Scenic USA - Arizona

Desert View Drive

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Desert View Drive - Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona

Photo by Paul Petersen
Inset photos - Rob Jones and Bob Goldman

   Attracting well over four million visitors a year, the South Rim sees nearly 90 percent of all Grand Canyon traffic. Desert View Watchtower - South Rim, Grand Canyon Most of these Grand Canyon guests marvel at the magnificent views from overlooks spaced out along the 34 mile rim drive. For those interested in escaping the crowds of Grand Canyon Village, the Desert View Drive heads eastward from Yaki Point. Along this 25 mile scenic drive visitors will find six developed canyon viewpoints, picnic areas and a few unmarked pullouts which offer birds-eye-views of Granite Gorge about a mile below the rim.
   Noted as an excellent place to witness sunrises or sunsets, Yaki Point is offlimits to private vehicles during peak season and is accessed by the shuttle bus service on the east end of the park. The ever popular Grandview Point offers more panoramic views of the canyon, a superb site to witness the grandeur of the canyon. The Colorado River may be one of Moran Point's most prominent features, but visitors may play Hopi House - South Rim, Grand Canyon Village amateur geologist here and study the Grand Canyon's three main rock groups. The canyon's geological record is similar to time travel. A trip into the mile deep gorge journeys passed 1.7 billion years of rock layers on the way to the bottom. From the Lipan Point visitors may spot Hance Rapids below, one of the many powerful Colorado River whitewater areas. River views are also seen from Navajo Point and the Desert View Watchtower. Here at Desert View, Grand Canyon panorama views from the tower are spectacular. Cardenas Butte can be seen in foreground view and off in the distance the Painted Desert colors the skyline.

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