Desert View Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site


Desert View Watchtower with a starry backdrop and quote overlay "We are still here." 

The Indigenous Connection to Grand Canyon

For more than 12,000 years, people have lived on what are now Grand Canyon National Park lands, gathering food, telling stories, and weaving a history and a livelihood.

Now, Desert View, a place that was initially created to introduce visitors to the Southwest’s diverse and rich cultural heritage, is transforming into a place very much in keeping with its origins. The site is becoming an “Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site”—the first in the National Park Service.

Led by the 11 tribes traditionally associated with the Grand Canyon region, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Desert View Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site begins to address the historic inequities faced by Native Americans through new pathways for cultural and economic opportunities to determine a new thriving future.


What's Happening At Desert View
  • Improvement of the arrival experience, by creating an Orientation Area, Shade Structure, Picnic Areas, and revision of the parking lots.
  • Enhancement of the heart of Desert View by adapting the Watchtower, amphitheater, and other structures to ensure access for all.
  • Revision of the Pedestrian Paths to enhance the visitors’ travels along this natural, cultural, and tribal journey.
  • Development of a Tribal Welcome Center.
  • The expansion of the popular Cultural Demonstration Series at Desert View, which provides the opportunity for artisans from the 11 traditionally associated tribes to share their crafts with park visitors, raising awareness and appreciation of the history and diverse cultures of the region.




Images to the right: Concept renderings of the site, designed by Andy Dufford. Zuni artist Ronnie Cachini at work in his studio in Zuni, NM.

Sketches of plans for Desert View
Colored renderings of shade structures at Desert View
Black and white sketches a structural ramada
Zuni artist Ronnie Cachini sketches plans for the new Desert View project.
Hopi Silversmith Jonah Hill and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendant Ed Keable share more about what's in store for Desert View

Video courtesy of Arizona Lottery

Learn more

Our Tribal Partners

Learn more about the associated tribes who call the canyon home.

Cultural Demonstration Series

Connect with tribal artisans from Grand Canyon’s traditionally associated tribes to learn about their history through crafts.

Give to This Project

Help bring this vision to life with a tax-deductible contribution. 

Phase Two Project Partners

Arizona Lottery Gives Back logo  APS logo

The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation

Blue American Express Logo          Bank of America secondary logo           National Park Foundation logo




Connecting with Desert View

The Desert View area offers some of the most spectacular canyon views. Below you will find a gallery of photos visitors from around the world have captured and shared with us. You too can share your special experiences with us by using the hashtag #GrandCanyonConservancy.