Experience the views from the Grand Canyon Skywalk
The huge, natural ‘hole in the ground’ in Arizona was carved millions of years ago by the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and, in parts, is over a mile deep (6,000 feet or 1,800 meters). A Grand Canyon holiday is a must for anyone spending time in the beautiful ‘Wild West’ of the United States.
And now you can get a spectacular view of this amazing “wonder of the world” from the recently opened skywalk. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a transparent, horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge on the edge of one side of the canyon. Commissioned and owned by the Hualapai Indian tribe, this glass overlook is suspended 4,000 feet over the bottom of the canyon. You can gaze to the left and see the majesty of the Colorado River. Look to the right at the silhouette of an eagle carved out in Grand Canyon wall. And of course look straight down under your feet through the clear glass and see the canyon below you as you walk down and around the skywalk and feel like you are walking on air above this massive formation.
Have a fear of heights? This one may be tough for you. But rest-assured, this engineering marvel is not going anywhere. The deck of the Skywalk was constructed with four layers of German Saint-Gobain Diamant low iron glass with a DuPont SentryGlas interlayer. The Skywalk deck was designed for a 100-pound-per-square-foot live load along with code required seismic and wind forces. The walkway can actually hold 822 people that weigh 200 pounds (91 kg) each without overstress, but for extra safety measures, the maximum occupancy at one time is only 120 people.
From the Skywalk, you can see the Colorado River far below and if you look close enough you can see river rafts floating by. You can also see the rim of a beautiful section of the Grand Canyon.
The Skywalk at Grand Canyon West is located on the Hualapai Reservation and is managed by the Hualapai tribe. Easiest access is from Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s approximately 125 miles from Las Vegas and takes at least 2 ½ hours to drive. There are scenic flights from Las Vegas and Boulder City that take you right into Grand Canyon West where you then board a motor coach to the Skywalk.
Further reading: If you simply can't resist a visit to the daddy of all canyons any longer then make sure you read our top 10 things to do in Grand Canyon National Park.
Article written by Lisa Lubin.