Located just two miles from the famous Bright Angel Trailhead, Hopi Point is routinely one of the most visited stops along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This popularity with visitors stems from the fact that Hopi Point has remarkably clear views of the canyon in several directions. Hopi Point is the first spot on the South Rim Trail where much of the western portion of the Grand Canyon becomes visible. Here you will be able to see numerous iconic rock formations in the distance, as well as a variety of bodies of water rushing on the floor of the canyon below. The sunsets at Hopi Point are not to be missed!
Hopi Point History and Background
For visitors traveling westward along Hermit Road on the park’s free shuttle bus route—known as the “Red Route”—Hopi Point is the fourth stop you will encounter. Significant portions of the viewing area here are surrounded by a safety fence. As a result, you can feel as secure as possible while soaking in the spectacular surroundings.
Hopi Point has had a long and important role in the history of Grand Canyon National Park. In the early years of the 20th Century, one of the first camps for visiting tourists was established here. In 1909, the U.S. Forest Service constructed a crow’s nest at Hopi Point, so as to have a facility from which to keep an eye out for forest fires. The National Park Service removed this groundbreaking structure in 1927 and replaced it with a steel tower that still stands. Today it holds a place on the National Historic Lookout Register for its historic role in conservation efforts.
What’s at Hopi Point
Along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, no portion of the trail juts out so far to the north as that portion found near Hopi Point. This provides it with a unique series of views. It is the initial place along the South Rim where significant portions of the western Grand Canyon become visible, including such attractions as Havasupai Point and the Great Scenic Divide. Hopi Point also has terrific views to the canyon below. From here you can observe a variety of Colorado River rapids, as well as partake in outstanding sightlines of Dana Butte, a mesa found some 2,000 feet below the fenced viewing area.
Hopi Point also has clear views of several landmarks found across the canyon on the North Rim. Interestingly enough, many of these natural formations were given names that reference figures from Ancient Egypt: Horus Temple, Osiris Temple, and Isis Temple. These sizable mesas were given their striking names by the prominent geologist Clarence Dutton, when he traveled through the region in the late-19th Century.
Hikers following the trail west from Grand Canyon Village will definitely want to stop at Hopi Point. When traveling along the South Rim, there are many great viewpoints from which to see the sun set over the Grand Canyon. However, if you get right down to it, most people believe that Hopi Point is the absolute best place to watch a canyon sunset.
Tips for Visiting Hopi Point
- Given how legendary the beautiful the sunsets are here, Hopi Point can draw quite a crowd in the evening. The earlier you arrive at Hopi Point, the more likely you are to be able to grab a prime spot from which to view the proceedings.
- Given the panoramic views available here, it is an especially appealing place to stop and have lunch. So pack yourself a meal, find your favorite viewpoint, spread out your food, and get comfortable!
- This spot can get particularly windy at times, so keep a tight grip on your hat—and any other belongings you are carrying.
- If you are visiting Grand Canyon National Park during the winter months (December 1st-February 28th), you can drive straight to Hopi Point—there is plenty of parking nearby.