After stopping at the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center in Tusayan to purchase our park pass and visiting the South Rim Visitor Center, we were so excited to finally get our first glimpse of the Grand Canyon at Mather Point.
Located directly behind the main South Rim Visitor Center, Mather Point is an easily accessible Grand Canyon overlook with scenic vistas stretching ten miles across the canyon to the North Rim and reaching one mile down to the powerful Colorado River.
Because it is so close to the Visitor Center, Mather Point is one of the most popular and most crowded scenic viewpoints in Grand Canyon National Park. It is often the first stop along the South Rim for families like ours, who can’t wait to see the spectacular, colorful Grand Canyon and visible layers of Kaibab Limestone, Coconino Sandstone, and Vishnu Schist.
On our walk out to Mather Point, we passed over a circular stone medallion carved into the concrete walkway. With the names and symbols of each tribe included, it honors the many tribes who call Grand Canyon home.
When we reached Mather Point, we realized that there are actually two overlooks, each with safety rails built on rocks that project out into the Canyon. The nearly panoramic view is absolutely stunning and includes the Bright Angel Trail to the west, the South Kaibab Trail to the east, and Pipe Creek, O’Neill Butte, and the Tonto Trail between. On a clear day, you can see Bright Angel Creek on the North Rim.
The Naming Of Mather Point
As one of the most beautiful viewpoints along the south rim, Mather Point is named after Stephen Mather, a borax industry millionaire, the first director of the National Park Service, and one of the main advocates for establishing a Grand Canyon National Park.
The Mather Point Amphitheater
Located northeast of the Visitor Center on the South Rim, the Mather Point Amphitheater was built using native limestone and provides seating for ranger-led interpretive programs. From the amphitheater, you can also take in breathtaking views of the Colorado River, Zoroaster Temple, and Bright Angel Canyon.
Know Before You Go
- Mather Point is located on the Rim Trail in Grand Canyon Village, Arizona 86023 directly behind the South Rim Visitor Center and the Canyon View Information Plaza.
- Because this canyon overlook is easily accessible, it is very crowded. But don’t fret! If you wait a few minutes, you’ll find a break between groups of tourists to stand at the edge of the rim and get an incredible photo.
- There is a big rock right at the bottom of the stairs leading to the Mather Point Overlook. Hop up on the rock for an elevated view of the canyon and a different perspective for your photos.
- You can follow the Rim Trail west to reach Grand Canyon Village and Hermit’s Rest Road, or you can follow it east to Desert View Drive and the Desert View Watchtower.