Visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk?
- By: Keith Kravitz
The Grand Canyon glass walkway is among the canyon's most well-known sights. Located at the edge of the Grand Canyon West, the walkway enables you to walk beyond the edge and directly into the abyss. The moment is completely gravity defying. Do this once and you can now scratch piloting the space shuttle off your bucket list.
Excursions to the glass bridge depart every day from Vegas. Transportation includes chopper, plane, and coach. Outings are all-inclusive and come with hotel pick up and drop off, lunch, and a expert guide. Excursions vary from half a day to a full day with rates beginning at $120 per person.
The glass bridge is the focal point of the Grand Canyon Sky Walk complex, which when finished will feature a cinema, 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 glass bridge stretches 70 feet beyond the top of the rim. It's really a exhilarating feeling understanding that the one thing standing between you and the base 4,000 feet down below is a sheet of glass. Breath deeply before looking down. I suggest holding the glass railing if you are susceptible to vertigo.
The glass walkway is a technical wonder. The $30 million Skywalk is made up of 46 panels of Saint-Gobain Diamant low iron glass and Dupont SentryGlas. The rails are made from the same hybrid substance but use a lesser number of layers so it can be bent to adhere to the bridge's u-shaped curvature. The deck panels are said to have cost $250,000 each.
Technicians have created the walkway to resist the toughest physical conditions, including Magnitude 8 earthquakes and wind gusts over 100 mph. It can hold up to 71 jumbo jets at the same time. Put in a different way, it can support 800 people simultaneously (maximum occupancy is 120).
There are many Grand Canyon glass bridge excursions from Las Vegas. Most of them let you add side-trips. The most popular are:
1. Chopper trip to the base
It's a 4,000-foot descent through unique buttes, spires, and ravines. Land at the base. Celebrate with a Champagne picnic lunch. Discover the base.
2. Chopper to the base with boat
This excursion expands the chopper trip to include a smooth-water float ride down the Colorado River.
Grand Canyon West is the only location in the canyon where one can ride a chopper to the base and land. There aren't any air tours between the West Rim and the National Park. If you prefer a South Rim chopper trip, you have to take a 45-minute plane trip from Las Vegas then switch to a helicopter at Grand Canyon Airport.
Over 200,000 people check out the glass walkway each year. Reserve your Skywalk trip as far ahead of time as you possibly can. In no way pay full list price. For the greatest deal, shop the web. I have seen prices cut up to 35 %. Avoid finishing your internet reservation over the telephone. Commissioned sales representatives are on the other end of the line and it's their task to sell you a trip at the highest price conceivable.
The Grand Canyon glass walkway is a world-class destination. No trip to Las Vegas is finished without having seeing it. There are many ways to get there, including chopper, plane, and coach. Spend less by reserving tours online. People do drive themselves to the Skywalk. I really don't recommend it. The final 10 miles is unpaved dirt road and needs an SUV. Getting to the glass bridge is worth the trouble. As I say, "Don't check out the Grand Canyon, Skywalk it!"
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Mr. Kravitz is a travel writer who reports exclusively on the Grand Canyon. Go here for his Top 3 Grand Canyon Skywalk tour deals(http://grandcanyon123.com/grand-canyon-skywalk-deals.html) based on quality, safety and price. This page is updated frequently so make sure to bookmark it.