- By Kevin
- On Mar 26, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
Fast becoming one of the most talked-about destinations at the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon West Rim attracts about 700,000 visitors each year. Today we will introduce some facts about Grand Canyon West Rim.
Grand Canyon West is open to the public from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily from October through March, and from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm daily from April through September. It is open every day of the year including all major holidays.
Although Grand Canyon West is typically less crowded than the South Rim, one can expect a swell of visitors each day between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Most visitors stay about 3–4 hours, so be aware that the last ticket is sold 1? hours prior to closing time.
The best time of year to visit Grand Canyon West is late fall through spring, when daytime?temperatures?are pleasant, ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-90s, and generally under sunny conditions. Summertime temperatures can soar to well above 100° Fahrenheit, so standing in line for the shuttle or the Skywalk can be hot under the intense sun.
No matter when you visit, be sure to bring about a quart of water per person, a wide-brimmed hat, high SPF sunscreen, sunglasses and very light layers.
Whether you drive yourself or take a guided helicopter, air or coach tour, Grand Canyon West is an ideal day trip from Las Vegas. While we typically encourage visitors to drive themselves to the South and North Rims of the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon West is a different story, IF you're coming from Las Vegas. There are a myriad of high-quality tours from Las Vegas to the West Rim, whether by helicopter, airplane or ground, and the tour companies each do a terrific job of providing an excellent tour, with informative and entertaining narration, and neatly packaging the entrance fees, activities and upgrades available at Grand Canyon West.
That being said, you can drive yourself to the Grand Canyon West entrance. Be prepared for the 9 mile unpaved yet graded, bumpy and dusty drive on Diamond Bar Road as you approach the Grand Canyon West airport. (Note: it is estimated that the road will be paved in full by Spring 2014.) No private vehicles are permitted past the Grand Canyon West entrance. You must park your car at the Grand Canyon West Welcome Center. You will be directed purchase an entrance package and board the Hop-On Hop-Off shuttle, included in the price of all entrance packages.
As for me, joining a Grand Canyon bus tour from a travel agency is the most cost-effective.
If you don't want to drive the unpaved portion of the road, you can take a shuttle service from Dolan Spring. The Park and Ride shuttle is $15 per person round trip. This shuttle departs from 16011 Pierce Ferry Rd, Dolan Springs, AZ.
Hop-On Hop-Off Shuttle
The Hop-On Hop-Off shuttles circulate throughout Grand Canyon West continuously throughout the day, taking visitors to the three main areas. They stop at each point of interest, Guano Point, Eagle Point and Hualapai Ranch, approximately every 15 minutes.
Things To Do Grand Canyon West
– Grand Canyon West Look-out Points & Activities
Since private cars are not allowed in the Park, there is a free shuttle service to the various viewpoints and activities. Important viewpoints include:
– Eagle Point Viewpoint
At Eagle Point, there is a Native American Village walking tour with replicas of authentic dwellings from various American Indian Tribes. The amphitheater hosts live Native American performances representing many different tribes throughout the day. Be sure to stop at the art and gift store featuring handmade, authentic Native American jewelry and crafts.
– Guano Point
Guano Point is a pyramid point made of rock that has the most beautiful views of Grand Canyon West and the Colorado River. The Highpoint Hike has slightly rough terrain but the views are worth the walk. At Guano Point, there are remnants of a historic tram that stretched 8,800 feet across the canyon to a guano mine. Enjoy the Hualapai Market selling jewelry and crafts.
– Hualapai Ranch
The western-style ranch has cowboy entertainment, with roping and quick draw and wagon rides. There are also cabins for overnight quests.
– Helicopter Flights & Pontoon Boat tours
Helicopter flights are available from the Grand Canyon West Airport located right at the rim of the 4,000 foot cliff to the floor of the Canyon. Standing on the canyon floor with the sheer cliffs towering above you is awesome! The Rim-to-Floor experience can become even more awesome if you add the pontoon boat tour. Cruising down the famous Colorado River inside the Grand Canyon gives you a true perspective of the magnitude and magnificence of this natural wonder of the world. There are several companies that provide tours from Grand Canyon West including Papillon Helicopters, Maverick and Sundance.
The unique and beautiful Grand Canyon Skywalk Glass Bridge is a horse-shoe design with a glass floor and extends over the edge of a 4,000 foot drop to the floor of Grand Canyon West. Walking onto the bridge is both exciting and a little scary but don’t worry, the glass is actually constructed of five layers of glass measuring approximately 2 ? inches thick and the bridge can hold up to 71 million pounds. There are Package Admission Fee’s for the Skywalk Bridge and in order to protect the glass, there are no personal items allowed on the bridge including cameras. There will be opportunities to have professional photographs taken and purchased after the walk.
Although there are more people visiting the Grand Canyon South Rim than West Rim, I still insist that the West Rim is more attractive, especially the exciting Skywalk Glass Bridge. When visiting West Rim, you will love it as me.