Grand Canyon West, Home of the Skywalk and 1-Day Rafting Trips
Attracting more than 1 million visitors per year, the Hualapai nation manages Grand Canyon West, home of the Skywalk, as well as rafting along the Colorado River.
Grand Canyon West sits along the western edge of the Grand Canyon but is separate from Grand Canyon National Park that is managed by the National Park Service. It’s actually 242 miles west of Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim Visitors Center, so the two are a five-hour drive apart. The closest major city is Las Vegas, 120 miles away. It’s 216 miles west of Flagstaff, Arizona, and 253 miles north of Phoenix. At Grand Canyon West, your National Park Service pass is not valid because the area is owned and run by the Hualapai Indians, not the park service.
When you enter Grand Canyon West, there is a per-person entrance fee, which includes an opportunity to walk on the glass-bottomed Skywalk. You can also add on meal tickets, boat and helicopter rides and more.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
Grand Canyon West is home of the Skywalk, the glass walkway that hangs 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. Opened in 2007, this magnificent structure cost $30 million. The Skywalk offers multiple viewpoints of the canyon and the Colorado River. As you wait in line to walk on the Skywalk, you can read exhibit panels on the walls, explaining the history of the Hualapai tribe.
The Sky View Restaurant is on the second floor of the Skywalk building. It offers panoramic views of the top of the canyon and American cuisine like hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, chili cheese dogs and chicken tenders.
Beyond the Skywalk, you can visit a replica Native American village with representative dwellings from Hualapai, Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai and Plains Native Americans. You also can watch daily Native American live dance performances in the amphitheater. There are snack stations and gift shops in the area, as well.
River Runners 1- and 2-Day Rafting Trips
Grand Canyon West is the only place in the entire Grand Canyon where you can take a 1- or 2-day rafting trip on the Colorado River with the Hualapai River Runners. Aboard a motorized raft, experience exciting rapids, hike at Travertine Cavern Falls and see wildlife. You’ll lunch along the banks of the Colorado River and learn about the Hualapai Tribe’s connection to the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.
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