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The Grand Canyon Skywalk

Updated on March 9, 2011

The Grand Canyon Skywalk Tour

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is located in Northern Arizona on the south side of the Grand Canyon in an area called "Grand Canyon West". The Hualapai Indians have built an entire visitors complex on their land which is downcanyon from the National Park.

Grand Canyon West can be a good alternative to see the Canyon from Las Vegas. It's a little closer to Vegas, less crowded than the South Rim, and it's the location of the unique Grand Canyon Skywalk. This is the only bridge of its kind where you can walk out over the Grand Canyon with only a few inches of glass between you and the chasm. This is an experience that's unmatched in the world!

Grand Canyon Skywalk - VOA Story

Good Skywalk video. Short interview with David Jin (the developer) and members of the Hualapai Tribe.

When to Visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon West is a good spring, fall and winter destination. Summers are hot, just 10 degrees cooler than Vegas. The elevation of the South Rim is about 7,600' while the Grand Canyon Skywalk sits at just under 5,000' elevation. This makes it a good winter destination when the South Rim may be a bit cold. Spring and fall trips are nice too, and you'll miss the crowds in Grand Canyon Village.

Visitors seem to like the all-inclusive Grand Canyon Skywalk tour packages

offered by experienced tour companies like Papillon. They're hassle-free.

Dress for heat, wind and sun. Wear a hat, sunscreen and lip balm.

If you're driving, prepare for some rough desert roads. Bring extra money for parking and unexpected fees. Make sure you have a good spare tire and lots of liquid and snacks for yourself and your crew.

Visiting Grand Canyon West - There's more than just the Skywalk

Grand Canyon West View and Skywalk
Grand Canyon West View and Skywalk

The Hualapai have big plans for Grand Canyon West. Besides this awesome view, there are already several attractions to see there, like Hualapai Ranch and the Native American Village, an amphitheater where Native dancing is performed. The entry fee to get into Grand Canyon West gets you free shuttle rides to all these and more.

You can also purchase horseback rides, air tours, rafting and more. You can even take a helicopter down into the Grand Canyon where you can board a pontoon for a short Colorado River run. Overnight lodging is available as well.

The Grand Canyon West area is becoming a popular way to see the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. It's a good way to avoid the crowds at the South Rim.

What does it Cost?

The minimum cost to enter Grand Canyon West is $30. This gets you in and includes:

Native dancing demonstrations and authentic dwellings at the Native American Village;

Hualapai Ranch where you can try out roping, quick draw and tomahawk throwing;

Hiking and great scenery;

Shuttle rides from point to point;

Horse-drawn wagon ride;

Native American crafts market.

The fee for the Grand Canyon Skywalk itself is $30. Plus you have to pay for parking and tribal taxes. Minimum for doing the Skywalk works out to about $75pp. If you buy a tour package, these fees are all included in your price.

Meals, air tours, rafting and horseback rides are all available for an extra fee. If you're there very long, you'll have to buy something to drink. No outside food or drink is allowed.

Is the Skywalk a Ripoff?

It depends on who you ask...

Here are some facts:

It's a 3 hour drive from Vegas with 14 miles of rough gravel roads at the end. I'm talking 25mph and still a rough ride. It's a lot shorter than the drive to the South Rim however.

Yes it's expensive. So is any theme park you might visit. Yes there's an extra fee to walk the Skywalk. It's no more than you might spend an any park for their "signature" ride. It's worth it to some and not to others (again much like any theme park). Expect to spend some money.

The views are fantastic, but the Canyon is not quite as deep here as it is at Grand Canyon Village on the south rim. You can see the Colorado River from here, unlike most places on the south rim. That's nice.

A lot of people are very happy with their visit to Grand Canyon West and think it's totally worth the expense to avoid the crowds at the South rim and have a unique experience. People who shell out for a tour package may have the best experience overall.

Add to the Grand Canyon Skywalk discussion - Come on, don't be shy...

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