Want to know which side of the Grand Canyon has the best views? There are plenty of picture-perfect Grand Canyon viewing sites all around the park, you just have to know where to look. Luckily, that’s where I come in.
You might be wondering, how on earth do you pick the best viewpoints when the entirety of the Grand Canyon is eye-poppingly beautiful?
It’s a tough task, I won’t lie. I’ve had the privilege of spending time at some of the USA’s best national parks – but, there’s something so magical about the big GC.
Almost every spot at this national park provides a new perspective of the massive rock formations and deep canyon. You can find some of the best views on one of the Grand Canyon National Park’s hikes or by driving along the canyon’s rim.
Cameras at the ready, folks – keep reading to discover my list of the best Grand Canyon views.
Where to Find the Best Views of the Grand Canyon
Yeah, yeah, this famous viewpoint in the national park isn’t exactly a secret… But it certainly lives up to its name. Every year, thousands of visitors make their way to this spot because of its unbeatable panoramic east-to-west view of the Grand Canyon.
Grandview Point is the starting place of the Grandview trail. It’s one of the park’s most treacherous paths but, let me tell you, the spectacular views are well worth the journey. Travelling east, you’ll catch your first glimpse of the Colorado River from this viewpoint.
Spring is the perfect time to visit this viewpoint for the best Grand Canyon view— uninterrupted by crowds, the scorching heat, or the harsh winds. While spring brings some rain, the moderate temperatures and the blooming desert flowers make the view even better.
You’ll have to put in some work to see the view from Redwall Bridge. But, the scenery is an excellent reward for hiking down the canyon’s North Kaibab Trail. I recommend starting your trek on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim before walking down 4.2 km to Redwall Bridge.
The North Rim is generally less frequented than the south because it’s less accessible and closed from October to May due to the winter weather. Hiking below the canyon’s rim requires more of an adventurous spirit, so many visitors miss out on the fantastic view from Redwall Bridge.
The best time to visit Redwall Bridge is in the early mornings of May or October. Try to start your hike before dawn so you can catch the sun illuminating the peaks and casting shadows through the canyon as it rises.
At Desert View, I’ve enjoyed some of the Grand Canyon’s best views of the sun setting – I’m talking seriously beautiful, goosebump-inducing sights. Besides the view, stopping at Desert View is important to learn about Native American culture and history.
Located near the eastern edge of the canyon’s South Rim, Desert View is a popular viewpoint for tourists. This viewpoint really shines at sunset when the sky’s purple and orange hues reflect off the distant Colorado River.
You can reach Desert View from Arizona’s Route 64. I’d recommend getting there before sunset so you can explore the visitor centre and the watchtower before watching the magnificent natural light show.
To see Angel’s Window, I recommend taking either the Cape Royal hike that stops at a fantastic 360° viewpoint or the 3 km Cliff Springs trail. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can walk along Angel’s Window overlook to enjoy the view from what feels like the top of the world.
Not in the mood for a hike? No worries. You can reach Angel’s Window by taking a scenic drive along Cape Royal Road. It’s best to visit Angel’s Window in the summer to take advantage of the perfect lunch spot at Encantada Picnic Area.
Since Angel’s Window is on the canyon’s North Rim, this area is closed from October until May due to heavy snow.
Ooh Aah Point
What’s in a name? This point’s name is perfect, as some (myself included) may argue that Ooh Aah Point is the most incredible Grand Canyon viewpoint. Located on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, Ooh Aah Point is open to the public all year round.
Summer and spring are the best times of the year to go here. Although, if you’re visiting during summer, make sure to carry a hat, plenty of sunscreen, and water.
You can reach Ooh Aah Point by taking the South Kaibab Trail, which is suitable for even beginner hikers. However, the incline can be tough on your way back up. Mid-day gets hot, so it’s best to start the hike in the early morning.
Alright, I know I said Ooh Aah is the best viewpoint, but I actually think you might find the best view of the Grand Canyon from Mather Point. And I’m not alone – this is the park’s most popular tourist stop. But, because of its popularity, Mather Point can sometimes get crowded.
The view from Mather Point, on the canyon’s South Rim, is phenomenal and only a short distance from the Grand Canyon Visitor Centre. To avoid the daily groups of tourists, the best time to visit Mather Point is either early morning to catch the sunrise or late afternoon for the sunset spectacle.
If you’ve ever seen a purple-hued sunrise photo of the Grand Canyon, chances are it was from Hopi Point. This spot is the best viewpoint of the Grand Canyon to admire the beautiful colours of the rising sun.
