What is the first thing that comes in your mind when you listen to Grand Canyon South Rim?
Epic, remarkable, stunning… these are for the most part words that portray the Grand Canyon. However, truth be told, words, and even photographs, can’t exactly catch what it resembles to remain on the edge and look out over the gorge.
On the off chance that you’ve at any point seen the Grand Canyon on TV or in a motion picture, odds are you’ve seen the South Rim. Be that as it may, seeing the Canyon on a screen, regardless of how enormous or little, will ever measure up to seeing the Grand Canyon face to face.
The absolute most notorious Grand Canyon viewpoints can be found at the South Rim. There are around 50 viewpoints along the South Rim, around 20 of which are effectively available by vehicle.
Every viewpoint has something unique to offer, and comprehending what’s going on with everything before you go can enable you to benefit as much as possible from your visit and maintain a strategic distance from superfluous intricacies.
Here are 16 of the best South Rim viewpoints. It seems like a long list, however, this is limited from our unique rundown. At the end of the article, will give you our main 10 spots with tips to enable you to plan your time.
Grand Canyon South Rim – Viewpoints Guide
The South Rim viewpoints are spread in a huge area. Planning to drive from Hermit’s Rest to Desert View it will take 60 minutes to cover 32 Miles if not planning to stop for photos.
It may be viewed as senseless to attempt to decide the must-see sights for Grand Canyon National Park when in actuality the entire Grand Canyon is one major must-see.
For easy reach, I have grouped viewpoints into three sections
- Near the Grand Canyon Village
- Viewpoints along Hermit Road
- Along Desert View Road
Grand Canyon Village Viewpoints
These viewpoints are altogether situated close to the Grand Canyon Village. To get between viewpoints, you can either utilize the Grand Canyon transport (the Kaibab Rim Route, orange line) or climb the Rim Trail.
If Planning to drive I suggest doing so in the off-season only because in peak season it can be very difficult to find a parking slot. Also, note that Yaki Point is only accessible by suttle or Rim Trail.
One of the most popular viewpoint on the South Rim. It’s located very near to the Visitor Center, and it always crowed everyone walks here for a view of Grand Canyon.
Mather Point is named after National Park’s first superintendent, Stephen Mather.
It is situated at 7,000 feet elevation, from this point you can view ¼ of the entire Grand Canyon.
This point offers a panoramic view from Havasupai Point in the west to Desert View in the east, its also best viewpoint to see deep into the inner Canyon, Colorado River, and Phantom Ranch.
From this place, one can get a better understanding of the Canyon exposed rock layers and the craving of the Grand Canyon.
Yavapai Point is easily accessible on Orange shuttle bus route.
Get unobstructed views from this point to the east side of Grand Canyon, and look down at the South Kaibab Trail.
It’s highly advisable to access these viewpoints by hopping on orange shuttle bus service from Grand Canyon Village in peak season because the parking lot is closed for private vehicles. Yaki Point is the last stoppage on the orange shuttle bus route.
Ooh Aah Point
Isn’t cool, I feel this the best name for a viewpoint?
South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point is a 1.8 mile intensely dealt out and back trail situated close to Grand Canyon, Arizona that offers the opportunity to see natural life and is evaluated as moderate. The trail is basically used for climbing, strolling, nature trips, and birding and is available all year.
Ooh Aah Point isn’t easy if planning for hiking but getting there really worth it.
To arrive, you should take the Grand Canyon transport (Orange line, Kaibab Rim Route) toward the South Kaibab trailhead. At that point, it is a 1-mile climb downhill to the viewpoint. This viewpoint puts you under the edge so you get a marginally alternate point of view of the Grand Canyon than from adjacent Yaki Point. Simply know that it will be a strenuous, 1-mile tough climb to return to the bus stop.
How Much Time Do You Need?
You need four hours to visit all four viewpoints that we have mentioned above. It’s conceivable to do this significantly quicker in the event that you get fortunate with the shuttle timing and don’t wait long at the viewpoints.
If planed to hike Ooh Aah Point, It will take 2 Hrs approx including the shuttle time.
Hermit Road Viewpoints
Hermit’s Road is 7 miles in length. It starts from the Grand Canyon Village and closures at Hermit’s Rest. From March 1 to November 30, you can take the Grand Canyon Shuttle (Hermits Rest Route, red line) to get to viewpoints. Also, Note From December 1 to February 28, you should drive or walk to get between the viewpoints.
Travel Tip: All these viewpoints have limited parking area, while shuttle in service, and as I told you Shuttle service is the best way to get around.
I am very much sure, you will like this viewpoint the most.
Get to this point from the shuttle bus stop, you need to walk a bit past the Masonic Grand Canyon Degree Memorial to the viewpoint. Enjoy the viewpoint and if you have time you can walk down to lower viewpoint for some more photos.
This viewpoint is near to Powell, So view does not change too much. But this viewpoint is very popular at sunrise and sunset time. You can watch all the reds, rusts and oranges of the canyon walls as the sun is setting down.
Hopi Point also offers a view of the stone “temples”. Stone Temple is rock formations rising from the depth of the canyon. If you look all the way to horizons you can see the North Rim.
Follow the North Rim up to the final indentation, You can see Cape Royal. Cape Royal is a type of temple formed when side-canyon erosion produces peninsula-like projection along the Rim.
Follow horizon for the next temple, Wotan Throne it was formed by erosion which transformed the peninsula into an island and it was separated from the Rim.
Finally, the last rock formation which is called Vishnu Temple. It was formed by further erosion, where the softer rock crumbles and undercuts harder rock.
The view from this point is the breathtaking, very popular viewpoint. You have different photo spots to get a slightly different view. It is a short 1-mile walk from Hopi Point.
