Grand Canyon West

The Grand Canyon is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. It was carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The canyon is 277 miles long, over a mile deep, and, in some spots, 18 miles wide.

There are four separate places where you can visit the Grand Canyon–North, South, East, and West Rims. The South Rim is the most popular. It’s the part of the Grand Canyon that most people think of. Unfortunately, it is approximately a 4.5-hour drive from Las Vegas. Grand Canyon West is only 2 hours east of Las Vegas.  It is located in northwest corner of Arizona and can be accessed by car, helicopter and plane. 

Grand Canyon West is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe. Since it is not a National Park, the Hualapai Tribe controls the fees. A National Park Pass cannot be used here.

Grand Canyon West does offer a variety of unique attractions: Skywalk, ziplining, whitewater rafting, helicopter flights, and pontoon tours.

Personal vehicles are not allowed onto the West Rim. Parking is free. After parking, you will take a shuttle to visit the park. The Hop-on, Hop-off shuttle that will take you to two stops. The stops are Eagle Point & Guano Point.

The line for the shuttle bus. When we left, this line was clear to the domed building.

Eagle Point is the first stop. Eagle Point is aptly named for the eagle formation on the canyon you can see from this section of the rim.

Can you find the eagle formation in the background?
  • Here you can take a self-guided tour through Eagle Point’s authentic Native American Village.
  • Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (10:00am – 3:00pm) at the outdoor amphitheater, you can enjoy the music and dances of the Hualapai Tribe.
  • The Skywalk is located at Eagle Point. Skywalk is a glass-shaped bridge that will let you see the canyon beneath your feet. You can walk on this bridge for an additional charge-$26-$29 depending on when you visit. You are also not allowed to take your own pictures on this bridge. There are photographers stationed along the bridge. You can take home your photo for a cost–$17/print or $69/digital.

Guano Point is the second stop. Guano Point is named due to a guano bat cave discovery in 1930 that led to several unsuccessful attempts to mine nitrogen-rich guano for fertilizer. 

  • Here you will see stunning 360-degree views of the Canyon.
  • You are allowed to climb on the rocks to get different views of the Canyon.
  • You can see what’s left of the $3.5 million aerial tramway system built in 1957.
  • Located next to the shuttle stop is a Native American Flea Market.

Hours: Grand Canyon West is open every day of the year, including all major holidays, from 9:00 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. daily.

Cost:

  • The price of admission can vary based on the date selected to visit.
  • Base price is $49. Peak is $55.
  • You can purchase tickets online or onsite.
  • We purchased our tickets onsite to take advantage of the Family Special--$134 for 2 Adults & 2 Children. Additional children’s tickets (ages 5-12) can be purchased for $26 each. These promotional tickets cannot be purchased online.
  • Children 4 & younger are free.
The domed building is where you will pick up or purchase your tickets. There is a gift shop inside as well.

Tips & Things to Know:

  • Get there early. The parking lot fills up quickly and there will be lines to get on the shuttle. You cannot drive your vehicle to the sites. You will park in the parking lot and use the Hop-on & Hop-off shuttle.
  • There is food available to purchase, but you can also bring your own food and water. There are plenty of picnic tables and other spots to sit.
  • Reservations are not required to visit Grand Canyon West. If you want to participate in any of the attractions, other than the Skywalk, it would be smart to make reservations for those.
  • Plan on spending at least 2-3 hours at Grand Canyon West.
  • Pets are not allowed on the tours.
  • Don’t forget your selfie stick. Unfortunately, I did.
This is what the line looked like when we left. This is just the line to get into the building. We left Las Vegas around 8 am and arrived at Grand Canyon West just after 10 am. There was no line to get into the building when we arrived at that time.

Our Experience:

When we planned our trip to Las Vegas, I knew we had to visit the Grand Canyon. I grew up in New Mexico but never had a chance to visit the Grand Canyon. Since we were staying in Las Vegas and wanted to optimize our time, we chose to visit the West Rim.

We arrived early, and there was no line to get in nor to buy tickets. There was a short line for the shuttle bus. We ended up waiting about 10-15 minutes. When we left, the line to get into the building was out into the parking area.

The first stop was Eagle Point. The views at this spot were a little disappointing. There really wasn’t much to see, and there are barriers in front of most of the edges. We tried to take some photos when a man ran over and said we were too close to the edge. He said we needed to stay at least 5-feet from the edge.

It was interesting walking around and looking at the various replicas of traditional housing and sweat lodges built by the Hualapai, Navajo, Plains, Hopi and Havasupai Tribes. A sign was in front of each lodging, giving insights into their lifestyles.

There is a nice gift shop at Eagle Point. It is located in the Skywalk building. We ended up grabbing a couple of souvenirs. After our short visit at Eagle Point, we took the shuttle to Guano Point.

After leaving Eagle Point, we headed to Guano Point. The shuttle stops are clearly labeled. Make sure you are in the correct line.

The views at Guano Point were amazing. Here we climbed up the rocks to get a 360- degree view of the Canyons. Guano Point really had more photo opportunities. The views were breathtaking.

At the shuttle stop as you leave Guano Point, there is a Native American Flea Market. The handmade jewelry and trinkets are beautiful.

All in all, we ended up staying about 3 hours. Visiting Grand Canyon West is definitely a doable daytrip if you are staying in Vegas.

When you visit Grand Canyon West, you are supporting the Hualapai Tribal Nation. The Hualapai (pronounced Wal-lah-pie), meaning People of the Tall Pines, is a sovereign Indigenous nation that is not subsidized by the United States government.

One thought on “Grand Canyon West

  1. THANKS for your thorough info on Grand Canyon West and details on timing and cost and ALL of it so anyone reading your post can plan their own trip—FANTASTIC PICTURES, too!!! (I’m literally saving this for future reference/hopefully a trip there someday!)

    Liked by 1 person

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