The Ultimate Guide To Grand Canyon West Rim / Skywalk
Grand Canyon Skywalk , a glass-bottom bridge, offering vistas of Grand Canyon hard to match!
The West Rim of Grand Canyon offers some of the best views of the Grand Canyon and is the host of several exciting ways to explore the canyon, including skywalk, ziplining, air tours, and river floats!
Grand Canyon is a monumental tract of land comprising of steep and layered canyons carved and sculpted by the Colorado River over several million years! Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of the planet and a highly sorted-after destination globally. The massive canyon has three rims, Grand Canyon South Rim, North Rim, and the West Rim, each with a distinct vantage point.
Unlike the South and the North Rim, the West Rim of Grand Canyon is not a part of the Grand Canyon National Park. The West Rim is part of the Hualapai Native American Reservation and is managed by the Hualapai Tribe. The incredible views, excellent guest services, including narrated shuttles, well-planned and accessible overlooks, several activities, and the state-of-the-art observation deck with a see-through glass bridge jutting out the edge of the canyon make the Grand Canyon West Rim experience quite unique!
The Skywalk at Grand Canyon West Rim is the star attraction! The U-shaped glass bridge extending 70 feet over the edge of the canyon’s rim, standing almost a mile above the canyon’s floor without any underneath pillars, is an engineering feat! The see-through glass floor offers unparalleled views and a lifetime experience!
Located in Peach Springs, Arizona, Grand Canyon West Rim is about 130 miles from Las Vegas and a popular day-trip destination from Las Vegas, Nevada. However, the Grand Canyon West Rim is often overshadowed by the South & North Rim, which is a huge mistake!
The Grand Canyon South and North Rim are undoubtedly spectacular, but the West Rim experience is equally impressive!
Here is my ultimate guide to Grand Canyon West Rim / Skywalk, featuring essential planning information, tour options, suggested itineraries, and recommendations on hotels and restaurants near Grand Canyon West Rim.
Planning Your Trip To Grand Canyon West Rim
Grand Canyon West Rim and the Skywalk are open year-round, with summer being the peak season. If possible, avoid summer months to beat the crowd and the heat!
Grand Canyon West Rim Operating Hours & Seasons: Grand Canyon West Rim is open all year-round, including all major holidays in the US, from 9 AM – 6 PM. Summer is the peak season, but you may experience longer wait times to enter the skywalk and board the shuttle busses, and it also gets quite hot in the valley. I recommend visiting Grand Canyon West Rim outside the summer months for a more pleasant experience.
Transportation & Parking In Grand Canyon West Rim: Unlike Grand Canyon South & North Rim, you cannot take your vehicle inside the West Rim. There’s plentiful parking available outside the visitor center, and once you purchase your tickets, the shuttle busses will drive you to all vista points inside the Grand Canyon West Rim.
Grand Canyon West Rim Tickets: The tickets for general admission, skywalk, meals, and several other activities can be purchased in person at the Grand Canyon West Rim Visitor Center or online on the Grand Canyon West website. You can purchase a bundle experience, which I recommend, or customize it by buying tickets for individual attractions and activities. My favorite is the Sky Experience Plus bundle which includes general admission, entry to the skywalk, and a meal with a great view.
Time Required At Grand Canyon West Rim: The Grand Canyon West Rim is small in size compared to the South and the North Rim. Moreover, the excellent shuttle service makes Grand Canyon West Rim very accessible, making it possible to cover all major attractions in 3- 4 hours. There’s no rush, and you can leisurely spend the entire day inside the West Rim and take the last shuttle out before the park closes.
Grand Canyon West Rim Tours & Activities: The Grand Canyon West offers several tours and activities inside the West Rim, including basic shuttle tours, skywalk, ziplining, air tours, and river floats. Given Grand Canyon West Rim’s proximity to Las Vegas, there’re also several tour companies that offer Grand Canyon West Rim tours from Las Vegas. I have reviewed all Grand Canyon West Rim tour options in detail in the later section of the post.
Other Attractions Near Grand Canyon West Rim: Grand Canyon West Rim is located just 130 miles from Las Vegas and is a popular day-trip destination for people visiting Las Vegas. If you happen to come to the West Rim from Grand Canyon South/North Rim, you could drive to Las Vegas, stopping at Hoover Dam on your way. Alternatively, if you’re coming from Las Vegas, you could continue to Grand Canyon South & North Rim, which is about 250 miles from the West Rim. You will find my recommended itineraries in the later section of the post.
