The first outlook east of Grand Canyon Village is Yavapai Point. Affording some of the most panoramic views, this stop places you in contact with all of the Grand Canyon’s elements: The Colorado River, adjoining creeks, gorges, buttes, and smaller canyons. Being at the northernmost point on the south rim, Yavapai Point allows one to see the formations as far east as Desert View, and the Palisades, which rest at the end of the Desert View Scenic Drive. It is easy to understand why this vista inspires so many artists to capture its essence on film or in paint, with the multitude of colors, shadings and shapes that bombard the eye from all directions.
Straight ahead you come face to face with Bright Angel Canyon, housing the only rim to river route maintained on the north side of the Colorado River. Across the horizon, you will see painted peak of Isis Temple, one of the highest summits in the Grand Canyon, and the neighboring flat-topped mesa known as Cheops Pyramid. To the west, below the Shiva Temple formation, Trinity Creek flows into the Colorado, near Hopi Point. Looking east, the secluded Clear Creek becomes visible. This creek has formed a deep, private canyon which stretches out towards the Walhalla Plateau.
Once you’ve absorbed spectacular visions from the point, a visit to the Yavapai Observation Station will provide a bounty of information about the magnificent landscape. Constructed in the late 1920′s, utilizing Kaibab Limestone and Ponderosa Pine in an effort to make it blend seamlessly with the canyon, the station provides a place from which to study the geological and historical aspects of the canyon. The station was rededicated in 2007, with updates and new, user-friendly, educational exhibits being implemented in keeping with its goal of public education about the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon.