After checking out the remarkable views at Navajo Point, we continued our scenic overlook hopping along Desert View Drive with a stop at Lipan Point.
Sitting at an elevation of 7,360 feet, Lipan Point offers an almost 360 degree panoramic view of Grand Canyon, including Hance Rapid on the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon Supergroup, Unkar Delta, and the San Francisco Peaks.
Hance Rapid is one of the many powerful whitewater rapids along the Colorado River. While Lipan Point is 3.8 miles away from Hance Rapid, on quiet days, you still can hear the roar of the rapid. With the river falling the full height of a three story building, Hance Rapid is one of the most hazardous whitewater rapids on the Colorado River.
Grand Canyon Supergroup
At Lipan Point, you can see the rocks of the Grand Canyon Supergroup, which are visible to this extent from only a few places on the South Rim. These tilted rocks at the bottom of the canyon were originally deposited as flat layers, but massive faulting caused them to lift and tilt. Weak Supergroup rocks erode easily, exposing the best view of the Colorado River anywhere in Grand Canyon National Park.
The rocks of the Supergroup date from 740 million to 1,200 million years old.
- The canyon’s oldest fossils, layered mats of blue-green algae, are found in the bottom layer.
- Ripples and mudcracks hint at 1,000 million yard old tidal flats and floodplains.
- As faulting began to break and tilt these rocks, magma flowed up through the breaks and covered the land in 1,000 feet of lava.
Interpretive signs at the Lipan Point Overlook tell stories of a 1,000 year old ancestral Puebloan farming village named Unkar Delta that used to exist on the riverbanks below. These Delta Farmers grew corn, beans, squash, and cotton, hunted for wild game, and gathered plants from the inner canyon and high plateaus. Today Unkar Delta remains a site of active archeological study.
Know Before You Go
- Lipan Point is a scenic overlook on the Desert View Drive portion of Arizona Highway 64 in Grand Canyon Village, Arizona 86023. It is in Coconino County in Grand Canyon National Park.
- Lipan Point sits at 7,360 feet elevation and is on a short spur road off Desert View Drive.
- You do not need to ride the free park shuttle to access Lipan Point. Desert View Drive is accessible by personal vehicle.
- The nearest restrooms are at the Tusayan Ruin Museum and Desert View Point.
- We had LTE service at Lipan Point!