Lodging & Dining Near Grand Canyon West Rim: Lodging near Grand Canyon West Rim is limited to the Hualapai Ranch, located inside the Grand Canyon West, and the Hualapai Lodge, which is located in Peach Springs, Arizona, about 90 miles from the West Rim. They have limited rooms, and I highly advise making reservations in advance.
There’re a few great dining options inside Grand Canyon West Rim serving delicious food along with spectacular views, including Skywalk Cafe, Sky View Restaurant, Guano Point Cafe. My favorite being the Guano Point Cafe, where you can enjoy your meal sitting outside soaking in the views of the canyon!
Given Grand Canyon West Rim’s proximity to Las Vegas, I highly recommend staying and dining in Las Vegas when visiting Grand Canyon West Rim. The lodging and dining options are literally overwhelming in Las Vegas. You will find my recommendations and top picks for Las Vegas resorts, hotels, and restaurants in my Las Vegas Travel Guide.
Getting To Grand Canyon West Rim
The best way to get to Grand Canyon West Rim is by flying into Las Vegas International Airport and then driving to Grand Canyon West Rim via Hoover Dam!
Airports Near Grand Canyon West Rim: The McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada, located about 125 miles from Grand Canyon West Rim, is the closest international airport to Grand Canyon West Rim. The Boulder City Municipal Airport (BLD), Boulder City, Nevada, located about 100 miles from Grand Canyon West Rim, is the nearest major domestic airport to Grand Canyon West Rim but has very limited service.
McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, is serviced by all major airlines and, given its proximity to Grand Canyon West Rim, makes it the best airport to get to Grand Canyon West Rim. Grand Canyon West Rim Address: 5001 Diamond Bar Road, Peach Springs, AZ 86434.
Train Services To Grand Canyon West Rim: There’re no direct train services to Grand Canyon West Rim, but you could take an Amtrak train to Kingman Amtrak Station, Arizona, the closest Amtrak station to Grand Canyon West Rim, located about 75 miles from Grand Canyon West Rim. Once at the Kingman Amtrak station, you could hire a cab to get to a nearby Rental Car company, rent a car and then drive to Grand Canyon West Rim.
Bus Services To Grand Canyon West Rim: Like Amtrak train services, Greyhound also connects several US cities to many Arizona cities. The nearest Greyhound bus stop being Kingman, Arizona, located approximately 75 miles from Grand Canyon West Rim. From here, you could hire a cab to get to a Rental Car company, rent a car and then drive to Grand Canyon West Rim.
Things To Do In Grand Canyon West Rim
Soak up the views, walk in the sky atop the Skywalk, and indulge yourself in one of the thrilling activities offered at Grand Canyon West Rim!
Once you purchase your tickets at the visitor center, you would board a hop-on-hop-off shuttle bus that would take you to all vista points inside the Grand Canyon West Rim. You can get down at your desired viewing point, spend as much time you want, and ride the shuttle back to the next attraction.
In the summer months, the peak season in Grand Canyon West Rim, you’re most likely to experience long queues and wait times for the shuttle and at the Skywalk. Make sure to carry plentiful drinking water, which you can purchase at the visitor center, or fill up your bottles at the visitor center’s water fountains.
Eagle Point: The first and the most popular stop on the Grand Canyon West Rim shuttle tour, Eagle Point is home to the spectacular Eagle rock formation and the Skywalk. Named after the iconic landmark and the most photographed rock formation in Grand Canyon West, the Eagle Point offers the best views of the Eagle rock formation. The natural rock formation resembles a giant eagle sitting with its wings spread towards the side. This is where you will also find the Native American Village with structures and exhibits representing the regional tribal heritage and culture, a gift shop selling handcrafted jewelry, wood carvings, and other items, and an amphitheater where you can see Native American performances.
Skywalk: Undoubtedly, the star attraction in Grand Canyon West Rim, the Skywalk is a U-shaped glass-bottom bridge extending 70 feet over the edge of the canyon’s rim and stands almost a mile above the canyon’s floor without any underneath pillars. Though it might sound scary, Skywalk is safe and engineered to withstand a lot of weight and strong winds. Walking past the canyon’s rim atop a glass platform and the fabulous views of the canyon floor through the see-through glass floor offers a lifetime experience!
