Which Viewpoint is the Best View of the Grand Canyon?
Are you looking for the best view at the Grand Canyon? With so many viewpoints along the South Rim it can be hard to know which ones to stop at for the best view of the Grand Canyon. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the best Grand Canyon views.
I’ve included all of the best Grand Canyon lookout points. I have listed them in order from West to East along the South Rim starting at Hermits Rest in the west and ending at Desert Viewpoint in the east.
I have lots of helpful information on my site including a Grand Canyon packing list which you should check out. I have also written posts on driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. These are the two major cities people use to visit the Grand Canyon and I have listed places to stop along the way.
TLDR: I’m going to tell you my two favorite Grand Canyon viewpoints.
First though, let me say there are three main areas along the South Rim.
- Hermit’s Road – This is the area west of the Grand Canyon Village
- Grand Canyon Village – This is the middle section of the South Rim
- Desert View Road – This is the area east of the Grand Canyon Village
Yavapai Point – This is a great Grand Canyon viewing point as it is close to the South Gate Visitors Center. I recommend that you park at the Visitors Center and then walk to Yavapai Point. Mather’s Point is the most popular point and you will come to that first but keeping walking along the Trail of Time and learn all about the geology of the Grand Canyon.
Desert View Point – I really enjoy this Grand Canyon overlook. It is also quite a popular Grand Canyon view. Plus you can see the Desert View Watch Tower and go up the watch tower which is quite cool.
What is the best view of the Grand Canyon? Check out these 15 Grand Canyon lookout points
Hermit’s Rest Point
The Hermit’s Rest Point houses a small facility that has a cafe, restrooms and a gift shop. The views from Hermit’s Rest Point are slightly obstructed because the edge of the canyon at this over look is thickly forested.
The Hermit’s Rest structure was built in 1914 and the Hermit’s Trail extends from the Rest to the Colorado River. The Rest was named after Canadian prospector Louis Boucher. He was able to carve the trail into the canyon and take up residence in nearby Dripping Springs.
Hermits Rest is accessible by vehicle and is the westernmost point on the canyon’s south rim. Hermit’s rest is slightly buried in the earth mound and is located only a few feet from the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Hermit’s Rest Point is a great place to take in the scenic views and hop on a shuttle to visit other near by points. Pima Point is a quick walk from Hermit’s Rest Point and offers impressive views that are not obstructed.
Hermit’s Rest Point is a fantastic location to grab a quick meal or snack from the cafe and then picnic at one of the many picnic areas along the way to Pima Point.
Pima Point provides a 40 mile long panoramic vista along the northernmost corner of the South Rim at the Grand Canyon.
Visitors at Pimpa Point can take in the views of the red canyon of Hermit Creek, in contrast to this deep red rock there is also impressive green vegetation which is located towards the lower end of Hermit Creek. The creek has flowing water year round.
The eastern view from Pima Point encompasses Monument Creek and the Granite Rapids as well as The Alligator. Located only 1.5 miles from Pima Point is the Hermit’s Rest which is a facility that has bathrooms, a cafe and a small gift shop.
The Abyss is unique along hermit road in the Grand Canyon. All of the other points tend to protrude out into the canyon but the Abyss is a steep notch in the canyon. It has a 3,000 foot vertical drop down to the Redwall Formation.
The Hermit Road Shuttle stops at 9 points along the trail and the Abyss is one of these points. During the off season visitors can drive their own vehicles if they would prefer. The Abyss is a frightening deep drop that gives impressive views of the Colorado River, Granite Rapids and Tonto Plateau.
Monument Creek and The Monument are also viewable from The Abyss. The Monument is a large sandstone column located in the Grand Canyon.
Mohave Point provides spectacular views that include The Abyss and Pima Point. Visitors that look towards their West are also rewarded with a glimpse of Yuma, Cocopa and Havasupai points.
Once situated on Mohave Point viewing area visitors can also look down and take note of the Boucher Rapids and Granite Rapids. The Abyss and the 3,000 foot high cliffs that surround it are the show stealer when it comes to visiting Mohave Point.
An added perk to Mohave Point is the fact that it tends to be less frequented and there are several look out points which helps to disperse the visitor’s that do make the trek to Mohave. It is extremely peaceful at Mohave Point.
Hopi Point is the best Grand Canyon view
Hopi Point is the best view in Grand Canyon. Hopi Point is the northernmost spot along the Grand Canyon’s Southern rim. Hopi has a fenced in viewing area as well as the vista on Dana Butte which is over the canyon.
Salt creek runs on one side of the viewing area and runs into the Colorado River and produces some impressive rapids. Monument Creek is on the other side of Hopie Point and it also merges with the Colorado River and creates the Granite Rapids.
Hopi has some of the most unobstructed views on the West rim and makes an ideal spot for visitors to catch some impressive and awe-inspiring sunsets.
Powell Point is a very narrow spur. It is located on West Rim Drive. A memorial to recognize two historical explorations of the Colorado River by John Wesley Powell has been constructed at Powell Point.
This popular point is a easy ten minute walk just past the Orphan Mine. Many visitors prefer making this walk rather than waiting for tour busses because it gives them a chance to take in the impressive pine woods along the walk.
Hopi Point does obstruct some of the views at Powell Point and the river flows through the granite gouge at the point so it is not visible from this look out either. Powell Point is another notable point for watching sunsets and avoiding larger visiting crowds.