Hopi Point is one of the West Rim’s highest points, making for the canyon’s most breathtaking panoramic views. Thanks to its altitude, the view from this point is more uninterrupted than most spots around the national park.
Although this location on the West Rim boasts spectacular views all day long, the best time to visit is at sunrise or sunset.
Shoshone Point is slightly more remote than most South Rim viewpoints. You can hike or drive down the 6 km dirt road to get to Shoshone Point. If you’re willing to take the road less travelled, you can enjoy tourist-free views.
You’ll find the point’s parking spot just after marker 246 on Arizona’s Route 64. The hike to Shoshone Point is relatively easy and very scenic.
To make the most of this viewpoint, visit at sunset. But make sure to carry a torch for the way back.
Yavapai Point is another one of the South Rim’s highest Grand Canyon vista points. Unaffected by weather, Yavapai Point is even more beautiful on partly cloudy days.
Prepare yourself for some crowds because Yavapai is a popular viewpoint for tourists. It’s only a short walk west of Mather Point (do both at the same time!) and has its own visitor centre. Here you can learn a lot about the history of the area and the canyon’s geology – though, to be honest, I would recommend you skip this if you’re low on time.
Yavapai is the most northern viewpoint of the South Rim, and it offers stunning uninterrupted views of the Grand Canyon.
I also advise you to make the journey along Hermit Road until you find yourself at Hermit’s Rest. Mary Colter designed the charming rest area here and other structures at the Grand Canyon.
Though the other spots in my guide to dreamy Grand Canyon views are best enjoyed at sunset or sunrise, visibility into the canyon is best around mid-day. That said, sunset changes the landscape by casting dramatic shadows and light through the plateaus.
If all the exploring leaves you feeling peckish, grab a bite at Hermit’s Rest Snack Bar.
Looking for classic postcard views of the Grand Canyon? Toroweap Overlook is where you’ll find those.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news… But, these picture-perfect views come at a cost. To get to Toroweap Overlook, you’ll need to drive five hours from North Rim Visitor Centre in a high-clearance vehicle.
Although it’s not easy to get there, you’ll experience the best view of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River running beneath you.
Even though the view from Toroweap is magnificent, it is the park’s least visited viewpoint, so you won’t have to worry about crowds of tourists spoiling the view.
Where is the best view of the Grand Canyon at sunrise? Right here at Point Imperial. Head to this spot on the canyon’s North Rim to witness an unforgettable sunrise. In fact, Point Imperial is the northernmost viewpoint of the Grand Canyon.
I also like that this point is super accessible. The viewpoint is only a few metres away from the parking lot – but, the drive up can be a little twisty for first-timers.
However, the drive is well worth the stunning views. Point Imperial provides a unique perspective of the Grand Canyon’s green north side.
Chances are, you’ve never seen a sunset like this. Cape Royal is one of those Grand Canyon viewpoints that make you feel like you’re on top of the world. They are jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Sunsets feel unusually long here due to the uninterrupted panoramic view of the canyon – not that I’m complaining in the slightest. Standing on the overlook, you’ll see Walhalla Plateau right in front of you. But, if you look a little further, you can see all the way to the South Rim.
Cape Royal arguably offers the best views of the Grand Canyon from the North Rim.
Practical Tips & FAQs: Finding Beautiful Grand Canyon Views
Which rim has the best view of the Grand Canyon?
Both rims offer stunning views. The only differences are that the South Rim is more easily accessible and popular among tourists, while the North Rim is harder to access.
What is the best time of day to view the Grand Canyon?
That depends on which part of the Grand Canyon you plan to see. There’s no doubt that the canyon is beautiful throughout the day, but each point looks especially magnificent when the sunlight hits just right.
From a more biased perspective, I’m a sucker for sunsets… So I would say that each of these viewpoints is extra special when the sun starts to set.
What to pack
Remember these important things when packing for your Grand Canyon itinerary:
- Hat or cap
- Water bottle
- Your camera
- Map of the Grand Canyon
- A good pair of walking shoes
Best Views of the Grand Canyon: Map
Grand Canyon Views: Read Next
- Incredible Things to do in the Grand Canyon
- Brilliant Grand Canyon Hikes
- The Ultimate Grand Canyon Road Trip
- The Best Tours of the Grand Canyon
- 4 Epic Grand Canyon Road Trip Itineraries
- Grand Canyon From Above: Seeing the Grand Canyon in a Helicopter
- Where to Stay for Your Grand Canyon Trip
- Unmissable Things to do in Arizona
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