Best Viewpoints Along Grand Canyon’s South Rim

Viewpoint along the South Rim.
Viewpoint along the South Rim.

As you know from my post a couple of weeks ago, we loved our recent trip to the Grand Canyon. To stand in its presence and soak up its beauty was really something special. But where—exactly—is the best place to stand to witness all the wonder that is the Grand Canyon?

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is by far the most visited part of the canyon, attracting more than 5 million visitors each year. It is the easiest part of the canyon to reach, and it provides lots of great hiking and photo opportunities. Here are our favorite vantage points from an afternoon spent looking over the edge.

Mather’s Point

Viewing at Mather Point.

For many people, this is their first glimpse of the Grand Canyon—the place they’ve seen in movies; the place that’s been at the top of their bucket lists for years. It’s the first vantage point along the Rim Trail, and as you might expect, it’s also one of the most crowded. It has insanely beautiful views, and is the perfect introduction to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

Yavapai Point

Stunning vista along the Rim Trail (South).

Near Yavapai

How did the Grand Canyon form? How many years ago did it all happen? What types of rocks are out there? Those are all questions that can be answered at the Yavapai Geology Museum and Observation Station. Browse the 3-D displays and exhibits to get a better picture of the geology of the region. Enjoy unobstructed panoramic views from the large glass window, providing views of the Colorado River, deep down in the gorge.

Walking the Trail of Time at the Grand Canyon.

From here, pick up the Trail of Time, a walking trail that further takes you on a journey through the Grand Canyon’s geologic history. Over the course of the 1.3-mile, hour-long hike, you’ll transition from the most recent rocks (all of which you can touch) to rocks that are literally billions of years old. The trail ends at Grand Canyon Village.

Desert View Watchtower

The beautiful Grand Canyon.

A four-story tower stands high above the point where the Colorado River takes a turn to the north towards the Navaho and Hopi Indian Reservations. Moe than 20 miles to the east of Grand Canyon Village, this point offers fantastic views—on a clear day, you can see for 100+ miles! Several viewpoints on the ground offer panoramas of some beautiful land—and you can see the site of the final resting place of 128 lost when two planes collided over the Grand Canyon back in 1956. Climb the watchtower to see the murals inside, and to enjoy the bird’s eye view from your perch in the sky.

Are there viewpoints you’d add to our list?

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