West East Rim, Grand Canyon
First, I took a bus tour which left from Las Vegas en route to the Grand Canyon. On the way there we stopped at different points to take pictures. We stopped at the first scenic point where I took a picture of a beautiful back drop. Then the bus was off to Joshua Tree; Not Joshua National Park, but along the empty desert we stopped and it was full of Joshua trees. I had never seen anything like that before. Next, we made our way up a small rode very curvy and steep which took about 20 minutes and we arrived at Eagle Point. The view was spectacular. I walked around the Native American store. The place had wonderful things to buy but it was a bit expensive. I also did a dance with the Native American Indian and took pictures with them. I visited the teepees and huts.It also has the Sky Walk but I was to scared to walk out on that wonderful piece of scenery; so I keep my foot on solid canyon (ground). I would recommend a hat; which I left behind, the sun was bright and the tour got started in the early morning and finish by midday afternoon. Its hard to put the Grand Canyon in words and the pictures just doesn't capture its true beauty. Next, we were on our way to Guano Point. This view much more exciting; it was breath taking and it allowed me to take much more in depth pictures. I had a greater view of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River flowing through it. Up high the River did appear muddy but I knew if I was down close to it I could see the clearness in the water. I visited that old Guano cave. This cave was once home to millions of bats the cave is no longer that just part of it frame work. We ate a wonderful lunch prepared the reservation then finish the tour and we were on our way back to Las Vegas.
Hualapai Ranch simulates the old west with some activities like a tom a hawk throwing, bow and arrow shooting, horse back riding (extra charge), wagon ride (extra charge), and food.
Honestly, it was a pretty poor example of an old western town...
Sounds good, doesn't it? Guano Point was named after old guano (bat droppings, which are extremely rich in minerals and make a great fertilizer) mine that operated in the 1950's. The ruins of the mine and pulley system still remain, you can walk right up and touch them.
Be prepared to spend some time at Guano point. It's a view you made a trip for. Eagle Point is just a beginning and The Ranch is more about entertaining...
Probably the latest attraction at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is the glass bridge called the Skywalk.
We didn't do the Skywalk and we were kind of happy we didn't.
It don't think we were missing much.
We had only 4 hrs in Grand Canyon but we were aware that waits in line of about 30 minutes are common and did not want take a chance.
The clear glass on the floor looks cool but they do not allow you to bring a camera or any personal effects on the Skywalk. You'll have to store your belongings in the lockers.
You have to pay extra for the photo on Skywalk (about $30).
Note: If children are old enough to walk on their own, they are permitted to walk on the Skywalk.
Eagle Point named for the landscape's resemblance to an eagle. It is one several spectacular view points of West Rim and the home of the world famous Skywalk bridge.
Representatives from the Navajo, Havasupai, and Hopi haul in materials from their reservations and build their tribe's traditional dwellings in the very interesting "Indian Village" for all of us to explore.
Enjoy demonstration of traditional Hualapai ceremonial Dance at Eagle Point.
Dancers from the Navajo, Havasupai, and Hopi tribes perform daily for the visitors.
Whilst having a walk around at Eagle Point, the Hualapai's have built examples of the type of houses they used to live in.
There are examples of houses made from brick, material, wood, mud and large shrubs. You can walk in and around them; see how big they are; imagine yourself in that living space. It makes you realise what you take for granted.
I experienced this in 2007. From my last trip the the Grand Canyon in 2011, some of the Hualapai Indian Tribe have had an amphitheatre built for this demonstration.
It's a little insight into the culture and traditions of the Hualapai tribe. You are given a small explaination as to why the dance is preformed and the clothes worn.
Music is played on drums and somebody sings/chants while others dance.
It's interesting to watch.
This is a free display to watch.
