Anchored by the Watchtower, Desert View is located 23 miles east of the South Rim, just a 40 minute drive from Grand Canyon Village. It is aptly named as you have panoramic views for well over 100 miles on a clear day. On your drive out to Desert View the breathtaking overlooks and un-named pullouts, give you a chance to experience Grand Canyon’s amazing beauty like no other.
Once you are at Desert View, everything you need is within reach. Desert View features the Watchtower (now the Visitor Center and bookstore), Trading Post & Deli, General Store, a Gas Station, seasonal Campground, and restrooms.
Desert View is open year-round, but the hours vary from season to season
For a map and directions – Download Map
Desert View Watchtower
Perched on the edge of the Grand Canyon the Watchtower is a surprising stone tower that celebrates ancient mysteries of the Southwest. It allows visitors to get a little higher to see Grand Canyon unobstructed, but it’s more than just view’s, it’s a monument that tells a story about a time, a people, and a place in history.
The four-story, 70-foot (21 m) high stone Watchtower was designed by Mary Elizabeth Colter who is often referred to as the architect of the southwest. The Watchtower was built in 1932 and is modeled after the architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau and a must see during your visit to the Grand Canyon.
To learn more about the Watchtower and it’s designer visit – Watchtower History
The Desert View Watchtower Brochure can be downloaded – Watchtower Brochure
Trading Post & Deli
The Trading Post offers the opportunity to purchase authentic goods from Native American craftsmen, artists and artisans. The Trading Post is at least 70% Made in America and at least 60% Native American Products. The Native American Products cover the 4 Corners area of Natives with Hopi, Navajo, Zuni, Jemez, Acoma and Santa Clara represented.
Attached to the Trading Post is the Deli which has healthy menu options all made to order, such as deli sandwiches, pizza, soup, hot dogs, and chili dogs. It is also a place to fuel up, re-hydrate, or indulge your sweet tooth with hand-scooped ice cream, smoothies and more.
Desert View General Store
The General Store has a variety of dry food items, which works well for those camping at Desert View. There is ice, firewood, wine, beer (no liquor) milk, eggs and hot dogs. There is no produce and no meat other than sandwich meat at the store. The store also has a variety of souvenirs, including sweatshirts, t-shirts, key chains, coffee mugs, hats, postcards, a youth section with plush items, games, apparel, outdoor gear, snacks, a stamp machine, ATM, sundries and more. It’s also a great place to pick up trail-ready snacks or something to munch on during your drive back to Canyon Village. The General Store has what you need to make your Desert View adventure complete.
Desert View Gas Station
Running on empty? Fill up at Desert View gas station, Grand Canyon is not the place to run out of gas. It’s the only gas station in the park itself. The station offerings go beyond the usual gas station essentials like drinks and snacks. It also has a limited selection of camping supplies, frozen and canned food, heat-and-eat meals and even propane, which makes this a popular destination for those camping in Desert View and people just passing through.
The gas station is open seasonally April 4th through October 23rd 9 AM to 5 PM. Visitors can pay at the pumps with a credit card year round.
Desert View Camp Ground
The Desert View Campground is run by the National Park Service. It has 50 camp sites, which open mid-May and close mid-October. There are no reservations, so it’s first-come-first-served. It is an automated payment system of $12.00 per night. There are NO RV hook-ups and the campground usually fills between 1 and 2 PM each day.
Most sites are sized to accommodate tents or smaller RV’s or Travel Trailers – there is a 30 ft. maximum length, a 7-day camping limit and check out is 11 AM.
Learn more about Desert View Campground – Campground Info