The Grand Canyon West

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The Skywalk

This was the day I had been waiting for. This was the day we would "Walk the Sky" at the Hualapai Indian Grand Canyon Skywalk. A glass floor walkway suspended 4000 feet above the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. We got up incredibly early for being on vacation and boarded the bus at the hotel at 6:00 AM. After stopping at several other hotels to pick up other adventurous travellers, we had our first stop overlooking the Hoover Dam.

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I have been on the Dam Tour 3 times before and Venus went on it when she was 8 so we bypassed the tour this time. I was amazed at the depth of the water behind the dam. It appeared to be about 50 or 60 feet below normal levels reflecting the long drought the southwest has been experiencing. In the distance you can see the massive new bridge being built so cars won't have to meander across the two lanes over the dam.

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Venus and I have been wanting to do this glass-floor-over-the-canyon since we first heard about it in 2007. The Skywalk opened in the spring of 2007 and its first guest was astronaut Buzz Aldrin from the first manned moon landing. The Hualapai Indian tribe owns this land and it is sacred to them. There was much discussion about the Skywalk before it was allowed to be built.

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The tribe had mixed feelings about allowing a structure to infringe upon the natural beauty and majesty of this place but ultimately they decided that the economics outweighed the potential harm that could come and under close supervision of the elders I believe they have achieved a perfect blend of natural beauty and artificial adventure.

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Grand Canyon West is in a very isolated part of northwestern Arizona. The last 9 miles of road are unpaved and not for rental cars so we had to transfer from the main bus to a different bus for the last part of the trip. Shuttle buses are then used from the Air Terminal, yes for small planes and helicopters, to Eagle Point where the Skywalk is located, Guano Point where an old tram system used to mine bat guano and to the Hualapai Indian ranch where you can rent a room for $100 per person per night. Yikes!

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So without further ado, let's go on to the Skywalk itself. No one is allowed to take cameras, cell phones, etc. onto the Skywalk to ensure nothing drops into the canyon. Little booties are also provided to keep shoes from scratching the glass. The photos you will see on the next page are all taken by the Grand Canyon West Skywalk staff.
The Skywalk

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