Grand Canyon View: Sunset Grand Canyon with Vishnu Temple

Best Views Grand Canyon Views & View Points
A Guide to the best views of Grand Canyon

view of Temple of Zoroaster, Grand Canyon

One of the prominent rocks you can see from Mather View Point is Zoroaster Temple. Its striking shape was a model for the fireplace in the Bright Angel Lodge's History Room designed by architect Mary Colter.

view of Bright Angel Lodge Fireplace, Grand Canyon

Outstanding Views of Grand Canyon on DVD Echoes Through Time, Grand Canyon DVD Box

"I've walked the Grand Canyon rim to rim, run its gut in a wood boat and camped among its inner inhabitants. This video is the closest possible to the real thing."
editor emeritus and author, Don Dedera

DVD Now available from the

Grand Canyon Association view of The Redwall, Grand Canyon

The massive Redwall formation (450 to 525 feet, or 140 to 160 m thick) of the Grand Canyon's wall appears red, but the rock is actually made of a mixture of white and bluish gray stone. The red hue is caused by a surface stain that washes down from shale layers above it. In places where the stain has been disturbed, the true color of the rock is visible.

switchbacks on Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail

On May 15, 1930, a porcupine was spotted hiking up the Bright Angel Trail in the early evening. According to witnesses, the animal did not appear exhausted, unlike many of his two-legged counterparts.

Grandview Point from the Grandview Trail The rim from Grandview Trail

Grandview Point is one of the highest view points at Grand Canyon (7,399'). Because of this it receives more precipitation than most other places. In fact, one year, snow fell at Grandview Point in June.

The Grandview Trail was completed in 1893 by copper mine owner Peter Berry. It descends 3 steep miles to Horseshoe Mesa (4,800') and 2 miles further on reaches Cottonwood Creek (4,400').

Berry also built the Grandview Hotel in 1897, which was the best lodge at Grand Canyon, until the El Tovar opened in 1905. The Grandview Hotel hung on until 1908. Some of its logs can still be seen today. They were hauled over to Desert View and used by architect Mary Colter in the construction of the Watchtower.

Grandview Hotel, Grand Canyon Grandview Hotel


Canyon Bookshelf

My all-time favorite book of the Grand Canyon. A very well written tale of how the author leaves the modern world behind and rejuvenates his spirit as he discovers a world of endless detail, grandeur and life. We may never walk the remote Grand Canyon paths that Fletcher did but The Man Who Walked Through Time makes us feel like we did. Unforgettable.

With a large number of beautiful, high-quality color photographs, this guide is as browsable as the best coffee table books but also supplies travelers with maps, travel tips, and extensive listings for lodging, camping, and sightseeing.

"The canyon of the Colorado River has become for me a haunting memory, dwarfing all things that I have seen, belittling all the gorges, all the mountains that in the past impressed me."
Burton Holmes, travel writer and lecturer

What is the best Grand Canyon view?

Grand Canyon view point

Although many people ask, there really isn't a single best Grand Canyon view. Each location is unique and offers a new insight. The Grand Canyon is about seeing the beautfully exposed pile of rock that makes up the Canyon and this changes from every view point you visit. Try to visit as many view points as you can. It is interesting to observe how monuments and temples make entrances and exits and change shape as your angle of view varies.

The best places to watch the Grand Canyon sunset and Grand Canyon sunrise are where there are few obstructions to your view. Most of the Grand Canyon view points are located on promontories that stick out from the rim. The perfect spot would be a point that extends out into the canyon far enough that you have a clear view of both east and west.

view of Sunset Grand Canyon

How to find the best picture spots of Grand Canyon

Most Grand Canyon visitors will experience the Canyon from the Canyon's edge at one of the official view points. At the South Rim, these are set along either the West or East Rim Drives. Many of the view points can be accessed via the free National Park Service Shuttle Buses. In fact, the West Rim view points can only be reached by Shuttle Bus, or on foot.

Grand Canyon West Rim View Points:

Map of View points on West Rim Drive, Grand Canyon

Trailviews 1 and 2:
Are you curious to see what a trail into the Grand Canyon looks like? If so, then Trailview is for you. When you go out on the West Rim Drive the very first view point(s) you come to is named Trailview. It's definitely worth a stop to look at Trailviews 1 and 2. For people interested in hiking into the Grand Canyon and not sure what that is really like, Trailview offers an excellent look at the torturous switchbacks that make up the top of the Bright Angel Trail.

