During the morning hours till mid afternoon the highest percentage of tourists tend to congregate near the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and Grand Canyon Village. The parking lots are full in this area and it can take forever to gain access to the panoramic views along the Rim Trail. An alternative to playing the overcrowded waiting game is to head elsewhere in this National Park, where the majority of tourists have not made their way to as of yet. Touring Desert View Drive through the east end of the Grand Canyon during the early part of the day will provide plenty of room to roam away from the big crowds!
Desert View Drive runs from Grand Canyon Village to the Grand Canyon National Park East Entrance Gate. From the east entrance gate, Desert View Drive continues east to Cameron on to U.S. Highway 89. For the most part, the Grand Canyon Scenic Overlooks along Desert View Drive are less crowded during early hours and parking spots are easy to find. Parking gets even easier in the late afternoon when the bulk of the overwhelmed Grand Canyon Village visitors start heading home.
There are several key points of interest along Desert View Drive. Close to the Desert View Watchtower is where the Tusayan Museum & Ruins can be found. This ancient Tusayan Pueblo is situated a few hundred yards away from the canyon rim in the juniper and pine forest overlooking the San Francisco Peaks in the distance. As can be imagined, this big pueblo complex must have been quite a picturesque sight to see back in its day.
The Pueblo People occupied this region many centuries ago. Surviving in this environment was not easy, because the poor soil and arid climate made farming difficult, yet the Pueblo People created unique dry desert farming techniques that allowed their civilization to flourish. Evidence of this Grand Canyon Pueblo People community can be experienced by following the Tusayan Ruins Trail. Remnants of stone wall food storage areas, living quarters and a communal kiva can be seen.
The Tusayan Museum and Ruins is a great place for visitors to get in touch with living naturally in the Grand Canyon. Children and adults of all ages can certainly learn a little something about the Pueblo People and their Grand Canyon lifestyle when visiting this place. The museum houses plenty of local and regional artifacts, along with depictions of civilized life in Tusayan Pueblo from an age long gone by. Doing a tour of the Tusayan Ruins will not take much time, yet the memories will provide plenty to ponder over for a lifetime!
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