the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West juts out over the edge of the Grand Canyon

Cantilevered Over the Canyon: The Hualapai Skywalk

The Grand Canyon is the ultimate geological marvel, a raw incision on the skin of the world. Seeing this natural wonder isn't difficult, but the challenge lies in taking in the panoramic views offered by the great chasm. The sight is simply too massive to be fully contained by human senses. This is why the Grand Canyon Skywalk was built to allow visitors to step out onto a transparent walkway, seeing above and below the rocky canyon floor in one all-encompassing glance.

The U-Bridge

The dry description of the Skywalk quotes it as being a horseshoe-shaped engineering construction situated 4000 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon, but it's far more than this limited description. From here, visitors can view the Colorado River as it threads through the bottom of the canyon, can turn 360 degrees and understand the true scale of the canyon walls, outcroppings, and the drop seen below their feet. The actual distance from the cantilever bridge and its U-shaped deck to the ground below is dizzying, but the strengthened glass of the walkway and the stabilizing influence of the glass posts provide ample safety for curious visitors.

The Skywalk has become almost as big an attraction to this Arizona wonder as the breath-taking vista and the grandeur of the many views up and down the canyon. It's located on tribal lands far to the western side of the Grand Canyon, projecting out 70 feet from the rim. Search for the bridge by using the label "Grand Canyon West," a descriptive title for the area and an easy spot to pick out on any visitor map for the Arizona terrain. The Hualapai Tribe are the guardians of the Skywalk and the surrounding land. Guests lining up for access to the uniquely U-shaped bridge can explore the culture of the tribe after experiencing the Skywalk and stop at the visitor center to buy souvenirs representing the culture of the Native American tribe and the breathtaking view seen from the transparent bridge.

Getting There

Take a day trip east from Las Vegas to Eagle Point, an area run by the Hualapai Tribe where the Grand Canyon Skywalk protudes, and turn on the air conditioning in the car while making the 3-hour drive. Entering the area costs a fee, but there's a Native American village, Guano Point, and overnight cabins along Grand Canyon West, with each attraction ensuring a fully-rounded vacation. The walk and viewing of majestic scenery is the highlight of the trip, but then there's all the customary trappings a visitor could hope for to make the drive a worthwhile diversion for kids and parents. The mix of cultural exploration and western hospitality shows guests of the Grand Canyon a Native American flavored day out with fascinating slices of life at the Hualapai Ranch and a local market full of locally produced wares. The tiny airstrip and shuttle between Eagle Point and Guano Point make sure time isn't wasted in lining up to get from one point of interest to the next.

Last Updated: January 09, 2015