The Grand Canyon

Forming part of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon should be on every traveller’s bucket list!

If you’re visiting Las Vegas, this attraction should be mandatory on your itinerary. There are two main companies which operate tours from Las Vegas: Canyon Tours and Grand Canyon Tour Company. Each company offers similar tours, with an air-conditioned luxury coach to and from the canyon, meals and entrance fees to the canyon. There are also helicopter tours for those feeling a little more brave!

There are three parts to the canyon which can be explored, namely, the West, South, and North rims.

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Location of West, South and North rims

West Rim

Located a mere two hours from Las Vegas, the biggest attraction at the West Rim is the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The Skywalk is an engineering marvel! The horseshoe, glass-bottom bridge cantilevers over Eagle Point, offering the most amazing views from a height of 1200m (4000ft). I must warn you though, it isn’t for the faint-hearted! It took me a while to get used to it, but I would highly recommend conquering your fears and attempting at least one walk around.

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The SkyWalk cantilevers over Eagle Point. Source: Grand Canyon West
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The glass-bottom bridge is an engineering marvel. Source: Grand Canyon West

Given that the bridge is quite narrow and high above the ground, there are no phones allowed. However, there are photographers on the bridge who take professional pictures for you and your family. Of course it comes at an added cost, but it is a priceless souvenir to take home!

The SkyWalk is the last stop on the shuttle that takes guests around the West Rim area. I would recommend stopping at the other two as you get an opportunity to visit a replica of a traditional Red Indian Ranch, complete with prison and all! The shuttle works in a one way loop, so you cannot go back to any of the stops.

What makes the West Rim even more interesting is that it is owned and run by the Hualapai Indian Tribe.

You will notice that the SkyWalk had to be bolted to the top of the cliff, as opposed to the face of the cliff. This was done as per the terms of the Hualapai Indian Tribe, and their attempt to preserve the Canyon as best they can. 

The company that I used for the tour of the West Rim was Grand Canyon West. They were very efficient and professional, and offered an informative and enjoyable tour!

South Rim

Located 4 and a half hours from Las Vegas, the South Rim is the most visited area of the Grand Canyon National Park. The South Rim offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon. Mather Point and Yaki Point have been noted as two of the best viewing points at the South Rim.

Mather Point At The Grand Canyon South Rim
View from Mather Point. Source: Silver Spur Tours
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View from Yaki Point. Source: Arizona Leisure

Other activities at the South Rim include helicopter tours, railway tours, guided hikes, river rafting, Grand Canyon IMAX theatre, and the Yavapai Geology Museum.

North Rim

Located 4 and a half hours from Las Vegas, the North Rim is the least visited site within the Grand Canyon National Park. The North Rim is seasonal, and only open between 15 May and 15 October every year. Most visitors do not recommend to visiting the North Rim on your first trip to the Grand Canyon. Despite its lack of popularity, the North Rim does boast some spectacular viewing points.

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View from Imperial Point. Source: GrandCanyon.com

 

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View from Cape Royal. Source: Fine Art America

Tips:

Be sure to wear lots of sunscreen, carry a hat/cap or some sort of protective wear, and keep hydrated! 

 

Visiting the Grand Canyon truly was an amazing experience for me. I stood in awe for a good couple of minutes, just staring at the unparalleled natural beauty before me! I hope this post has made your process to visit this Natural Wonder, a whole lot easier!

 

– A

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