Skywalk, Grand Canyon West, USA

Skywalk, Grand Canyon West, USA
  • Skywalk, Grand Canyon, USA
  • Walkway
  • Grand Canyon
  • Naran
  • Canyon below her
  • Pres
  • Canyon below him
  • Guano Ridge Entrance
  • Guano Haul Road
  • High Point, Guano Ridge
  • Naran on top of the vista
  • Look Back
  • Cable Tram
  • Cable Tram
  • Operators Room
  • Guano From Helicoptor
  • Helicopter In Canyon
Skywalk, Grand Canyon, USA1 Walkway2 Grand Canyon3 Naran 4 Canyon below her5 Pres6 Canyon below him7 Guano Ridge Entrance8 Guano Haul Road9 High Point, Guano Ridge10 Naran on top of the vista11 Look Back12 Cable Tram13 Cable Tram14 Operators Room15 Guano From Helicoptor16 Helicopter In Canyon17

In March 2013 National Geographic channel covered the story of Skywalk, Grand Canyon West, in northwestern Arizona. In 1996 David Jin, a Las Vegas business man, presented the unique idea to the Hualapai Indian Nation. Thirty million dollars and ten years later Skywalk was opened to the public. A month later we began the road trip. Constructed on sovereign Hualapai Nation land, the site is about 90 miles west of Grand Canyon National Park, and 80 miles north of Kingman, Az.

Prior proof of purchase moved us quickly through the entrance area and into our tour bus. My favorite site is Eagle Point: This stop features Skywalk and the weathered resemblance to an Eagle in the east wall of the canyon. As we walked north from the bus stop, we stayed right, walking along the west edge of a large canyon so we could see Skywalk's walkway, the canyon's bottom and the Colorado River to the north. Two hundred feet south of Skywalk is the Eagle Point marquee. The looped structure extends 70 feet away from the building and about 35 feet beyond the cliff edge. The walkway is 10 feet wide, with 5 foot high walls that are made of 1 1/8" tempered clear glass panels. We chose to acclimate along the side canyons west edge for a while. While looking into these serious canyons, I explained to Naran that being able to see "through" the surface that you are walking on might be a bit unnerving at first. She nodded? When we were ready to move on, Naran agreed to stop along the walkway for a picture. Instead, as she stepped onto the glass walkway she began running and did not stop until she disappeared through the exit door on the far side! Under the first 35 feet of walkway, the cliffs edge drops to a plateau 720 feet below you. Past that, the plateau quickly drops away, blending into the main canyon bottom. Just a few hundred feet north of Skywalk the Colorado river is 4000 feet down. Skywalk is a sensational experience!

My second choice site is Guano Point. In 1930 a large bat cave had been discovered on the north side of the Colorado River. Efforts to successfully mine the guano along the mighty Colorado River had failed. In 1957 mining rights were acquired by US Guano Corporation. US Guano had negotiated land use rights from the Hualapai people on the south side of the river. In order to bring the guano south across the river, a road and cable tramway was constructed along a south side ridge. It took 14 months to construct the road and cableway. From Guano Point, 2500lb loads were lifted to an area where trucks could deliver the guano to markets in Kingman, Arizona. The mine is 7500 feet distant and 2500 feet below Guano Point? In the mine, a large vacuum cleaner was used to fill the cable cars.

Whenever I think about the Grand Canyon, my first recall is always Grand Canyon West, not Grand Canyon National Park. The lack of railings adds a powerful edge to the experience!

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