"Walk the sky" at Skywalk Grand Canyon West
June 9, 2011. By Arnold Rapinan
Have you ever wondered how it would be to "walk the sky?" Visit Skywalk at Grand Canyon West and experience first hand how it is to "walk the sky". Skywalk is a U-shaped observation deck with clear glass floor and above-waist shoulders. While walking or standing on its deck, you can feel the air blowing and see all around including the bottom of the canyon giving you the sense of "walking the sky." Skywalk hangs 70+ feet over the canyon's rim and sits 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.
When we visited last month, the weather was perfect and it was not crowded. Stepping into the glass deck of Skywalk for the first time was a lot harder than I originally anticipated. My legs were shaking, heart pumping, taking baby-steps while holding on the rail, but after awhile I was walking freely and enjoying the experience. Overall, it was a great day trip, good adventure, and took only 2.5 hours drive (each way) from Las Vegas. If you plan to visit, here are my top ten tips.
- Plan to spend at least 4 hours in Grand Canyon West. Otherwise, you will be cheating yourself with all the beauty that the Grand Canyon West has to offer. The park is open daily from 7am to 7pm during the months of April to September
- Dress-up appropriately. The weather in Grand Canyon West is the same as Las Vegas so dress-up appropriately. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes
- Avoid the long lines by buying your tickets online. There is only one place to enter (and buy tickets for) Grand Canyon West and the lines are long. The entrance fees for the Grand Canyon West and Skywalk is separate, and they are not cheap. Check out the latest pricing here: http://store.grandcanyonskywalk.com/tickets/
- When driving, follow the directions provided by Grand Canyon West: http://www.grandcanyonwest.com/gcwdirections.php. Your car navigation will likely take you to the wrong place. If you are stubborn like me and wants to use your car navigation, at least print out the direction listed above as it will save you time
- Bring bottled water. You will be doing a lot of walking in the park, so make sure to bring bottled waters in your back packs as it gets hot there or be prepared to pay $3 per 16 oz bottled water
- Bring your lunch and have a picnic in Grand Canyon West. Although online it stated that outside food and beverages are not allowed, they don't check. They have benches at these lookout points: Guano and Eagle Points. Food in Grand Canyon West sucks and expensive
- Have the photographer at Skywalk take plenty of pictures. Cameras, cell phones or other personal belongings are not allowed in the Skywalk for safety reasons. They have free private lockers where you can leave your stuff. So have the photographer take lots of crazy pictures as you can buy all of the images for $100
- Plan your visit at each look out point. Unlike the other sides of Grand Canyon, you cannot drive your car in the West side. The shuttle bus will drop you off to each three main lookout points: Eagle Point, Guano Point and Hualapai Ranch respectively. The shuttle goes to one direction every 30 to 45 minutes so plan accordingly
- Don’t tell your rental car company that you are going to Grand Canyon West. They do not allow it due to 10~ miles of unpaved/dirt road. It is safe to drive on this dirt road but make sure you wash the rental car before returning as it gets really dirty
- Enjoy the beauty of Grand Canyon West and make sure to do the Skywalk. Most importantly, have fun and be safe!
Other helpful links: