Located just a short half-mile north of Desert View Drive along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Lipan Point is a lovely summit that provides nearly 360-degree views of the surrounding wilderness. Standing at over 7,300 feet above sea level, there are a number of excellent landmarks to be seen from this vantage, including the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon Supergroup. It’s also one of the most popular spots for sunset photographs along the entire South Rim.
Lipan Point History and Background Information
Lipan Point is the second-to-last stop on Desert View Drive along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s one of roughly 20 major viewpoints on the South Rim, and is one of the most beautiful due to its largely unobstructed views of the river and several unique rock formations. The viewpoint itself also features guardrails (which many visitors prefer). Due to its distance from the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center (and proximity to the more popular Desert View), Lipan Point is also a bit less crowded, so it may be worth the short detour to see these amazing views. It’s most historically significant because of its proximity to the Tanner Trail, a pathway down to the river used by Native Americans and early settlers alike.
What’s at Lipan Point
The first landmark visible from Lipan Point is Seventyfive Mile Creek, which joins up to the larger waterways system of the Grand Canyon, particularly the Hance Rapids. You’ll also be able to see the Escalante Butte, a gorgeously colored rock formation that typifies Grand Canyon natural beauty. The Unkar Delta is a current archaeological site, and was once home to Pueblo settlements. This is also a viewpoint from which to see the Colorado River in all its glory, including some of the attractive rapids. Dedicated hikers can also pick up the start of the ten-mile-long Tanner Trail nearby. Originally used for everything from Hopi and Navajo transit to smuggling, this trail is the longest Rim to River trail throughout the entire Grand Canyon. It’s also a very difficult trail, with no water available along the entire trail and little shade during the summer months. Last but not least, this is an invaluable site for anyone interested in the geology of the Grand Canyon. Here is one of few places along the entire south Rim where the Grand Canyon Supergroup – a specific type of striated rock formation that includes many of the possible rock types in the region – is visible.
Tips for Visiting Lipan Point
- This is one of the most popular spots for Grand Canyon sunset photographs; so don’t forget your camera!
- Lipan Point is an excellent viewpoint for anyone with mobility issues because of its proximity to the parking lot.
- Be on the lookout for wildlife! Visitors have seen everything from desert birds to elk at this isolated viewpoint.
- Lipan Point is not on the main shuttle route, but is a roughly 30 minute drive from the Grand Canyon Visitors Center along Desert View Drive.