I’ve heard cameras are not allowed on the Skywalk.
That’s right. Cameras are not allowed on the Skywalk.
In fact, there are other restrictions regarding what you can have with you on the Skywalk.
- Personal items are not allowed on the Skywalk.
- This includes cell phones, cameras, purses, backpacks, umbrellas, etc.
- These things are not allowed in order to prevent dropping items into the canyon or onto the glass.
- You will be asked to store these items in lockers; the lockers are provided for you at no charge.
- You can take photos of the Skywalk, but you cannot use your own camera or phone to take photos from the Skywalk.
- Professional photographers on the Skywalk are available to take photos of you and your friends, and they do an excellent job.
You can purchase individual photos or packages if you choose. Single photos are about $30; photos are printed right there and are delivered to you in a beautiful photo cover.
A package of all your photos is about $100, and it includes your choice of photo printed and the balance of the photos given to you on a digital memory card.
What is there to see and do at Grand Canyon West other than Skywalk?
There are really four areas for visitors at Grand Canyon West.
- The Terminal;
- Eagle Point;
- Guano Point;
- Hualapai Ranch.
Eagle Point and Guano Point are the primary viewpoints at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Most tour companies who bring people to Grand Canyon West from Las Vegas allow for 3-1/2 to 4 hours from arrival to departure.
This means there is roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour available for each stop; plan on 45 minutes, which will allow for any lines or queues waiting for the next bus and the actual travel time on the bus.
is the entry to Grand Canyon West.
You will see 3 buildings in front of you as you walk from the parking lot.
- The igloo-shaped white building – known as “The Terminal” is the main entrance.
- The middle building is where flyers check-in for helicopters.
- The building closest to the airport runway is a gift shop and small snack-bar / deli.
- The igloo – “the Terminal” – is where visitors buy their ticket to get in.
- The gift shop at the Terminal is the largest in at Grand Canyon West. Restroom facilities are here, of course.
- The Terminal is where you get on the shuttle bus to begin the journey to Eagle Point and Guano Point.
- All the shuttle buses start here and circle from one point to the next, and they all return to the Terminal.
This where you will find the Skywalk – the Glass Bridge over the Grand Canyon.
- You can get right up to the edge of the Grand Canyon here, and I mean literally and absolutely right to the edge.
- There are no guard-rails or safety chains for protection, so be aware of where you are and also be aware of the people around you.
- This is an exciting, thrilling, amazing adventure for you – impossible to clearly describe, you have to see it and feel it for yourself.
- Behind the Skywalk is a covered Amphitheater. This is where there are seasonal and special events are held; native dancers are here, and from time-to-time you’ll see ‘first-people’ – natives from all over North America perform here.
- There is a smooth, paved walkway around the amphitheater that leads you to examples of native dwellings from around North American. Navajo, Hopi, Plains and other native peoples are represented here.
- There is a stand-alone building beside the amphitheater. Restrooms are located here, as well as a ‘high-end’ gift store with some very nice pieces of native art – certainly worth a few minutes to explore.
- A smoking area is located behind this building.
- If your entry package included a meal voucher, you may use it here at one of two places – the Chinese cafe or next door at the Skywalk Cafe.
- Meals are available for purchase if your entry package did not include a meal. Outdoor eating areas only; one large eating area is sheltered.
- Guano Point is another area where you may use your meal voucher.
- The Guano Cafe serves western-style cowboy fare in cafeteria style, not-too-fancy-but-plenty-tasty. Outside eating area only, mostly sheltered.
- Walk through the middle of the eating area and you will see a path on the right, up a gentle slope; you’ll also see a slightly more adventurous scramble up the rocks to the left of the path. Either way will get you to the same place.
- Take the time to go up to that viewpoint. From there you can visually explore some of the possibilities of Guano Point, and you’ll see one of my own favorite views of the Grand Canyon – and I have seen a lot of them.
- From this viewpoint you can see the Colorado River as is bends around the final part of the Grand Canyon.
- Just barely out of site, and less than 20 miles from where you are standing the Colorado River flows into Lake Mead, the man-made lake created by Hoover Dam.
- From this viewpoint, looking north, with the Guano Cafe behind you, you can see a wide path on the right that seems to go around a small mountain.
