Best of Grand Canyon’s South Rim
Mather Point: Most visitors’ first views of the canyon are from Mather Point. Across the road, Canyon View Information Plaza offers a shuttle stop, a ranger station, a bookstore, and all-around orientation to the canyon.
Yavapai Observation Station: This historic pueblo-style building features displays of Grand Canyon’s geology as well as fabulous views of the central canyon.
Grand Canyon Village Historic District: Meet the human side of Grand Canyon — Fred Harvey and the Harvey Girls, the Kolb brothers, sheriff and Rough Rider Buckey O’Neill, and architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. All are immortalized in the village’s historic buildings.
Hopi Point: Hopi Point is notable for its stunning sunrise and sunset views. You can see 30 miles or more in either direction: east to the Palisades of the Desert, and west to Havasupai Point.
Hermits Rest: Mary Colter, an architect for the Santa Fe Railway, designed Hermits Rest in 1914 to resemble a prospector’s cavern-like lair. She based her imaginary prospector on turn-of-the-century miner Louis Boucher, who hosted tourists at his camp at nearby Dripping Springs.
Grandview Point: One of the highest points on the South Rim, Grandview delivers just what its name promises. From Grandview’s ponderosa pine forest, look down on Horseshoe Mesa, where the Last Chance Mine once yielded copper ore.
Tusayan Ruins and Museum: The Ancestral Puebloans summered in this 800-year-old masonry complex. The adjacent museum focuses on the canyon’s prehistoric, historic, and contemporary Native Americans.
Desert View Watchtower: From this 70-foot high masonry tower designed by Mary Colter, you can see the Painted Desert and Vermilion Cliffs. Murals inside the tower, painted by Fred Kabotie and other artists, are a pictorial history of the Grand Canyon region’s Native American past.
Bright Angel Trailhead: Starting just west of Bright Angel Lodge, the Bright Angel Trail is not only a popular path into the canyon but also a national historic landmark. This prehistoric Indian route has been used by mule tours since pioneer times. Walking down the trail, even for a short distance, gives the sense of entering the canyon’s embrace.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition