Overlooks and Points, Grand Canyon National Park
If you come in the east entrance this is the first stop. And what an introduction to the park it is!. The river makes a wide right turn here on it's way across the plateau and the view is of both upstream and the long way downstream. Add to that the watchtower designed by Mary Colter to look like an ancient indian structure. It succeeds in its intent. I always feel as if I have come across an ancient resting place, where millions have trod before, and yet it is still waiting there only for me.
It is worth the trip to drive the 23 mile length of Desert View Drive east from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View. Along the road you will pass several excellent viewpoints including Grandview Point, Moran Point and Lipan Point, pictured here.
At Grandview Point you can view the canyon as the Spanish first did in 1540 from the highest point on the south rim at 7400 feet. You can also stretch your legs for awhile and walk a portion of the Grandview Trail which begins here.
There are several picnic areas along Desert View Drive and you can visit Tusayan Ruin which is a small 12th century pueblo. There is a museum here displaying Anasazi artifacts.
Two miles into your hike along the Hermits Rest Route, you will come to Powell Point. There are spectacular views here as well as a memorial to John Wesley Powell.
In 1869, Powell led the first expedition to explore the length of the canyon along with nine boatmen. They travelled in wooden boats over raging rapids, capsizing often and losing much of their food rations along the way. Powell emerged at the Virgin River over three months later and minus three men whose lives were lost during the ordeal. Powell provided invaluable information about one of the last uncharted areas of the US.
It takes some effort to get to Yaki Point since it is only accessible by shuttle bus. We first drove to Mather Point, parked there and then walked to the Visitor's Center where we caught the shuttle to Yaki Point.
There are great views here to the east of Vishnu's Temple and Wotan's Throne and also a good view looking down onto the South Kaibab Trail and the Tonto Trail.
Yavapai Point is close to the main tourist centre on the South Rim at Grand Canyon Village. From here you can stare down 4500 feet to the Colorado River snaking its way along the bottom of canyon. The North Rim visitor centre is almost directly across the 10-mile wide canyon at this point. The North Rim is actually higher with a 5400 foot drop to the river, giving the Grand Canyon an average depth of almost 1-mile. It sure makes for some great views. As the sun was setting in the west, most of our evening pictures were taken looking eastward along the Canyon.
THE GRAND CANYON VILLAGE: 2091 m (6860 ft).
Begin at the YAVAPAI POINT about a mile from the visitor center for a classic panoramic view into the heart of the Grand Canyon. Great solitary buttes rise from narrow ridges reaching out from the distant North Rim.
Without actually getting into the Canyon, the views from the overlooks sometimes surround you with the impression that you are out WITHIN the Canyon. Some of the overlooks are encrusted with shrubs while others are as bare as the Canyon itself.
Careful of your footing! The Canyon claims 10 lives a year due to errant steps on the edges.
A shuttle service runs along the south rim to the various overlooks, where the view of the Canyon is but the same as your last view. Individual structures within the park are generally identified on park literature or within the overlooks themselves, but they tend to offer no fascination when the surrounding structures are so little fascinating.
It's a bit of a drive out to the North Rim's Point Imperial from the Lodge, but worth it for the different perspective on the scenery. At left is the landmark Mount Hayden (the pointy rock).
Both of these overlooks are close to CApe Royal at the end of the south part of the park. They have some of the better views, in my opinion.
This is an impressive view - especially at sunrise.
This view was taken at one of the overlooks close to the Grand Canyon Village.
Lipan Point, along Desert View Drive, offers one of the best views of the Colorado River. It is also possible to view the layers of sedimentary and lava rock that form the Canyon.
Hopi Point, 7071 feet above sea level, is one of the points on the South Rim where you can get a good view of the Grand Canyon.
From here, you can reached the Phantom Ranch far below either by mule or foot.
The observation station at Yavaipai Point explores the canyon's geological history & identifies major landmarks.