- Looking straight across to the top of the mountain, you can likely see people standing on the peak, at roughly the same elevation as you. There is no path to the top, just a scramble up the rocks. If you have bad knees, it may be a challenge for you to come down.
- On the other side of the mountain, just out of sight from where you are, is an old building a the remaining structure of a cable-way system.
- It takes about 25-35 minutes for the round trip from where you are standing (at the viewpoint just above the shelter at Guano Cafe) to the mountain top, or around the right side to the buildings, and back to Guano Cafe.
- When you have finished exploring Guano Point, you will ‘Hop-On’ the next bus, which will take you back to the Terminal.
- If you are going to Hualapai Ranch, you will transfer to the Ranch Bus. Ask your driver, they will show you where it is.
is an 8-year-old replica of a western town. It is one of my own favorite places at Grand Canyon West.
- If you still have a meal voucher, you may use it here.
- Meals are available for purchase here.
- Meals are served at the Dance Hall; inside and outside seating is available.
- Similar to the meals at Guano Cafe, they are served cafeteria style, western-type cowboy grub, not-to-fancy, good plain food.
- Inside the Dance Hall, you’ll find a card-sharp /magician at one end,
- and a cowboy with a guitar, singing songs of the old west as you enjoy your supper.
- If you have a window seat, you will be able to watch the cowboy games in the street.
- You’ll see cowboys showing your fellow travelers how to use a lasso to rope a cow, how to win the quick-draw against their friends, or how to shoot an arrow into a bale of hay.
- The cowboy games are great fun, but if you don’t want to rope the cow, you may want a photo of your friends in jail or at the gallows; both are at the other end of town.
- If time permits, there is a free wagon ride that takes you out into the desert; this wagon ride takes 20 minutes, round-trip, from when the horses start pulling the wagon.
- Horse-back rides are available for an additional fee; go into the Hotel (beside the Yellow Hair Trading Post) to register.
- The Ranch Bus will take you back to the Terminal
- Most tour companies instruct their guests to meet at the Terminal – where they started – for the return trip to Las Vegas at the end of their tour.
Some folks have told me the Hualapai Ranch has nothing to do with the Grand Canyon, but I disagree.
The Ranch is on the south side of the Grand Canyon, on the high plateau leading to the edge; from the western town you can see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Many tour companies do not mention the Hualapai Ranch because of the additional time it takes to include the Ranch in their tour.
We think it shouldn’t be missed, and we can tell you how to manage your time so you can include the Hualapai Ranch in your own tour.
I am vegan or vegetarian – where do I eat?
The food offered at Grand Canyon West is mostly based on the Standard American Diet, which is built around meat as a main course.
- At Eagle Point, the Chinese Cafe offers a vegetarian meal, steamed vegetables with white rice, with a piece of fruit, usually a whole apple or an orange; very tasty.
- Also at Eagle Point is the Skywalk Cafe, which has a vegetarian black-bean burger, also with fruit.
- At Guano Point, if you tell the servers you are vegetarian, they will serve you double portions of whatever is non-meat; commonly it is mashed potatoes, steamed veggies (a mix with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots), green beans, sometimes a 3- or 4-inch piece of corn-on-the-cob, a white-flour roll with herbs, and a green salad.
- At Hualapai Ranch, the food is similar to Guano Point, although they serve cowboy beans (pinto beans in a mild red chili sauce) instead of green beans; cornbread; and no green salad.
How Does The Shuttle Bus System Work?
The shuttle bus system operates in a simple circle. Guests at Grand Canyon West board the buses at the Terminal, and return there after two stops along the way.
- You’ll ‘Hop-Off’ the bus at the first stop – Eagle Point. The Skywalk is located at Eagle Point. After the bus is unloaded, the driver moves forward a short distance to load guests heading to the next stop.
- You’ll ‘Hop-On’ another bus for the short ride to Guano Point, and finally, when you are finished exploring there, just ‘Hop-On’ the next bus, which will take you back to the Terminal.
- The buses show up at each stop about every 12 minutes, more or less.
- The time of each trip – that is, the travel time between each bus stop – is between about 6 and 8 minutes.
