Grand Canyon West Rim

Since it’s Thursday, I thought it would be fun to write a “throwback” post about my trip to the Grand Canyon! In December 2013, I went to Las Vegas, NV for my friend, Mai’s, birthday. On our first full day in Vegas, we took a bus trip to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Everything described below was included in our tour of the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. I booked the tour through Viator, which has a whole list of Grand Canyon tours from Vegas if you’re interested and don’t want to do the one we did.

We were picked up from our hotel bright and early and set out for the tour company’s office. They split everyone up based on what tour we paid to go on for the day, we got our tickets, and got on nice coach buses. From there, we rode to the Hoover Dam for a 15 minute stop. It wasn’t enough time to tour the Dam, but we were able to get some cool pictures!

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
IMG_6246
First time in Nevada

We hopped back on the bus and headed for the Grand Canyon. The West Rim of the canyon is on an Indian Reservation and to access it, we had to drive on a very long, bumpy, dirt road. We abandoned our nice coach bus and boarded buses that could handle the dirt road. Some people drove their cars to the main entrance, but after seeing all the dents and cracked windows on the buses, I wouldn’t recommend taking your car!

At the main entrance, we learned they have shuttle buses that go in a loop between the different sites within the park. The stops include the main entrance, Hualapai Ranch, Eagle Point where the Skywalk is, and Guano Point. The tour we paid for included a helicopter ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a boat ride once you’re at the bottom, lunch at a place of your choice, and a visit to the Skywalk.

Our first stop within the park was the helicopter ride to the bottom of the canyon. This was my first time ever on a helicopter and it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be! We saw some incredible views we wouldn’t have seen from the ground!

IMG_6269
We flew over the rim of the canyon and saw this incredible view! I was in awe!!
The helicopter we rode in
The helicopter we rode in

Once we made it to the bottom, we boarded a boat for a short ride on the river. The guide told us some facts about the canyon and stopped the boat so we could take a few photos. It was really incredible being at the bottom and looking up to see how high the canyon really is.

Just hanging out at the bottom of the Grand Canyon!
Just hanging out at the bottom of the Grand Canyon!

We hopped back in the helicopter and headed back to the main entrance to start the rest of our Grand Canyon fun. Our next stop was lunch at the Hualapai Ranch. Everything I had was delicious and the servers were very friendly. We were in a hurry to get to the Skywalk so we didn’t take too much time to walk around the ranch, but there were different buildings you could check out. They also had horses you could ride if you wanted.

Leaving the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Leaving the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Delicious lunch!
Delicious lunch!
At the ranch
At the ranch
At the ranch
Hualapai Ranch

After lunch, we headed to the Skywalk. Unfortunately, you can’t take your own camera on the Skywalk with you. They do have photographers on the walk that will take your picture with their professional cameras. At the end, you can view the pictures they took of you and purchase the USB with all the pictures on it. I was pleased with the pictures they took, so I bought the USB. They only let a certain number of people on the Skywalk at a time, so in busier seasons, there’s always a line. You may want to consider visiting it before eating lunch or eating lunch while waiting in line if it’s crowded.

The Skywalk is a platform that reaches out over the Canyon with nothing underneath! It can be a little scary!
The Skywalk is a platform that reaches out over the Canyon with nothing underneath! It can be a little scary!
Me on the Skywalk with the Eagle on the left.
On the Skywalk with the Eagle on the left.
Don't look down!!! They make you wear covers on your shoes to protect the glass.
Don’t look down!!!

After my incredible experience on the Skywalk, I spent some time taking pictures with the Eagle rock formation.

Do you see the resemblance?!?
Do you see the resemblance?!?

Our next stop was Guano Point. You could walk to the hill shown below and climb to the top. Yes, it’s really on the edge of the canyon! I didn’t think the view was any different from the very top, but it did feel like I was on top of the world standing up there!

See the people standing on the very top point? That's where I climbed to and took the next picture!
See the people standing on the very top point? That’s where I climbed to and took the next picture!
At the top of Guano Point
At the top of Guano Point

Sadly, that was the end of my Grand Canyon adventure. We boarded the bus and headed back to Las Vegas, taking a long nap on the way! Stay tuned for a post about Las Vegas!

Recommendations:

  • Grand Canyon West Rim Day Trip with Coach, Helicopter and Boat with Optional Skywalk If you have the money, do it all! The helicopter ride was my favorite part of the day. I probably could’ve done without the boat ride, but I’m not sure that’s an option if you do the helicopter ride. I enjoyed the Skywalk, but I’m sure some people would consider it a tourist trap.
  • Viator – This is a great website to look up tours in any city. I use it when I travel internationally and around the US.
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