WPC: Circle – Desert View Watchtower

For the Weekly Photo Challenge theme of “Circle”, I have chosen photos that I took in December 2015 at the Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon National Park. The day we visited, there had been a 2-inch snowfall the night before; although I had been to the Grand Canyon a few times, I had never seen it in the winter. It was our daughter’s first trip to this majestic national wonder.

The road to Desert View was treacherous: slow and icy! However, I was determined to see the Watchtower, designed by architect Mary Colter and completed in the 1930s.

20151220_121524Colter was interested in native culture and had studied indigenous building techniques and materials. She explored Pueblo ruins and learned about Hopi culture.


It is fitting, then, that Hopi artist Fred Kabotie, who lives at second Mesa on the Hopi reservation, was chosen to paint the extraordinarily beautiful murals that cover the walls on the second floor and above.

20151220_122036A circle encloses the story of the Hopi snake legend, which tells the story of a Hopi man who floated down the Colorado River through the canyon on a hollow log.

20151220_122019Kabotie also painted murals of animals.



20151220_122857Some of his artwork was inspired by ancient petroplyghs.



20151220_122917 The circular landing contains petroplygh-inspired artwork and the ceiling is painted with animals, people and other symbols in bright colors.

7 thoughts on “WPC: Circle – Desert View Watchtower

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