Scenic USA - Arizona

Desert View Watchtower

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Desert View Watchtower - East Entrance, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Photo by Rob Jones
Wilderness Vagabond Journeys
Inset photos courtesy of the National Park Service

     The Desert Watchtower, Desert View Watchtower Interior Stairway - Grand Canyon National Park, Arizonabuilt on Grand Canyon's South Rim, was designed to blend into the area's surroundings. The structure, reminiscent of an ancient Anasazi kiva tower, stands 70 feet, perched on a 30 foot base. The tower's designer, Mary Colter, achieved the goal of providing a unique observation tower and gift shop at the Grand Canyon's popular South Rim. Her mission was accomplished in 1937 and the tower remains a focal point, while fitting in nicely with the Southwest desert environment. Except for some minor details, the building hasn't changed very much since it was first built.
     Not only is the tower situated on one of the best viewpoints along the rim, it's also an incredibly detailed structure. Well hidden by exterior Desert View Watchtower Interior, Hopi Symbols - Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona stonework, a concrete foundation and a steel framework support the Watchtower. Its circular design, interior paintings, murals, circular balconies make this 70 foot climb a worthwhile experience. Desert View Watchtower Northern View - Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Most canyon visitors view the Watchtower as they approach from the parking lot. This scene offers an unique perspective from the trail below. From this vantage point on the South Rim, the main canyon gorge spreads out below, bisected by a distant thin ribbon, the Colorado River. The Little Colorado Gorge, a narrow, steep sided canyon, lies to the northeast, along with the colorful red rock Palisades of the Desert.

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