You can also see excellent views of the river and rapids below. Stretching below is a rocky promontory known as the Alligator.
Look northwest you can Hermit Rapid, it was formed when the side of canyon collapsed into the river.
If you have time then you should walk along this part of the Rim. It’s 1.1 miles from Mohave Point to the Abyss or hop on the shuttle bus.
In my opinion, one should walk along this part of the Rim. You will come across the most scenic segments along the Rim. Here the trail sits very close to the edge of the Canyon and you will be able to see some excellent views all the ways down to the Canyon.
The Abyss viewpoint is located on the edge of the Rim and it gives an almost vertical view into the Canyon below. You can also view the Colorado River set against the backdrop of the layered rocks.
The Pima Point, It’s located 2.8 miles from The Abyss Point.
At this point, you will the best views of Grand Canyon South Rim and the most spectacular one of the Colorado River and rapids below.
This is the final viewpoint on Hermit’s Road. The view here is not that great because trees block some views. However, there is a cafe and a small gift shop that’s worth a visit.
How Much Time Do You Need?
We did drive from point to point and this took us two hours, we visited all the viewpoint listed in this section took some time for photos.
Using shuttle bus service might take some more time since you have to spend time waiting for the shuttle bus.
Desert View Road Viewpoints
The Grand Canyon Village to the Desert View Point, it is a 25 mile (41 km) drive and takes about an hour.
The Grand Canyon Shuttle service is not available for this route. You have to drive to reach these viewpoints.
Travel Tip: Planning to visit eastern Arizona (Page or Monument Valley), consider visiting viewpoints as you drive out of the park.
This viewpoint requires a little bit of hiking.
To reach here you have to drive down Desert View Road up to 1.3 miles past the turn off The Yaki Point, Park your vehicle in the small gravel and dirt parking lot and hike for 1 mile follow the trail through the woods until you get to the viewpoint.
Hope the name says it all…!
Grandview Point is the southernmost point at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is located about 7,400 feet.
This viewpoint gets a bit more rainfall than other viewpoints points which is why it has a more dense forest of pine and oak trees.
In the 1890s, gold, copper and silver mines were just below the rim at Grandview Point. A mine owner built the Grandview Hotel and the first tourist services at this point.
In 1895 another owner built the Cameron Hotel near the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon Village soon thereafter. Neither hotel exists today.
Here you can enjoy more sweeping views. Explore the outcroppings for your favorite photo spot.
Alongside Desert View, Grandview and Yaki, Moran is one of the most visited focuses on the east rim drive, and offers sweeping views along a wide segment of the Grand Canyon, around between stream miles 87 and 72.
The fact of the matter is expected south of Cape Royal on the North Rim – only 8 miles away in a straight line however 215 miles by the street. The projection is come to by a short prod street and was named after the scene-painter Thomas Moran who came here first time in 1873 and advanced the gulch, driving in the end to its consolidation as a national landmark in 1908 (and a national park in 1919).
This point looks wider and more open. The view is very similar to Navajo Point and Desert View Point.
Lipan Point lies a large portion of a mile north of the primary grand drive, come to by a spur road that climbs 80 feet to the parking area, over a little summit that would have a 360° view were it not for the pine forest on the east side.
The beginning stage for the 8 mile Tanner Trail is found a short separation once again from the parking area.
The point looks down over Seventyfive Mile Creek and its tributaries, which keep running underneath a meager edge associated with Escalante Butte and join Colorado between two of the more than 100 of rapids on the waterway – Nevills and Hance (which are visible to the west).
Only downstream of Hance Rapids is the beginning of the internal Canyon gorge, where Colorado first cuts into the ancient Vishnu Schist.
This Viewpoint is similar to Lipan Point and Desert View Point, But by stoping here you can see the Desert View Watchtower from a distance.
This point is just half a mile west of Desert View and it offers an alternate view of Colorado’s big bend area.
Parking is very near to the rim, simply off from the main East Rim Drive Road, so this would be a decent place for an early morning breakfast, to watch the patterns and colors on the western cliffs as the sun rises.
Navajo Point is situated at 7,498 feet. The highest spot on the South Rim, though the 5 storey watchtower at Desert View is slightly taller.
Desert View Point
This is the last and must-visit viewpoint on South Rim. Desert View Point ahs a watchtower get there for viewpoint.
It has a parking lot and there are restrooms, a gift shop, and restaurant.
Visit Tusayan Museum is on a short walking distance highlighs the story of American Indians of the region.
Watchtower is open all year, you have to climb 85 steps for a 360° view from the observation deck. It is 70 ft (21 m) above. Check the official Grand Canyon website for more info.
How much time do you need?
Shoshone Point is two miles round trip, this takes more time about an hour (depending on how fast you walk)
On Desert View Road it will take 40 minutes for one way drive. You will need 10 minutes each at Grand View, Lipan, Moran, and Navajo Point.
You can spend 40 minutes or longer at Desert View since there are more things to do.
The excursion along Desert View Road will take 6 hours if you are planning to visit all listed viewpoints.
I have listed above 16 viewpoints of Grand Canyon South Rim.
To help you to cut down the list, here are 10 Must visit viewpoints.
Top 10 South Rim Viewpoints
Near the Grand Canyon Village: Yavapai, Yaki Point, and Ooh Aah Point.
Along Hermit Road: Powell, Mohave, and Pima Point. Must visit is Hermit’s Rest.
Along Desert View Road: Shoshone Point, Moran Point, and Desert View Point.
Tips For Best Experience
Try to give 3 Days of time to visit all these viewpoints, Don’t try to cover all in a single day.
Hiking the rim trail between some of these viewpoints, this will give you best views from the trail.
Viewpoints are not crowded early in the morning around sunrise.
Use the Grand Canyon Shuttle service to get from point to point.