Attractions near South Rim Grand Canyon

Ride along Desert View Drive through canyons and forest for 25 miles between Desert View and Grand Canyon Village. The only scenic road in the park open year-round, there are breathtaking views of the canyon and Painted Desert, as well as plenty of picnic areas. The first stop on this drive is Desert View with a historic watchtower, snack bar, bookstore, and information center. Built in 1932 by architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the watchtower incorporates Native American art and design. The roof of the watchtower stands at 7,522 feet above sea level, making it the highest point on the South Rim.

Visit the small Tusayan Museum, dedicated to the history and lives of the Hopi tribe and the ancestral Pueblo people. Ruins of an ancestral Pueblo village stand outside the museum, and exhibits depicting life in the Pueblo village 800 years ago are housed inside. The museum also showcases contemporary handicrafts local tribes. Free-guided tours are available daily.

The Yavapai Point Geology Museum and Observation Station was created in 1928 for the purpose of better understanding the Grand Canyon's unique geology. Some of these features can be viewed through the museum's large glass picture windows. This is an unparalleled spot to watch and photograph sunrise and sunset.

Grand Canyon Village is the center of activity at the South Rim. Though very congested, the Village has the most overlooks, historic buildings, and shops. An easy 5-minute walk for the visitor's center is the well-known Mather Point, with heart-stopping panoramic views of the canyon.

Kolb and Lookout Studios cling to the very edge of the canyon rim. Lookout Studio was built as a photography studio by Mary Colter to compete with the neighboring Kolb Studio, and incorporates design from the Hopi and Pueblo tribes. Built with native jagged limestone rocks, it blends right into the canyon. The Kolb studio, also perched precariously on the rim, is named for the brothers Ellsworth and Emory Kolb as a photography studio and movie theater. Both studios are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From 1915 – 1976, Emory Kolb ran a movie of his 1912 trip down the Colorado River daily, making it the longest running movie in history. The Kolb studio still hosts a variety of changing exhibits.