We entered the park at the Desert View entrance, which is the east entrance, located about 25 miles from our lodging for that night at the Yavapai Lodge. The primary feature at Desert View is the Watchtower, a structure built to provide the widest possible view of Grand Canyon while harmonizing with its setting.
The Watchtower at Desert View
Inside the Watchtower, looking down from an upper level.
We took our time traveling that 25 miles to our lodging in Grand Canyon Village, stopping at every scenic overlook.
A view from Navajo Point
Above is a "stitched" panorama shot, also taken at Navajo Point
This one was shot at Lipan Point.
The next morning, after we had eaten breakfast at the cafeteria, we decided to drive back down to one of the main viewing points that we had seen the day before, Grandview Point, in hopes of having better lighting in the canyon on this day. It had been really hazy the day before, and the sun was shining brightly the next morning. The plan was that we would then use the free shuttles to see areas of the park where private vehicles aren't permitted.
But, on our way back to Canyon Village from Grandview Point, we decided to see if the Yavapai Lodge would let us out of our second night's reservation. They were very nice about it and said it would be no problem if we wanted to leave a day early. So we scurried back to the room and got everything packed and loaded into the van, pulling out with about five minutes to spare before the established checkout time.
We headed west for California, staying that night in Barstow. The next stop on our national parks tour was Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. Stay tuned.