Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Walk the Sky at Grand Canyon West:Trip Report

I can only take about three days in Las Vegas before I start to go crazy. There's only so much neon and flashing lights and dinging before you want to scream. So if a Vegas trip is more than 3 days, I always recommend a day trip.

I had taken a day trip to the Grand Canyon five years ago. Friend Irish and I had booked a bus tour to the South rim. It took us 5 hours to get there (at the time, due to security precautions, we couldn't go over the Hoover Dam) and we had a mere 2 hours there before turning around and going home.

This year, the BF and I rented a car (it was a Seinfeld episode, we reserved a car, yet the car wasn't there. Hertz sucks) and drove to Grand Canyon West. We crossed the Hoover Dam (that post will come soon) and drove for 2.5 hours - through Joshua Tree Forest - to get there.

The newest attraction at the Grand Canyon is the Skywalk. Opened in 2007, it's a glass bridge that extends out over the canyon, allowing you to look down into the canyon. It's a bit of a freaky experience, and one that'll cost you. There's a $20 fee to park. There's a $29.95 fee to the Hualapai nation to enter their land. Then, if you want to actually go on the Skywalk, there's a $29.95 fee for that. Is it worth it? I think so, but it takes a while to get used to the price.

No cameras are allowed on the Skywalk - or anything that could fall over the side. They give you a locker to store your stuff (so you do have a key around your wrist, not sure I get how that won't fall over, but whatever.)They then give you little paper booties so as not to scratch the glass, but I joked that we were doing their dusting for them. :) They have photographers on the bridge - take as many photos with them as you like - but you'll pay a premium for your photo when you get done.

The Skywalk is located at Eagle Point - where the rocks form a shape that looks like an eagle in flight. Another lookout point - and probably the most stunning - is Guano point. Yes, folks, it's named after bat doo. That's because some moron (or genius?)constructed this tower that sent people across the canyon into a cave to collect bat guano to sell.

At Guano point, the land juts out into the mouth of the Canyon, so you get as close to a 360 degree view of the Canyon as you can get. (Below is my - very windy - 360 degree video. I was standing on a rock, and rotating VERY CAREFULLY to get you the best video. Putting my life in danger - that's how committed I am to you folks.)

And below are some photos of Skywalk, one of my favorite photos of me and the BF on the Grand Canyon and some general shots of the Canyon. Why is it that the photos never capture the grandeur?


Red said...

So what I read about not being able to carry a camera was correct! It's a bit cheeky, though, isn't it? Just a way of screwing people out of more money! Did you get a picture of you and BF on the Skywalk itself?

And congrats on the vid, it is quite amazing.

Goofy Girl said...

Wow, that's pretty expensive!! Shots are cool though and thanks for risking your life to provide us with the video!

Renee said...

The video was awesome and will probably look much better when I buy my new monitor...this one is about to bite the dust.

Your pictures are wonderful! What a great trip.

Thanks for risking your life to get those.

Melli said...

Well... aside from the price of that walk... I have issues with it's existence! I'm sure it IS an awesome experience to take though. (now that it's there and a done deal!)

Cheysuli and gemini said...

How fascinating. I find it frustrating that you can't take your camera with you though!

TC said...

Soooooooooooooooooooo jealous!

I lived/worked at the North Rim five years ago, and went back a couple of years ago to visit. We were going to take a day and go to the new skywalk, but they kept putting off the opening date. And putting it off. And putting it off. So we didn't get to. It's for sure on my list of things to do the next time I make it to the GC.