- At the Terminal, if you are continuing on to the Hualapai Ranch, you’ll ‘Hop-Off’ the bus that came from Guano Point, and transfer to ‘the ranch bus’.
- The Ranch Bus Loading Area is just in front of the primary shuttle loading area. Ask your driver or a Hualapai Ambassador – they will point you to the ranch bus.
Can You Tell Me More About Skywalk?
- If you have pre-purchased your Skywalk ticket, you can go through the building right past the ticket line and down the ramp to the lockers.
- Lockers are provided at no charge; personal belongings such as purses, back-packs, cameras, cell phones, etc, are not allowed on the Skywalk.
- You’ll pass through a metal detector, your ticket will be scanned, and you’ll continue on toward Skywalk.
- You will be given protective booties to put over your shoes; these booties help protect the Skywalk’s glass floor.
- Photographers are there to take your photo, which will be available for purchase later.
Where should I stay and eat at Skywalk Grand Canyon West?
Food is available at the Dance Hall at the Hualapai Ranch for overnight visitors; breakfast is provided, and your entry fee is valid for the day you arrive and the day after.
The only lodging available on site at Grand Canyon West right now are the cabins at the Hualapai Ranch. Construction on the hotel at Skywalk has not yet begin.
There are 26 cute little cabins on the edge of Hualapai Ranch, and the Dance Hall is right next door. These images from the current brochure give you an idea of what to expect, and show you current prices as well.
Reservations for the Cabins at Hualapai Ranch are critical, because quite often, all the cabins are booked in advance by a single bus company bringing Asian visitors to Skywalk from Los Angeles; they spend one night here as part of their multi-day tour through the Southwest.
Regarding transportation from Las Vegas, Detours of Nevada is the only tour company in Las Vegas we know of that will take you from Las Vegas, drop you off at Grand Canyon West, and pick you up for return to Las Vegas the next day; lodging must be confirmed in advance, and Detours will help you with transportation arrangements.
A visit to Grand Canyon West is really set up as a day trip; but there are some amazing things about spending the night here that are completely, distinctly, and absolutely different from your daily life. The solitude of the desert at night, the intense quiet, the evening breeze filled with aromas of desert plants, the black sky at night filled with stars is amazing. And trust me… there is nothing here to distract you… nothing to do but sit, walk, listen, feel, look, and be part of your surroundings. You will see the glow of Las Vegas lights in the distance, but a night here in the high desert beside the Grand Canyon is the exact opposite of Las Vegas.
Having said that, we recommend you rent or hire a car and drive yourself to GCWest for this adventure; it will be far less expensive, and you will have additional freedom regarding the time you leave for your return to Las Vegas, or on to Phoenix, Los Angeles.
Famous ‘Route 66’ is nearby, and we suggest that if you want to have an overnight adventure, there are some truly fascinating places to visit around Kingman, Arizona, that would absolutely delight you, such as Seligman, Hackberry, and Oatman, Arizona. If you stayed at Kingman, AZ, instead of the GCWest, you could visit all of these places and be back in Las Vegas before sundown.
What Time of Year is Best to Visit? What is the weather like and what should I wear?
Any time is the best time of year to visit Grand Canyon West. The Skywalk is open year-round.
- Elevation is almost 5,000 feet (1,600 meters); snow is unusual, but overnight temperatures below freezing, and occasionally during the day are common during the winter months.
- High temperatures during July and August can approach 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius).
- A day trip to Skywalk and the Grand Canyon during Spring and Autumn are wonderful; mornings are cool, daytime temperatures of 60’s to 80’s Fahrenheit are very comfortable.
- Summer storms with pockets of heavy rain can occur, sometimes during April, more commonly during July and August.
Here is a floating bus caught in a flash flood recently.
Is Grand Canyon West ADA Compliant?
No, Grand Canyon West is not ADA Compliant, but they are working on it.
- The only paved areas are around the Terminal, including the parking lots, sidewalks, and access ways to the shuttle buses.
- Eagle point has a ramp leading to the Skywalk ticket area and gift shop, and the path behind Skywalk to the Native American Dwellings is paved.
- At Guano Point the only paving is the bus loading / unloading area, and recently a ramp was paved leading to the Guano Cafe.
