Watchtower, Grand Canyon National Park

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 7 Reviews

Desert View Drive (520) 638 7893

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  • Watchtower
    by Cristian_Uluru
  • Watchtower
    by Cristian_Uluru
  • Watchtower
    by Cristian_Uluru
  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Desert View Watchtower

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Looking up at the Watchtower

    This tower was designed and built by the architect Mary Colter in 1932. I think the picture may have someone in my family that has climbed it at the top. I don't remember whether I climbed it or not.

    Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was born on April 4, 1869, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When her father died, she persuaded her mom to let her attend the California School of Design in San Francisco. Afterwards she taught mechanical drawing until she signed a contract with the Fred Harvey company to decorate the Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque.

    Mary Colter was an admirer of native American architecture and she tried to integrate native American designs into her own, as she has been very successful here.

    We left the park by the East Entrance, so this tower was one of the last things we saw.

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Watchtower was the icon of old times

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 23, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of tower structure
    3 more images

    The tower was built in 1933, and this is where the first tour groups came for the views of the park canyon. It was the design of Mary Coulter, who also designed other buildings in the park, and a lot of Fred Harvey Hotels/restaurants. The concept to build this tower was to make it a place to rest and shop in the gist shop. It was patterned after Anasazi towers, but much bigger. The kiva look inside and the Indian designs on the walls and ceiling are a site to behold. There are three main levels to get views and overlooks to the canyon floor. The Tower is at 7400 feet elevation.

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    The Watchtower

    by richiecdisc Written Jun 5, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    clougs rolling in, we're rolling out of the park

    The Indian Tower at Desert View was built in 1932 and is one of many architectural gems by Mary Colter who designed many National Park buildings especially in the Grand Canyon. This 70 foot towers is based on similar Anasazi Indian towers found throughout the southwest. The imposing all stone structure fits in perfect harmony with the lookout and offers commanding 360 degree views, much of which into the expansive Grand Canyon.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Go east to Desert View Watch Tower

    by SLLiew Updated Oct 13, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This impressive tower was built in 1930 as a gift shop and stop area for the best view of Grand Canyon while blending into the surrounding. It was designed to be like an Indian Anasazi watchtower.

    I too at first thought it was a majestic Indian ruin. Great views from here and a must-stop location in the Southern Rim.

    Follow the Desert View Drive (Highway 64) eastwards from Grand Canyon Village (about 26 scenic miles).

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  • windsorgirl's Profile Photo

    Desert View

    by windsorgirl Updated Nov 24, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the watchtower

    At the far eastern entrance to the National Park, you will find Desert View. There is a campground here, a gas station, washrooms, snack bar and gift shop as well as the 70 foot high Watchtower.

    From the top of the Watchtower, you will have a 360 degree view of the canyon. The Watchtower was built in 1932 and resembles typical prehistoric towers found throughout the southwest. The stonework on the tower is quite beautiful.

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  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    DESERT WATCHTOWER

    by mtncorg Written Nov 6, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Desert Watchtower looks out on the Canyon expanse

    Built in 1932, the 70 foot high Desert Watchtower puts you up even higher. From the river, a mile below, the Watchtower looks like a little rock high on the Rim.

    As in Grand Canyon Village, crowds tend to mingle here amongst the curio shops and snack bars.

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Watchtower

    by zrim Written Feb 25, 2003

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a tower

    Located at the eastern end of the park on the South Rim. It's a tower and it blends in well with the colors of the canyon. Otherwise, the watchtower doesn't do much for me.

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