Visitor’s Centre to Yaki Point Viewpoints – yellow loop
Yavapai Point is an easy walk from Mather Point. Many visitors choose to park at the easily accessible parking at Mather Point and walk over to Yavapai Point because vehicles over 22 feet are not permitted at small parking lot near this point.
There is the Yavapai Observation Station nearby which is a simplistic visitors center that has books and geographical information about the Grand Canyon. Out of the three points that comprise the southern rim of the Grand Canyon it is well known that Yavapai offers the most panoramic views because it is the most northerly point and is located nearest to the impressive Colorado River.
Those who are hiking need to take note that the hike takes twice as long to get back as it does to initially get to Yavapai Point due to inclines. This is important for those hiking later in the day.
Mather Point is one of the best views of Grand Canyon
Mather Point is quite possibly the most popular viewing point at the Grand Canyon on the South Rim.
The popularity is due to the accessibility of this viewing point. Mather Point is located nearest to the entrance station and parking for this point is easily located slightly south of Mather Point near the visitor’s center.
The views at Mather are extremely impressive and extensive. It has 2 railed over looks that are slightly narrow but located on projecting rocks that provide great views towards the west. Visitors can view the Bright Angel Trail over the canyon of Pipe Creek.
A portion of the Tonto Trail is also visible from near Pipe Creek at Mather Point. Parking is located nearby and this is a popular photo opportunity point at the Grand Canyon.
Ooh Aah Point
Ooh Aah Point is a heavily traveled trail along the South Kaibab Trail route that extends for 1.8 miles.
This trail is beautiful and does allow for year round bird watching as well as natural wildlife viewing prior to reaching the outlook.
Once visitors reach the Ooh Aah viewing point they are rewarded with panoramic views of the Eastern canyon.
Yaki Point is the easternmost stop along the Kaibab Trail. It was once accessible by vehicle but the parking lot is far too small to support the amount of traffic that it was receiving.
Visitors visiting Yaki Point can now park along the streets near the picnic areas and walk in to take in the impressive views of Cremation Creek and Clear Creek.
The views at Yaki are slightly different than the others in the area because they encompass a westward vista and give the optimal view of the South Kaibab Trail.
Desert View Road Viewpoints – self drive
These points along the Desert View Road can only be accessed by car as there is no shuttle in this part of the park. These viewpoints are closest to the Eastern Entrance of Grand Canyon Park and assessable via Arizona Highway 64.
The view points along Desert View Road from East to West are:
- Desert View Point
- Navajo Point
Desert View Point
This is the most popular view point along the Desert Road. It is the first stop along Desert View Road if you are coming in from the East Entrance.
The reason this view point is so popular is that not only is it the first stop to see the Grand Canyon but it also has the Desert View Watch Tower and the Colorado River.
The Desert View Watch Tower is an unusual tower designed by Mary Colter. It is made out of stone and designed in the style of the ancient Pueblo towers in 1932.
You can climb the 85 steps to the top to the observation deck where you will have 360 degree views. The tower is approximately 70 feet tall and it does get quite crowded.
There is a gas station, shop, restaurant, and campground here.
Navajo Point is just down the road from Desert View Point about half a mile to the west.
You can park right next to the rim of the canyon and we actually stopped to have lunch there as it was a quieter view point with not as many people.
I think the reason why there are not as many people here is that it is a very similar view to Desert Point. You would only really want to stop here if you were looking to see the Desert View Watch Tower from afar.
Navajo Point is the tallest point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at 7,498 feet high.
Papango Point is difficult to get to but you are rewarded with amazing views of the Colorado River and very few other tourists.
It is a very narrow trail with steep drops on the side. Papango is about a mile from the road. You will have to park on the shoulder there as well.
If this is more adventure than you are looking for I would recommend Shoshone Point which is easily accessible.
Grandview is the southernmost point along the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
The official outlook here is slightly obstructed by trees but don’t worry, if you follow the Grandview Trail you will have amazing views of the Canyon.
Grandview was the first place to be developed for tourist and the Grandview Hotel was built in 1908.
It is the second tallest point along the south rim at 7,400 feet tall.
To get to this viewpoint you will need to drive one mile down an unpaved road.
From there you will need to travel 30 minutes on foot to the lookout and the walk is easy enough.
This is one of the best kept secrets for the Grand Canyon.
Shoshone point is found just off the Desert View Road. It’s easy to miss so definitely put it into Google maps before you set off. There is a small dirt parking area and you simply leave your car.
We arrived just before sunset (check online for times) and virtually has the place to ourselves.
Amazing views and you can just sit and watch as the colours change while the sun goes down.
How to use the shuttle and see the best Grand Canyon Viewpoints
There are several shuttles you can use in the Grand Canyon that run every 30 minutes. You can check out the schedule for the red, blue, and orange loops. During the summer months you must take the shuttle to stop at different view points.
The blue loop covers the village. It does not cover can viewpoints but you would use it to transfer from the red loop to the orange loop.
The Orange loop is the easternmost shuttle. If you would like to see the viewpoints along the Desert Road you will need to drive yourself.
If you would like to drive yourself the best place to do this is in the very East part of the Grand Canyon. You can read more about those viewpoints below but include:
- Grand View
- Moran Point
- Lipan Point
- Mohave Point
- Navajo Point
- Desert View Point
Conclusion – Best View Grand Canyon
I think everyone can agree that Hopi Point is the best Grand Canyon viewpoint.
I really enjoy the points along the Desert View Road. I like these ones because you can drive your self and you can see the Desert View Tower.
What do you think? Do you enjoy taking the shuttle? And what is your favorite Grand Canyon viewing point?
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