- The Hualapai Ranch is a replica of a western town, no smooth surfaces or ramps are available.
Where can I go hiking at the Skywalk?
The only real hiking opportunity at Grand Canyon West is at Guano Point.
- A scramble up some rocks will take you to the top of a small hill, called – Guano Point.
- The Hualapai call it the “High Point Hike”, and it offers breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.
- In fact, this is one of my own favorite views from anywhere in the Grand Canyon, and there is no place like it at any other park.
- I recommend this hike up Guano Point to (almost) everyone; if you have bad ankles or knees, you may prefer to walk around Guano Point to the old tram-way buildings instead.
Trains and mule rides are only available at the South Rim National Park.
- The mules are stabled at the Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim.
- The mules carry guests to the Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon.
- The Grand Canyon Railroad Depot is in Williams, Arizona, at I-40.
- In the early days, the Grand Canyon at the South Rim was available to visitors by horse trails that later became a dirt road, or by the train.
- The road was improved over time, and the railroad became less popular and was actually closed for some time.
- The train leaves the station at Williams in the morning and arrives at the Grand Canyon Village station near El Tovar Hotel before noon.
- The train leaves Grand Canyon Village at about 3pm for its return to Williams.
- You can ride the train from Williams to Grand Canyon Village as a day trip, or coordinate it with an overnight stay at one of the lodges at or near the Grand Canyon Village.
- The shuttle bus system will get you and your luggage from the train station at the village to your lodging, and then you can return to Williams on the train the next day.
Skywalk is also called ‘Glass Skywalk’, the ‘Glass Bridge’, the ‘Grand Canyon Bridge’, etc.
Skywalk is a steel-framed structure with a clear-glass floor through which you can see the Grand Canyon far below your feet.
The Glass Bridge offers a truly amazing view of the Grand Canyon West Rim.
Where is the Grand Canyon Located? Location of Grand Canyon West? Where is the Skywalk at Grand Canyon?
I am surprised how often this question comes up, and it is really not an easy answer.
Some folks search for this information, and find the address of the Grand Canyon West offices at Peach Springs, Arizona.
Following the map or the GPS coordinates will take you to the Hualapai Village at Peach Springs, which is 2 hours away from the Grand Canyon.
The National Park Services advise that you should not rely upon GPS when you are going through the desert, even when you are traveling from one major city to another.
Sometimes the GPS will send you down a paved road that turns into gravel and dirt; and if the Park Rangers don’t know you were headed there, they don’t know where to look for you if you are lost.
Things happen out in the desert. People don’t prepare, they start the journey without enough fuel, and they often don’t take food or water with them.
So don’t trust an address to get you to the Grand Canyon. Get a simple road map and follow it.
The short answer: How to go from Las Vegas to the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West
Leave Las Vegas and head South on highway 93 toward Hoover Dam. Cross the new bridge over the Colorado River at Hoover Dam, and stay on Hwy 93 until you reach Arizona mile marker 42; turn left on Pierce Ferry Road, and travel 23 miles or so; turn right on Diamond Bar Road. About 4 miles down Diamond Bar you will be on a dirt road, and you’ll see lots of road-building equipment. Stay on the road, don’t worry about the construction, and you’ll arrive at Grand Canyon West about 30 minutes later.
I want to drive myself to Grand Canyon West to see the Skywalk… How do I get to Skywalk from Las Vegas?
- From Las Vegas, get on one of the freeways headed south toward Arizona. The highway numbers you are looking for as you leave the Las Vegas Strip are the state highways 93 or 95 South, or the I-215 South. If you ask for directions, ask ‘How do I get to Hoover Dam’.
- You will see Lake Mead in front of you as you leave Boulder City. As you approach the Hoover Dam Exit #2, you will see Hacienda Hotel and Casino on the left, and the exit to Hoover Dam on the right.
- The main highway continues into Arizona over the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge; you’ll see a ‘Welcome to Arizona’ sign on the right.
- At about mile marker 40 begin to look for a billboard in the distance, on the left.
- At mile marker 42 you will see a green building on the right – the Arizona Trading Post – you will turn left on the road just past the green building. (Arizona Trading Post – Nice place, nice people – snacks, coffee, and restrooms are available here.)
