Grand Canyon Skywalk Tips

Published: 02nd June 2011
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The Grand Canyon glass walkway is one of the canyon's most famous sights. Located at the edge of the West Rim, the walkway lets you walk past the edge and directly into the abyss. The moment is totally gravity defying. Do it once and you can scratch space travel off your bucket list.

Excursions to the sky walk depart every day from Vegas. Transportation includes helicopter, airplane, and coach. Outings are all-inclusive and come with hotel pick up and drop off, lunch, and a skilled guide. Excursions range from half a day to a full day with prices beginning at $120 per person.

The bridge is the focal point of the Grand Canyon Skywalk complex, which on completion will feature a theatre, gift shop, several dining establishments, and a VIP lounge. The complex itself sits amid a 9,000-acre area called Grand Canyon West. The Hualapai Indians own this land and when it's developed will feature hotels, restaurants, a golf course, and a cable car to the bottom!

The Sky Walk runs 70 feet beyond the top of the rim. It's really a awesome feeling knowing that the one thing standing between you and the bottom 4,000 feet below is a sheet of glass. Breath deeply before looking down. I recommend holding the glass railing if you are prone to vertigo.

The Skywalk is a technological wonder. The $30 million Skywalk is made up of 46 panels of Saint-Gobain Diamant low iron glass and Dupont SentryGlas. The railings are made from the same hybrid substance but use fewer layers so it can be bent to adhere to the bridge's horseshoe-shaped curvature. The deck panels are said to have cost $250,000 each.

Technicians have created the walkway to withstand the harshest physical conditions, including Magnitude 8 earthquakes and gusts of wind over 100 mph. It can support up to 71 jumbo jets simultaneously. Put another way, it can hold 800 people at one time (maximum occupancy is 120).

There are plenty of Grand Canyon Sky Walk trips from Las Vegas. Most of them will let you add side-trips. The most popular are:

1. Helicopter trip to the bottom

It's a 4,000-foot descent through unique buttes, spires, and ravines. Land at the base. Enjoy a Champagne picnic lunch. Discover the base.

2. Heli to the base with boat

This excursion expands the helicopter ride to include a smooth-water float ride down the Colorado River.

Grand Canyon West is the only spot in the canyon that permits you to ride a heli to the bottom and land. There aren't any air tours between the West Rim and the South Rim. If you want a South Rim heli ride, you need to take a 45-minute plane trip from Vegas then transfer to a chopper at Grand Canyon Airport.

More than 200,000 people visit the glass walkway annually. Purchase your Skywalk trip as far ahead of time as you possibly can. Never ever pay full retail price. For the greatest deal, shop the online world. I've come across prices slashed up to 35 %. Resist finishing your internet booking over the telephone. Commissioned sales people are on the other end of the line and it's their task to sell you a trip at the highest price possible.

The Grand Canyon glass walkway is a world-class attraction. No trip to Vegas is complete without having seeing it. There are lots of ways to get there, including chopper, airplane, and tour bus. Spend less by booking tours online. People do self-drive to the Skywalk. I don't recommend it. The last 10 miles is unpaved dirt road and needs an SUV. Getting to the glass bridge is worth the hassle. As I say, "Don't see the Grand Canyon, Skywalk it!"

Mr. Kravitz is a travel writer who reports exclusively about the Grand Canyon. Go here for his Top 3 Grand Canyon Skywalk tour deals based on quality, safety and price. This page is updated frequently so make sure to bookmark it.

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