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When we were staying in Las Vegas for a couple of nights, we took a bus trip to the Western Rim of the Grand Canyon. The tour first stopped at the Hoover Dam (You can see my post on the Dam here,) then traveled through Joshua Tree National Forest to get to Grand Canyon West.
Grand Canyon West is on Hualapai land and is not part of the National Park. Hualapai means ‘People of the Tall Pines.’ The Hualapai reservation was established in 1883.
Once in Grand Canyon West, we needed to leave the tour bus and use the Hualapai operated shuttles to get around the park. There are three stops: The Skywalk at Eagle Point, Guano Point and a wild west city. We opted to explore the first two.
We made a beeline for the Skywalk and were able to get on line before it was too long. The queue wound around museum displays on Hualapai culture, so even though it didn’t move very fast, it seemed like it was our turn to go out on the skywalk in just a few minutes.
The Skywalk is a horseshoe shaped glass bridge suspended 4000 feet above the Grand Canyon. Through an amazing feat of engineering, the Hualapai have afforded visitors a view of the canyon that can’t be had elsewhere.
For those with a fear of heights, the glass panels at the edge are frosted. You can walk on those and clutch the railing if you suddenly find yourself paralyzed by vertigo and unable to continue. And they claim the Skywalk is strong enough to hold seventy 747 planes, so your family is not likely to cause the collapse of the structure, whether you walk on the clear or the frosted glass.
You are not allowed any personal belongings on the walk, but there are photographers present who will capture the moment for you. And conveniently, the walk lets out in the gift shop where you can purchase the photos and have the files e-mailed to your address. Yes, this is something of a tourist trap…you can get the non-skywalk version of admission and enjoy the more traditional views, but we were glad to have the experience this once.
Afterwards, we stood by the rim and took some photos of Eagle Point before moving on to the next stop. Eagle point is named for a formation in the opposite canyon wall that looks like an eagle with its wings outstretched.
To see my other posts on the Grand Canyon, please click the following links:
- Bright Angel
- Hermit’s Rest
- South Kaibab
- Desert View
- Western Rim Skywalk
- Western Rim Guano Point (Coming Soon)
Location: Peach Springs, AZ 86434
Designation: Hualapai Reservation
Date designation declared: 1883
Date of my visit: 4/9/2017