Visiting the Desert View Watchtower

Many people visiting the Grand Canyon never venture out to the Desert View Watchtower on the East Rim Drive.  So often, visitors will stay around

Historic trip of John Wesley Powell
Hopi culture at the Grand Canyon
Monsoon season at the Grand Canyon

Many people visiting the Grand Canyon never venture out to the Desert View Watchtower on the East Rim Drive.  So often, visitors will stay around the main view points near the Grand Canyon Village and miss this cultural treasure that lies to the east.

This structure was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter who is often referred to as the architect of the southwest. She traveled throughout the southwest to find inspiration and authenticity for her buildings. The architecture of the ancestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau served as her model. This particular tower was patterned after those found at Hovenweep and the Round Tower of Mesa Verde. Ms. Colter indicated that it was not a copy of any that she had seen, but rather modeled from several.

I particularly love the first gallery, on the first landing. The paintings were done by Fred Kabotie, a Hopi from second Mesa. These represent the physical and spiritual origins of Hopi life.

 

The ceiling images, painted by Fred Geary, are recreations of images from Abo Rockshelter, now part of Salinas National Monument in New Mexico.

On the outside of the structure are actual petroglyphs that came from Ash Fork near Prescott.

It is well worth the time to drive out to Desert View and see this magnificent structure.  Not only can you see a wonderful representation of Native American art, you get a great view of the Painted Desert to the East.

 

 

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