Maricopa Point:
Maricopa Point gives an excellent view of the eastern part of the Grand Canyon. It is a good location choice for photographing or watching the sunrise.

view of Sunrise Grand Canyon, John Wesley Powell Memorial, Powell Point, Grand Canyon

Powell Point:
Named for Grand Canyon explorer John Wesley Powell, Powell Point is interesting because its on a penninsula of rock that sticks out into Grand Canyon. It is home to an historical marker that honors Major Powell, plus it is adjacent to Hopi Point. It has similar views to Hopi Point, one of the most famous view points at Grand Canyon, but is less visited and has fewer crowds. This can make Powell Point an excellent place to view and contemplate the sunset.

View from Hopi Point, Grand Canyon

Hopi Point:
Hopi Point sticks way out into the Grand Canyon and allows a wonderful view of the rock layers of the mighty gorge. For the last hundred years this view point has been recommended by rangers and tour guides as the best place to view the sunset at Grand Canyon. Back then it took a 3 hour ride by coach just to get to Hopi Point. It was worth it, though, because once here Hopi Point is a fine spot to watch sunrise, sunset and everything in-between.

Sunrise at Hopi Point as seen from Powell Point view of Hopi Point, Sunrise Grand Canyon

Mojave Point is located between Hopi Point and Pima Point and gives a good view of the Colorado River.

The Abyss is notable for its steep walls. The Rim comes to an end and there is only air in front of and below you. Most Grand Canyon view points stick out from the rim. The Abyss is just the opposite; it is located along an indentation in the Canyon walls.

A winter sunset at Pima Point. view of Pima Point sunset, Grand Canyon

Pima Point:
Pima Point is the single best view of the river. From here you can see see both a minor and major rapid and when conditions are ideal you can hear the roar of the water below. Also, Pima Point just might be the best place to view the sunset at Grand Canyon.

Sunset from Hermit's Rest
view of Sunset from Hermit's Rest, Grand Canyon

Hermit's Rest:
Hermit's Rest gets its name from Mary Colter's exquisite building which stands here. This point gives a good view directly to the West and is an excellent spot to relax and watch a spectacular Grand Canyon sunset. From 1910 to 1930 Hermit's Rest was the trailhead to an old Fred Harvey tent camp.

Grand Canyon Village View Points:

Sunset from Grand Canyon Village Best Grand Canyon views; Sunset from Grand Canyon Village

Yavapai Point and Observation Station:
From this is the location you can look down to the Colorado River and see Phantom Ranch. The North Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails can be seen clearly, too, and there are several spotting scopes set up for viewing the Canyon interior. The Yavapai Observation Station has informative displays about the Canyon and a Grand Canyon Association bookstore.

Mather Pointview of late afternoon at Mather Point, Grand Canyon A cold day at Mather Point, Grand Canyon

Mather Point:
ALL the tour buses stop at Mather Point, so during the daytime it can be crowded (tip: come to Mather Point in the morning to witness, weather permitting, a spectacular sunrise). This is an exciting place to view the canyon and the throngs do not detract from the beautiful vista the Grand Canyon presents here. Some of the highlights include a spire named The Temple of Zoroaster, as well as another prominent pinnacle: Vishnu Temple. It can be seen as you look east.

Once you've identified Vishnu Temple, an interesting thing to do is to keep an eye on its very distinctive profile as you walk around the main village, or travel along the West Rim Drive. If you are traveling east on the East Rim Drive, however, Vishnu Temple becomes a whole different geological beast. As you move, you change your angle relative to it . Finally, as you get in front of it versus seeing it from the side, Vishnu Temple looks quite different.

East Rim Drive View Points:

Map of Viewpoints on Desert View Drive, Grand Canyon

Yaki Point:

A view worth hiking to: "Ooh-Ahh Point" on the Kaibab Trail, which begins at Yaki Point Best Grand Canyon views; A view from the Kaibab Trail

Best Grand Canyon views; Yaki Trail

Yaki Point, the first marked view point on the East Rim Drive, is where you get your first unobstructed view into the east side of Grand Canyon. It is a good spot to introduce what the East Rim is going to be all about.