The Grand Canyon is a long affair and as such it offers different experiences. Most importantly it is divided between the National Park Service and several Indian tribes who have been living around it for eternity. One of them, the Hualapai offers a unique access to the bottom of the canyon by allowing helicopter flights to land by the river bed. While there is helicopter service in the so-called South Rim, it only consists of overflying the canyon or in the case of the neighbouring Indian tribe where access to the river is allowed it is prohibitively expensive. The best option is to choose “Papillion” helicopters as a company with the most “sorties” as opposed to the firm “Maverick”, who have one a day. The experience is thrilling and worth every cent of the 152USD that it costs. The helicopters can take up to six people plus the pilot and the seating is carefully chosen based on the individual weight of the passengers. If lucky, you can get to sit beside the pilot with a panoramic view horizontally and vertically! If terribly unlucky, you get to sit on the side lit by the Sun and have the majority of your pictures overexposed by the reflections of the windows. Some sources suggest not wearing bright coloured clothes but really this is not going to help much.
There is no better way to really soak in the view and get a real perspective of this natural masterpiece but to see it from above. One can appreciate the vastness of this place, the hues of browns and reds that shines from it's cliffs, the river that carved this visually awesome piece of nature, the blue lakes in contrast with the dry arid desert that they are in! Time wise I recommend flying over the Grand Canyon and opt for one that lands and allows you to touch and experience the canyon in a personal kind of way. Our pilot was great apart from being the tall not so dark and handsome pilot that he was! There was enough time to walk around (although in the name of safety they do advise you not to wander too far from their sight), enjoy a healthy snack and a drink. The one we did was the Wind Dancer Air and Landing Tour by Maverick. We did
scrap the flight over the Strip part that was why we did not pay the full online price.
I would recommend best to book directly from their website: http://www.maverickhelicopter.com/tour-wind-dancer.aspx
At their amphitheater, the Hualapai people offer a show where they show some of their traditional dances, wearing their traditional clothes and singing their music. They have several shows during the day and they're very entertaining to see, especially the dances that have quick foot work. At the end of the show, they ask for a donation (the amount is up to you) or you can buy their CD, and you can take your picture with them too.
You can see a video of one of the dances here.
The first stop of interest in the West Rim is Eagle Point. Upon arrival we saw some Native American women doing some of their traditional dances. Eagle Point got its name because there's a cliff that makes a shape of an eagle with its wings open, as if flying down to pounce on a prey.
This is where I really started appreciating the wonder that the Grand Canyon is.
On Eagle Point you'll find the Skywalk, but I didn't go there so I can't comment on the experience, and the one store selling Hualapai crafts and postcards. There's also a native village and their amphitheater where you can see their traditional dances.
Note that there's no hand rails on the Grand Canyon, so be careful when walking close to the edge so that you don't fall down 4000 feet to the "belly" of the canyon.
The second stop of interest in our tour was Guano Point. Guano Point got its name because guano was mined here in the 1950's. Guano is used for the production of gunpowder and fertilizers, among other things. You can still see the mining tram from the old days.
From here I had nice views of the Colorado River and some vantage points that you can hike up to, to fully take in the stunning views.
The day we visited, a movie was being filmed here but we didn't see any of the cast, just the crew as they were disassembling their equipment prior to departure.
The Hualapai is a tribe from the Southwestern part of today's US, and they owned about 6 million acres of land in the state of Arizona. Today they're the owners of Grand Canyon West and on Eagle Point you can see some of their traditional houses, like the tipi (teepee) and the hopi. These houses are made with the traditional elements and techniques from the old times.
imo, a rip-off that i've never seen before. first of all, you drive on an unpaved road for 18 miles that gives you headache (besides, you might wanna check with your rental car company if you're allowed to drive on an unpaved road). After that, you're about to board a bus, that'll cost you at least 50 usd, depending on your planned trip. if you want to do the skywalk, you'll have to pay another 25 usd. After arriving at the skywalk, all personal belongings have to be checked in, that means no pictures are possible on the skywalk, all you could do is buy a picture that is taken from you for another 15 usd. nevertheless, the scenery at the grand canyon is amazing, but i'd prefer the national park on the eastern part of the canyon. But you have to give credit to the indian tribe, the skywalk has only opened a few weeks ago, so i hope the situation will improve in the coming years (road condition).