The Grand Canyon is an aesthetic phenomenon with literally hundreds of gorgeous panoramas. Snapping a worthy picture, let alone phrasing an appropriate description, is perhaps even more impossible than hiking up a primitive trail in the dead of summer. While gazing upon every scenic wonder on the canyon is impossible unless you plan to dedicate a couple of months to hiking the expanse and depth of the Grand Canyon, it is possible to get your fair share of beauty if you know from where to look.
One of the highest points on the South Rim, Grandview Point is poised 7,400 ft (2250 m) high, giving visitors an unequalled view of the depths of the canyon, dense forestland, and the magnificent Horseshoe Mesa. A view like this however, is going to cost you some courage as the ascent to the summit is narrow and depending on the season’s precipitation, quite slippery.
This rustic little cottage on the South Rim was perched at the edge of the canyon for a reason. Not only is the studio itself built in the essence of the canyon’s natural beauty, but the views from its various lookout points are majestic.
The east side of the Grand Canyon shows its best angle from Yaki Point. Located on the East Rim, Yaki Point is one of those lookout places that condenses the whole Grand Canyon experience into one jaw-dropping, panoramic image.
If you’re planning a rim-to-river hike and want to gaze out at your goal before descending the canyon, stop at Yavapai Point. Although it may be a bit congested, as most South Rim viewing spots are, spotting the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch in the depths will be worth the lack of elbow room. This outlook also gives you a breathtaking view of the inner canyon.
If a more expansive view is what you’re looking for- one fourth of the entire Grand Canyon terrain, to be exact, head over to Mather Point. While you’ll be sharing the view with hundreds of tourists, you’ll soon forget your desire for isolation once confronted by the imposing splendor of the phenomenon before you. From here, Vishnu Temple and the Temple of Zoroaster are clearly discernible, as well as The handrail along the rim was surely constructed to keep hypnotized visitors from walking straight into the abyss, unaware of anything but the canyon’s beauty.
Desert View Watchtower
A structure born of Mary Colter’s naturalistic ideals, the Desert View Watchtower provides amazing views of the Colorado River, the Painted Desert, and the San Francisco Peaks.
The North Rim gives you the highest vantage points on the canyon, namely Point Imperial. This lookout point gives you a stunning view of the Vermillion Cliffs, Navajo Mountain, and the Painted Desert. An expansive platform allows for plenty of gazing companions, although it’s likely you’ll have the place to yourself, or nearly as the North Rim is ten times more isolated than its southern counterpart.
Lipan Point is one of those all-inclusive lookouts. This spot gives you a detailed view of the inner gorge’s geological layers staring out at you from an expansive terrain of rust-red rock formations and canyon faces. The depth of the canyon is sharply contrasted by clouds that seem to float just out of your reach, while the Colorado River swerves gracefully beneath.