Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Best Views Grand Canyon South Rim


Fun fact—we here at Shaka Guide can read your mind. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words Grand Canyon? 

You’re thinking about those sweeping views from the rim, aren’t you?

Well, if not, then you should be! The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world for good reason–the views from the rims are almost otherworldly. 
Here’s a handy guide to the Grand Canyon South Rim’s best viewpoints.

Near the Grand Canyon Village

1. Mather Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Because of its easy access and proximity to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, many travelers will get their very first look at the Grand Canyon in all its glory from Mather Point. Named for Stephen Mather, environmental activist and very first park Superintendent, Mather Point serves up quite an expansive view–almost 60 miles on a clear day, in fact! This is also an excellent place to see the sun both rise and set over the Canyon, too. Just make sure you get there early!

2. Yavapai Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

There are millions of years of history within those rocks! One of the coolest things about Yavapai Point is that you can visit the Yavapai Geology Museum right next door to learn all about the layers of rock that make up the Grand Canyon–and then you can actually see them in person! 

3. The Rim Trail Overlooks

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

There is a paved trail that runs along the rim of the Grand Canyon aptly named Rim Trail. Starting at the South Kaibab Trailhead in the East and ending at Hermit’s Rest in the West, you’ll be able to stroll along 13 miles of unobstructed Canyon views. One of the best things about the Rim Trail is being able to find your own favorites! 

4. Bright Angel Trailhead View

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

The Bright Angel Trail is located just a tiny bit west of the Bright Angel Lodge in Grand Canyon Village. It’s a challenging hike; very steep, and it descends down into the canyon itself. In fact, the Bright Angel Trail is used by experienced hikers that are tackling a South Rim-to-North Rim multi-day hike. But even if you’re not planning to hike, you can still get a heck of a view from the trail head

RELATED: Hiking into the Grand Canyon South Rim

5. Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Mary Colter was an architect for the Fred Harvey Company and designer of many of the Grand Canyon’s buildings. She designed the Lookout Studio as a gathering place for tourists, artists, and other visitors to the canyon. The views from the Lookout Studio are just as breathtaking today as they were all the way back at the turn of the 20th century!

Along Hermit Road

6. Maricopa Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Maricopa Point, named for the Maricopa tribe, offers up a pretty spectacular 180-degree view of the Canyon. It also offers a hidden gem. If you look ever so slightly to your left, you’ll get a glimpse of large gates and a clearing that once led to the Orphan Mine, which dates all the way back to 1891!

7. Powell Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Powell Point, named for famed explorer John Wesley Powell, is a great place to catch a glimpse of the Colorado River in the Canyon below. Powell Point may not be the flashiest of the Grand Canyon viewpoints, but it is one of the best–and least crowded–places to see a famous Grand Canyon sunset!

RELATED: 20 Things to Do at the Grand Canyon South Rim

8. Hopi Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

If you couldn’t quite see the Colorado River at Powell Point, you’ll probably have better luck at Hopi Point. The Hopi people are a legendarily kind and peaceful people that have inhabited the Grand Canyon for centuries, and with its vibrant colors and vast sky views, Hopi Point is certainly one of the most peaceful places you’ll find here–or anywhere, for that matter!

9. Mohave Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Not only can you clearly see the Colorado River from Mohave Point, you can also see some of the rapids within it! Keep your eyes peeled for the Salt Creek, Hermit, and Granite Rapids. It’s a fitting name, too, considering that the word Mohave roughly translates to “People by the river.”

10. The Abyss

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Are you ready for the longest vertical drop at the Grand Canyon? The Abyss sits right along a chasm in the canyon wall. Farther down– 3,000 feet, or 900 meters, to be exact– lies the Tonto Trail. It’s a pretty cool way to see the Grand Canyon…if you’re not afraid of heights, that is!

11. Monument Creek Vista

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Monument Creek Vista offers views of – you guessed it – the Monument Creek. A spot named for a 130-foot tall sandstone and gneiss pinnacle called The Monument. The Monument itself has withstood eons of wind and water erosion because of the hard outer gneiss rock.

RELATED: Know Before You Go: Grand Canyon South Rim

12. Pima Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

While you will most likely see the Colorado River from some of the viewpoints along Hermit Road, you may be able to actually hear it from Pima Point! On quiet days, the sounds of the Granite Rapids can be heard all the way at the rim. 