Yaki Point is also the trailhead for the South Kaibab Trail which winds down to the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch. It is the first main prominatory on the East Rim Drive as you leave Grand Canyon Village. From here you get a good view of the central portion of Grand Canyon, including Wotan's Throne and Vishnu Temple.

Spectacular views of the Grand Canyon await the hiker who descends from Yaki Point. A contender for the "Best view of Grand Canyon" is a spot on the Kaibab Trail nicknamed "Ooh-Aah Point", shown above. It acquired its name from hikers who first turn to their left and exclaim, "Ooh," then turn to their right and follow up with, "Aah."

A Yaki Point sunset view of a sunset from Yaki Point, Grand Canyon

Grandview Point:

Grandview Point sunset, Grand Canyon

At 7,400 feet (2250 meters) Grandview Point has the highest elevation of any marked view point on the South Rim except for Navajo Point and Desert View at the very east end of the park. Consequently, slightly more precipitation falls here and the forest is denser than in most other areas. Below Grandview Point is Horseshoe Mesa, which may be reached via the Grandview Trail. Speaking from experience, the steep, narrow trail can be treacherous when snow-covered.

Grand Canyon vista from Grandview Point view of Grandview Point

Moran Point:

Moran Point is an excellent place to view Grand Canyon. As you look down, you get a view of an area called Red Canyon. You can also see beyond Red Canyon to a wonderful example of white water rapids called Hakatai Rapids. For photographers, there is an interesting formation called the Sinking Ship that really stands out when it is silhouetted against the setting sun.

Sunset and the "Sinking Ship" from Moran Point view of sunset and the Sinking Ship, Moran Point, Grand Canyon

Lipan Point:
Lipan Point is dazzling. It exhibits just about everything the Grand Canyon has to offer. What is really impressive about Lipan Point is that, number one, you can see the river; second, you can see the beginning of the inner gorge, the blackish pinkish area made out of igneous and metamorphic rock; third, you can see the single best exposure of whats called the Grand Canyon Supergroup, sedimentary rock thats been slightly tilted, and you can also see the distinct horizontal layers that dominate the upper 3/4 of the canyon. Added to that, Lipan Point is just high enough that you can see some of the distant terrain that surrounds the Grand Canyon.

The view from Lipan Point view of Lipan Point, Grand Canyon

Unkar Delta


From Lipan Point, you look out over the Unkar Delta. Its rich soil is one of the most suitable areas inside the Grand Canyon for farming and there is much archaeological evidence that it was used as farmland in pre-historic times. Many artifacts of Grand Canyon's ancient peoples may be seen at the Tusuyan Museum. It is located not far from Lipan Point, off Desert View Drive. The Tusuyan Museum has its own set of ruins just outside the main building and is an excellent resource for Grand Canyon's ancient human history. You can also learn about Grand Canyon's fascinating geology and ancient past in Echoes Through Time: Grand Canyon.

View from Lipan Point

view of Tusuyan Museum, Grand Canyon view of Lipan Point cliffs at sunset, Grand Canyon Tusuyan Museum

Desert View:

Desert View is a very special place for its view of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. Here, the river wheels about as it leaves the southern-oriented Marble Canyon section and begin to flow west again. The scene is spectacular and on a clear day your view extends north all the way to the Vermillion Cliffs. Desert View is also notable as the site of architect Mary Colter's masterpiece, The Watchtower, which was inspired by the ancient Native American ruins found in the Southwest.

Desert View view

Best Views of Grand Canyon on DVD:
Echoes Through Time: Grand Canyon

Echoes Through Time, Grand Canyon DVD Box

While you are learning about the best views of Grand Canyon, we recommend picking up a copy of Echoes Through Time: Grand Canyon. Whether you're a tourist, an educator or an armchair traveler, you will discover what makes Grand Canyon the natural wonder of the world, "the geologic symbol of the planet Earth."

The First Lady of the United States, on her visit to Grand Canyon, received Echoes Through Time as a gift from the Grand Canyon Association as the movie that best explains the wonders of the park. The DVD is a five-time gold medal award-winning experience of Grand Canyon that brings the viewpoints on this page to life, as well as showing the most interesting things to do at the Grand Canyon.

You can order the DVD directly from the Grand Canyon Association HERE.

"Grand Canyon is not one of the seven natural wonders of the world. From a geological point of view it's THE natural wonder of the world. It is literally the geological symbol of what the planet Earth is all about."
Jim Heywood, National Park Service Interpretive Ranger