To enter the Skywalk, you would need to stow all your personal belongings, including cameras and cell phones, in the private lockers offered at the Skywalk visitor center and put on shoe covers before stepping onto the glass bridge. Photography is strictly prohibited when on the Skywalk, but you could have your photos taken by professional photographers on the Skywalk and buy them on your way out of the Skywalk.
Guano Point: Named after the Guano Cave located at the bottom of the Canyon, Guano Point offers stunning panoramic views of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River! The Guano Point is also home to the remnants of an areal tramway constructed for the Guano mining operations to excavate guano/bat excrement, a highly effective nitrogen-rich plant fertilizer from the Guano Cave. The Highpoint Hike starting at the Guano Point is a short hike through a rocky terrain leading to the Guano Point’s tip, offering some sweeping views of the canyon. The Guano Point Cafe, with seating under the open sky and at the edge of the canyon rim, is my favorite place to dine in Grand Canyon West!
Hualapai Ranch: The last stop on the Grand Canyon West Rim shuttle tour, the Hualapai Ranch is a western-themed ranch with performers dressed as cowboys creating a vibe of the Wild West. You will also find a restaurant, a souvenir shop, wagon rides, horseback rides, and other fun things to do in Hualapai Ranch.
There’re no guardrails at any vista points in Grand Canyon West Rim, and you must be very cautious with kids and while taking photographs.
There are several breathtaking activities offered at Gran Canyon West, including air tours, ziplines, and river floats. Given Grand Canyon West Rim’s proximity to Las Vegas, you will also find several tour companies offering various tours to Grand Canyon West Rim starting from Las Vegas.
Tours & Activities In Grand Canyon West Rim
Besides the shuttle tour and the Skywalk, several other thrilling rides, tours, and activities are offered at the Grand Canyon West Rim. You can purchase the tickets for these additional tours and activities at the visitor center, along with your admission ticket, or buy them online on the Grand Canyon West website.
- Zip Line: Ride the sky on a breathtaking zipline soaring above the floors of the Grand Canyon from the Hualapai Ranch.
- Aerial Tours: Traverse the deep canyons on a helicopter and descend down to the canyon floor for some awe-inspiring bottom-up views!
- Pontoon Boat Tours: Ride a helicopter down to the canyon’s floor, enjoy a short boat ride, and then take a helicopter ride back to the top of the canyon.
Grand Canyon West Rim Tours From Las Vegas
Grand Canyon West Rim via Hoover Dam is a popular day-trip itinerary from Las Vegas, and for those who don’t wish to drive, you will find several tours, including bus and air tours of Grand Canyon West Rim from Las Vegas.
- Grand Canyon West Rim Bus Tour: Greyline offers an excellent full-day Grand Canyon West Rim tour in a luxury coach starting from Las Vegas, including hotel pick-up and drop-off.
- Grand Canyon West Rim Helicopter Tour: Enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon West Rim, and descend down to the canyon floor on a helicopter tour offered by Papillon.
Grand Canyon West Rim is located approximately 130 miles from Las Vegas and is a popular day-trip destination for people visiting Las Vegas. If you happen to come to the West Rim from Grand Canyon South/North Rim, you could drive to Las Vegas, stopping at Hoover Dam on your way.
Alternatively, if you’re coming from Las Vegas and can spend 2 – 3 days at Grand Canyon, you could continue to Grand Canyon South & North Rim, which is about 250 miles from the Grand Canyon West Rim.
1 Day Grand Canyon West Rim Trip Itinerary: Whether you’re coming from Las Vegas or Grand Canyon South/North Rim, you can visit Grand Canyon West Rim in one day, including a brief stop at Hoover Dam. However, I would recommend getting an early start to leisurely explore both places.
- Start from Las Vegas
- Brief stop at Hoover Dam ( 30 Minutes )
- Grand Canyon West Rim ( 4 Hours )
- Drive back to Las Vegas
2 Or More Days In Grand Canyon West Rim Trip Itinerary: If you have more time, I recommend extending your Grand Canyon venture from the West Rim to the South / North Rim, located about 250 miles from West Rim. You can use my Grand Canyon South & North Rim Travel Guide to plan your South and North Rim trip.
- Day 1 – Visit Grand Canyon West Rim
- Day 2 – Visit Grand Canyon South & North Rim
Other Arizona Attractions & Related Posts
I hope you enjoyed reading the post, The Ultimate Guide To Grand Canyon West Rim / Skywalk, and I hope this will help you plan your trip to Grand Canyon West Rim. You can find other Arizona attractions in my Arizona Travel Guide.
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