Recently, I posted about my experience visiting the Skywalk and Eagle Point in the area known as Grand Canyon West.
The Grand Canyon West shelters a segment of the main canyon formed by the Colorado River (what we know as the Grand Canyon). This part of the canyon is located outside National Park boundaries and owned by the Hualapai Indian Reservation.
The Hualapai are in charge of managing this piece of land and have built extensive facilities for the enjoyment of visitors.
This was my first visit to the Grand Canyon and my mind was completely blown away by the enormity of this geological feature. I had an idea of how the area was supposed to look. But let me tell you, what I saw in front of me destroyed all my naïve dreams. The Grand Canyon is some serious work of nature.
Guano Point: My Experience
The Grand Canyon West has two main viewpoints: Eagle Point (where the super cool Skywalk is located) and Guano Point.
We started the day by visiting Eagle Point. After that, I felt a little apprehensive because I read in numerous Internet forums how the view at Guano Point surpasses what can be seen at Eagle Point. I was like, how is that possible? Walking over the Skywalk was too good to be true. How can the next stop be better than what I just experienced?
While riding the shuttle to Guano Point, I got an understanding of why people prefer the second view. The driver told us to prepare for 360 degrees views of the canyon. I can barely handle a lineal view (in terms of managing awesome beauty), how I was supposed to handle a circular one?
After getting off the shuttle, I got my first glimpse of the viewpoint. Since we were starving, we decided to have our lunch of pulled pork, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn on the cob just meters from the abysm. We could have not asked for better views.
Things got better once our bellies were full. We were able to climb two rock promontories: one flat and the other pointing to the sky. Both of them give you the promised complete 360 views of the canyon. Simply amazing!
After spending a good chunk of time in the area, surrounded my amazing nature, it was time to make out trip back to the visitor’s center.
About the Grand Canyon West
For the record, let’s set some things straight. As I have previously mentioned, this part of the Grand Canyon is property of the Hualapai Nation and located outside National Park boundaries. This area has been named Grand Canyon West to differentiate it from the North and South rims which are inside the Grand Canyon National Park.
The distance from the Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) to the Grand Canyon West is between 240 to 300 miles (depending the route taken). It can take 4-5 hours to get from one point to the other. So, we are talking about the same canyon in here but there are huge distances involved. Take that into consideration when planning your trip.
How to get there
The two major, closest cities are Las Vegas, Nevada (130 miles) and Kingman, Arizona (80 miles).
There are two ways to reach the area:
- By car (independently) – the ride will take 2 hours each way. Do your research before committing to this option since parts of the road which takes you to the visitors’ center are unpaved (can break some rented vehicles agreements)
- With a tour company (guided from Las Vegas) – if you take this option, transportation to the area is included on your package. This is an entire day affair. The drive will take 3 hours and does not feel monotonous because there are several stops along the way (this is why it takes longer than by independent vehicle). For the ride back, you are probably going to be dead tired and fall asleep in the bus.
Attractions at the Grand Canyon West
A visit to this part of the Grand Canyon gives you access to the Skywalk, two magnificent (incredible, outstanding, astonishing) viewpoints (Eagle and Guano Points), Hualapai ranch and meals. There are also members of the tribe offering dancing demonstrations and willing to answer questions. If you want to take things a step further, there are opportunities to do boat and helicopter rides.
If you have your own vehicle, you can tour the different attractions at leisure. On a guided tour from Las Vegas you will have about 4 hours to do what you have selected on your package.
Now, there is a caveat. The tickets to the Grand Canyon West are expensive. A package including the Skywalk, a meal and a shuttle to the different viewpoints costs about $80. Taking out the Skywalk from the package takes the price down to $50.
A tour will charge you transportation costs on top of that (about $40, for a total of $120 -$130 per person, per tour).
Is the experience worth it?
Everybody’s travel experience is difference. Therefore, I will refrain from affirming if this experience is worth or not. In my opinion (and it is just my opinion), the experience is unique and I enjoyed it to the max. I will do it again if I am afforded the opportunity.
If you want more info about the area, remember to check out my post about Eagle Point.
Have you visited Guano Point and the Grand Canyon West?