13. Hermit’s Rest

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

This is the last viewpoint along the Rim Trail. Some say that the view from Hermit’s Rest isn’t their favorite because it’s obstructed by trees. We respectfully disagree. The Pinyon Pine forest that frames the canyon makes for a perfect frame of a snapshot through millions of years of geological and human history. 

Along Desert View Drive

14. Pipe Creek Vista

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

The Douglas Fir trees you see lining the Canyon here at Pipe Creek Vista are actually an entire micro-habitat fed by the water runoff on the Canyon walls! This is the first viewpoint along the scenic Desert View Drive on the eastern side of the Grand Canyon. Because it’s the first, it’s also pretty popular. Make sure you get to Pipe Creek Vista early enough to take in those spectacular views!

15. Duck on a Rock

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Jess Conaway

Duck on a Rock is one of our favorite viewpoints on the South Rim because it’s a truly unique one. Here, the expansive views of the Grand Canyon serve as just a backdrop to this amazing feat of erosion! Over centuries, wind and water erosion have carved this rock into the shape of a gigantic duck perched upon the rim and surveying the canyon below. 

RELATED: The Ultimate Grand Canyon South Rim Travel Guide

16. Twin Overlooks

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

You’ll find many lovely, quiet spots along Desert View Drive like the Twin Overlooks. Here you’ll be able to take in the Canyon without the many crowds you may find at more popular spots at the Grand Canyon Village

17. Grandview Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Jess Conaway

Grandview Point certainly lives up to his name! From here you’ll be treated to sweeping Canyon views, lush Pinyon Pine and Douglas Fir tree forests, and epic skies. As an added bonus, Grandview offers several different overlooks at various heights, so you can get amazing pictures from many angles!

18. Moran Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Moran Point is the namesake of artist Thomas Moran, who first visited the Grand Canyon in its early days. Moran was captivated by its brilliant colors, rock formations, and vistas, and his landscape paintings inspired the United States congress to give the  Grand Canyon its National Park status. At Moran Point, you’ll be able to see the many layers of prehistoric rock that make up the Canyon walls–especially the black Vishnu Schist and pink Zoroaster granite.

19. Lipan Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

Do you like drama? If so, Lipan Point is right up your alley. From here the sunlight dances on the temple formations, spires and buttes and creates dramatic shadows across the Canyon. This is an excellent place to watch the sunrise and sunset, too. And if you’re in the park after dark, head to Lipan Point to get the best view of the stars in the night sky!

RELATED: Top 16 Grand Canyon South Rim Hikes

20. Navajo Point

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Rachel Ennis

At 7,461 feet–or 2,275 meters–Navajo Point is the highest viewpoint along the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. It’s a dizzying height for sure, but the views at Navajo Point can’t be beat. Look to the west, and you’ll be dazzled by panoramic views of the canyon in its entirety. This is a great place to see a Grand Canyon sunset, and it’s absolutely breathtaking when a summer storm rolls in! (Just remember to seek cover immediately if that storm brings lightning with it.)

21. Desert View Watchtower

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Jess Conaway

Architect Mary Colter had two goals when designing the Desert View Watchtower–it had to be tall enough to enhance the view, and it had to blend into its surroundings. What followed is the 70 foot tall structure we see today. The Watchtower is a spectacle all in itself, but beyond it, you'll be treated to views of the Colorado River as it turns sharply at a 90 degree angle and disappears through the Granite Gorge.

22. Little Colorado River Gorge Overlook

Photo by Shaka Guide Writer Jess Conaway

I’ll let you in on another Shaka Guide secret. The Little Colorado River Gorge Overlook is one of our favorite hidden treasures at the Grand Canyon. This is the eastern part of the Canyon, and here you’ll get glimpses of the Little Colorado River. Be on the lookout for some brilliant colors–minerals in the water often turn it water-red or Robin’s-egg blue. Even if you can’t spot the river, the LCR Gorge Overlook is part of the Navajo Nation, and looking out at the quiet serenity that comes with this sacred land is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you’re  thinking about visiting the Grand Canyon, be sure to check out Shaka Guide’s Grand Canyon South Rim audio tour! We’ll take you to all of these viewpoints–and more! And we’ll tell you some of the spectacular stories that surround them, too!

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