West East Rim, Grand Canyon
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.
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 Southrim of the Grandcanyon offers for everyone his/her way of viewing the deep gap in mother Earth. To the West is a rimwalk that can be taken in one direction by using the bus to the starting/finishingpoint. The Eastside is accessable by car and near every overlook-point are parkings. It's amazing how different all viewpoints are and only one offers a miniscule sight of the Colorado-river.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
It is difficult to describe or to try to compare the west from east side of the Grand Canyon. Both are incredible wonders and both deserve respect and time to enjoy the changing play of light and shadow. Take planty of pictures, trust me on this one.
The road (Hermit Road, formerly the West Rim Drive). It is nine miles in length from the Grand Canyon Village in the east to Hermits Rest in the west. From Memorial Day in May through September the road is closed to private vehicles. To travel along this route, free park shuttles are provided for your transportation.
The more famous points along West Rim Drive are: Maricopa Point, Powell Point and Memorial, Hopi Point, Mohave Point, Pima Point and Hermits Rest.
The Desert View Drive (AZ 64; formerly the East Rim Drive). The drive is 25 miles in length from the Grand Canyon Village in the west to Desert View in the east. This road is open all year round. The more famous points along East Rim Drive are: Yaki Point, Grandview Point, Moran Point, Tusayan Museum and Ruins, Lipan Point and Desert View.