native American handicrafts, jewelry and books. On the list of U.S. National Register of Historic Places and U.S. National Historic Landmark.
Open daily year-round, 9am to 5pm, additional open hours vary seasonally
For more information:
Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce
or the National Park Service web page.
The National Park Service collects a $25 per vehicle entrance fee that is good for seven days on both the South and North Rims.
On our way of the Park from the South Rim towards the East gate the Watchtower provides an interesting viewpoint of the canyon from many different angles. Interesting Hopi wall paintings adorn the inside. Good views of the river and with the help of binoculars we were able to see rafters heading down the river.
The Watchtower sits at the end of Desert View Drive at a beautiful canyonside site. It was designed by architect, Mary Colter, and constructed by the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad.
Colter wanted to recreate the peculiar towers discovered throughout the Southwest, which were thought to be from prehistoric Indians. In order to do this, she researched the project for three years before actually tackling the construction.
It's likely that ancient towers were used to store food or protect the clan in times of war. An inside ladder could be removed and it would become a virtual citadel.
Hopi artist, Fred Kabotie, did the pictographs on the wall (picture 3). They represent Indian ceremonial paintings and designs passed down through the generations. You can still see this type of design preserved in some of the ancient ruins in the Southwest today.
Take time to climb to the top of the tower (picture 2) and notice the artwork on each level (picture 4). The top is meant to be an observatory and is 7,522 feet above sea level--the highest point on the South Rim (picture 5).
Top quality Native American crafts are available at the gift shop, which is located on the lower level.
On the eastern approach to the canyon at Desert View, the Watchtower was specially designed and built to fit with it's surroundings. We climbed 4 floors (I think it was 4) to the top stopping to view the canyon from each level. Inside you will find various exhibits and information about its history.
This wins hands down as one of my favorite things of the Grand Canyon. I chose to shoot in in black and white, to capture the mood, as the sky was clouding over.
This tower was designed by Mary Colter (as were many buildings in the Grand Canyon Village) and built in 1932 as a rest stop for tourists. Again, inspired by Pueblo Indian watchtowers, this 70-foot tower has a gift shop on the main floor, then climbs up to different levels, all decorated with native designs.
The top floor is the highest lookout on the South Rim (7522 feet) and you can see the Painted Desert and Navajo Reserve in the distance.