- Turn left from highway 93, watch for the traffic, you will now be heading east on Pierce Ferry Road. You will cross a steel grate in the road, a cattle guard, and you will be driving toward Dolan Springs, about 5 miles ahead.
- Continue on Pierce Ferry Road. You will eventually drive past the last house and you’ll see nothing but desert. You will pass an elevated water tank beside a small utility building on the right, and you will pass a paved road connecting there on the right, called Stockton Hill Road.
- Continue on Pierce Ferry Road past these landmarks, until you get to Diamond Bar Road. There will be a sign there pointing to Grand Canyon West; turn right on Diamond Bar Road and continue to Grand Canyon West.
Dolan Springs is a speed trap, so pay close attention to the speed signs from here until get to Grand Canyon West.
There is new road construction going on right now, and you will have no problem going through; I have seen a Ferrari go down this road.
South Rim, North Rim, West Rim – What’s the difference?
The Grand Canyon is entirely located in the State of Arizona.
It is nearly 300 miles long measured along the route of the Colorado River, and although it covers a large area, there are only a few areas we can go to see it.
Most of the Grand Canyon area is remote and undeveloped back-country with the vast majority of visitors going to a small handful of widely separated developed areas – each of which offers very different facilities and experiences.
South Rim Grand Canyon National Park
- The vast majority of visitors – over 4 million each year – go to the South Rim National Park.
- The South Rim is the oldest, most established, and finished area available.
- It is a major tourist destination and has the most lodges, restaurants, viewing points, and other attractions.
- It takes 4-1/5 to 5 hours to get there by car or bus from Las Vegas; if you take a scheduled tour from Las Vegas, you’ll have about 3 hours on the ground at the Grand Canyon.
- Grand Canyon Village is right on the edge of the South Rim, and it is the most popular, famous, best developed and most visited part of the canyon.
- Grand Canyon Village is where all the day tours from Las Vegas go.
- It is the ‘classic’ Grand Canyon that is so often shown on travel shows, magazines, and posters.
- The historic El Tovar lodge and Bright Angel Lodge are here at The Village, and the famous mule ride to Phantom Ranch at the bottom starts here.
- The South Rim is only 55 miles from a major interstate highway (I-40), and closest to a major southwest airport (Phoenix).
- The elevation of Grand Canyon Village is 7,000 feet (2150 meters) above sea level, so there is snow during the winter months, but Grand Canyon Village is open year round.
- It is very busy and crowded during the peak summer tourist season, and very beautiful and less crowded during the off-season.
North Rim Grand Canyon National Park
- The remote North Rim is less developed, and is at a much higher elevation than the Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim – about 8,500 feet (2,500 meters).
- There is only a single lodge, some cabins and campgrounds, and there are no major cities, airports, or highways nearby.
- It takes 5 hours or so to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim around the east end of the Grand Canyon near Page, Arizona.
- The North Rim Lodge is surrounded by forest, and it is closed during most of the year because of deep snow.
- It is much less crowded, much less developed, and it takes 5 hours or more to get to the North Rim National Park from Las Vegas.
- The North Rim Lodge is exceedingly beautiful, rustic, serene, and peaceful.
- Scheduled day trips from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon North Rim are hard to find; we suggest you rent a car and find lodging in the area to stay the night.
- The astronomers tell us that on a clear night you can see 7,000 stars in the sky from up there.
Grand Canyon West
- Grand Canyon West (sometimes called the ‘West Rim’) is on the Hualapai reservation.
- There are Grand Canyon helicopter tours available, some of which include a motorized boat trip on the Colorado River (smooth water, nothing rough).
- The Skywalk glass bridge is there at Eagle Point.
- Grand Canyon West is the closest developed part of the canyon system to Las Vegas (about a 2-1/2 hour drive from the strip).
- A very nice airport at Grand Canyon West has been built; tour companies fly visitors in from Las Vegas, Phoenix, Sedona, and other nearby airports, using helicopters and commuter-size airplanes that carry up to 30 passengers.
- Grand Canyon West Rim has been developed some, and is still raw and unfinished in many ways, which adds to the beauty of Grand Canyon West.