Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
November 5, 2010
From journal Spring Break at the Canyon
by Jasmine Writer
None, North Carolina
April 16, 2008
From journal The Grand Canyon
January 4, 2005
The main tower has an interesting array of different size windows that appear to be randomly placed around the walls. I’m sure that it probably had something to do with the impact of the lighting, giving a cave-like feel to the building, but more likely, I suspect, it had something to do with the routing of the internal staircase and the available view from inside. The external impact is one lacking in symmetry, but I guess Colter would have wanted that as well.
We entered a large circular room with a heavily logged ceiling and a ladder leading to a false opening. There’s a roaring fire below a large picture window (how do they do that?) and spaces to sit around or check out the souvenir shop. Apparently this room is very similar to how it was in the 1930s, and there’s a terrific view through the windows. Indeed at one point it felt as if I was hanging over the precipice as I took in the framed vista of the canyon.
I left my wife and cousin in the souvenir shop as I accessed the main tower. This room has one heck of a tall ceiling, and around the walls are a number of balconies that cling to the sidewalls. A steep narrow staircase has to be negotiated to progress up the levels, and you’ll get a glimpse of the view as you pass the small irregularly spaced windows en route. The ceiling hides the top floor, and I now appreciated that my climb to the top has been rewarded with magnificent views across the canyon through large picture windows. This is superb countryside, but I guess I knew that before I started to climb the staircase! But the view is not the only reason for visiting the tower, as the inside is superbly "decorated" with Aztec-like murals. The images depict the folklore of the Hopi tribe, as painted by Kabotie, an Indian artist, and their raw expressionism fit beautifully with the tower’s construction and the rugged external landscape. Shaft of natural light from the randomly placed windows do a perfect job in creating an appropriate atmosphere, and the gentle strains of Indian piped music confirm the ambience. There are loads of images to ponder over and enjoy.
From journal The Awesome Canyon
Saint Paul, Minnesota
November 10, 2003
There's much construction going on along the drive, and that slowed traffic a bit - not a big problem, since a slow pace along this scenic drive is our choice anyway. And the good news is that the construction is for many new overlooks along the drive. Though some were still closed, we eagerly await our next visit. A few years back, we watched a bobcat cross the road and peer back at us from the treeline in this wild area. No such luck this time, with the traffic, construction, and rain. Lots of construction at the Watchtower also, with a quarter-mile walk from the (temporary) parking lot.
From the Watchtower area, watching the thunderheads march up the canyon was very dramatic. It was a magical moment, well worth the inconvenience. And the storm was brief, with bursts of sun to light the overlooks along the drive.
From journal Grand Canyon - South Rim
November 14, 2002
From journal Grand Canyon
by Gwilym Owen
November 5, 2002
Perched precipitously on the edge of the canyon, the Watchtower looks like it’s been there standing sentinel for hundreds of years, with it’s weathered rough hewn appearance and liberal adornments of Native Hopi Indian pictoglyphs on its inside walls. Indeed, it has only been in place for a little over 75 years when it was designed and built by Mary E. J. Colter for the Fred Harvey Company to cater to early 20th century tourists to the canyon. Mary is also responsible for the Hermit’s Rest building at the end of the West Rim scenic drive, and the Hopi House in Grand Canyon Village.
Although the tower itself adds little overall elevation in relation to the canyon floor, it is worth climbing to the top to extend your vision that much farther by looking through one of the coin-op telescopes there. As well as close up canyon views, you can get good views of the Painted Desert to the East, the Marble Canyon to the North and South to see the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff – better still you actually get a good long view for your money!
A gift shop is on the ground floor, where you can also see a demonstration of traditional Hopi weaving using a loom. On the first floor is a gallery whose walls are covered in pictoglyphs, as well as the exit to a large balcony. A spiral staircase takes you to an circular balcony floor, before finishing at the roof.
Adjacent to the Watchtower is the Desert View Trading Post, with visitor information, a restaurant, general store and, importantly, a service station.
March 15, 2002
From journal The Grand Canyon in half a day