Grand Canyon West Rim: 5 Reasons You Need to Go

Grand Canyon West Rim: 5 Reasons You Need to Go

Have you ever walked on the skywalk at the Grand Canyon? Walking on the glass skywalk high above the canyon is a thrilling experience. There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe the beauty of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. 

Seven Wonders of the World

According to World Atlas, the seven natural wonders of the world are:

  • Mount Everest
  • Habor of Rio de Janeiro
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Victoria Falls
  • Paricutin Volcano
  • Grand Canyon
  • Aurora Borealis

I’ve been lucky enough to see three of the seven: Victoria Falls, the Grand Canyon and Aurora Borealis (just a touch of the lights).

Starting in Vegas

While people go to Las Vegas for various reasons, my daughter and I went because it is one of the closest places to the Grand Canyon. Our day began early, the street sweepers were still cleaning from the night before as Pink Jeep Tours picked us up. Their jeeps have extra-large windows for viewing.

Our party was small, just us, the tour guide and a newlywed couple from Korea who didn’t speak English. The tour company offered us beverages and pastries.

Driving to the Grand Canyon West Rim

We settled in for a 206 km (128 miles) trip to the Grand Canyon. Nevada and Arizona roads are smooth since they don’t have frost issues as we do in Canada. The drive passes by Boulder City, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Black Canyon and Dolan Springs. The scenery was beautiful, and we had our first introduction to Joshua trees.

    Image by Grand Canyon Skywalk

    Grand Canyon West Rim

    The Grand Canyon West Rim is owned by the Hualapai Native Tribe. They don’t allow private cars on-site, but there is a shuttle bus and a large parking lot. The shuttle bus goes to Eagle Point, Guano Point and the Hualapai Ranch and they are all included in the $39 USD price of admission. The Skywalk at Eagle Point is an additional charge.

    The shuttle bus drives quickly and very close to the edge of the Canyon. Depending on the time of day, you may have to wait in line. The following are five reasons you need to go to the Grand Canyon West Rim:

    1. Helicopter Ride

    At the Hualapai Welcome Center, we took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon on a Maverick helicopter. The helicopter flies over the West Rim, around the canyon, then landed at 1066 meters (3500 feet) so we could walk around. It was amazing to see things up close, especially how the river had carved the canyon. They gave us plenty of time to take pictures.

    2. Skywalk Glass Bridge

    The horseshoe shape glass-bottom skywalk is 10 feet wide. It hangs over the Grand Canyon, jutting out 70 feet from the edge. There is a 1219 meter (4000 foot) drop to the bottom of the canyon. The bridge can hold 71 million pounds.

    You can’t take anything out onto the skywalk with you, but they provide lockers for your belongings and a photographer will take your picture for a fee ($16 to $70 USD). They also give you booties to pull over your shoes so you don’t scratch the glass.

    With my fear of heights, it took me a moment to gather the courage to step onto the bridge, hands held tight on the railing. My daughter joked about jumping up and down, and a lady standing nearby looked horrified and begged her not to. After a while the fear subsided, allowing me to enjoy the beauty. 

    There is also a gift shop and restaurant with a spectacular view.

    Image by Grand Canyon Skywalk

    3. Eagle Point

    You can walk right up to the edge of the canyon because there are no guardrails or any kind of safety precautions. It took me a long time to work up the nerve to walk to the edge, but I got more comfortable as the day went on.

    Our tour guide was wonderful and let us spend as much time as we wanted to explore and take photographs. Can you see the eagle in the photo below?

    4. Guano point

    Guano point is even more beautiful than Eagle Point if that’s possible. If you climb to the top of the point, you can get a 360-degree view of the canyon (see arrow in the photo below).

    Guano Point received its name from the bat cave across the Canyon. The remains of a tramway system are visible where they mined guano for fertilizer. We ate a wonderful lunch at the Hualapai buffet while overlooking the canyon (best restaurant seat ever). Although we didn’t speak Korean we found ways to communicate with the other couple. I regret I didn’t have a better camera for this trip, since the colours are more brilliant than the photos show.

    5. Hualapai Ranch

    Our last stop at the Grand Canyon West Rim was the Hualapai Ranch. The buildings resemble a wild west town. There is horseback riding, a mechanical bull, and a great magic show. You can even go to jail and get your photo taken with the sheriff.

    Hoover Dam

    As a bonus, our tour guide took us past Hoover Dam on the way back to Las Vegas, driving over it and back again and allowing us to take photos. It was a quick visit, but we had a full tour scheduled the next day.

    Final Thoughts

    If you are anywhere near the Grand Canyon, stop and appreciate its beauty and take a walk on the skywalk. You won’t regret it. Have you been to the Grand Canyon? Let me know in the comments.


    Until next time


    Note: All uncreated images copyright Frankie Cameron Writes. Feature Image by Grand Canyon Skywalk.