Where Eagles Fly

SkyWalk

“This was a dream

Just like an eagle can fly into the Grand Canyon, my vision was to enable visitors to walk the path of the eagle, and become surrounded by the Grand Canyon while standing at the edge of the Glass Bridge. The bridge gives us a chance to share the wonder of the canyon that the Hualapia Tribe has graciously offered.

My dream was to find a balance between form, function and nature. Once a dream…now a reality.”

David Jin, Founder, Grand Canyon Skywalk

Stepping out across the Skywalk at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon definitely provides an eagle’s view of the canyon.  Standing 4,000 above the canyon floor is a fascinating experience.  The distance below is truly incompressible to the mind and eye.  SkyWalkThe hawks soaring below looked like graceful black specks against amber stone. Standing on the glass walk, you truly feel as though you are walking through the clouds, and when the sky’s reflection hits just right, you ARE walking on clouds.  Check out the cool yellow booties provided for viewers to protect the glass.

Even my teenage boys thought the Skywalk to be more thrilling than any roller coaster we’ve been on.  Visiting the Hualapia Reservation was, by far, my best visit to the Grand Canyon. It is a looong drive to the west rim, which takes you through Joshua Forest (dense population of Joshua trees), before turning onto a 15 mile dirt road widning through the private land of the Hualapia Tribe. From there the elevation climbs, leaving behind the Joshua trees (which only grow at an elevation of about 3000 ft) and takes grandc_villiage.jpgyou through the more common desert scrub of sage and cacti, and up to Eagle Point.  Aside from the Skywalk, they also have authentic Indian GrandCanyon1dwellings visitors can walk through. The clay structure with the hole in the roof is a sweat lodge. Below is a sage wickiup used during the squelching hot summer months. There was also an amphitheatre with scheduled Native American culturalGrand Canyon performances where we sat and watched dancers from various tribes across the states perform dances, sing songs and play a variety of drums.

Leaving the village, a short bus ride took us up to my absolute favorite part of our three-stage tour–Guano Point, where you can take in a view of the canyon and Colorado River WITHOUT BARRIERSThe only thing keeping you from plummeting to the rocks 4000 feet below is your own common sense.  HandyCamPicFor me, this was better than even the Skywalk. This was the place I felt detached from all the other distractions and could really get lost in the land, my thoughts, and daydreams.

 GC

See that dark shadow against the cliffs…directly over our heads were big black and gray clouds. We happened to be there at the onset of a thunder storm, the electricity in the clouds actually had our hair standing on end! Talk about luck–spectacular views, pleasant temperatures in July and storm clouds booming overhead like tribal drums….*sigh*  The day could not have been moreFamily perfect.  Inspiring, thrilling, educational, serene…and more natural beauty than you can shake a stick at  😉

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28 thoughts on “Where Eagles Fly”

  1. Stacey, you are SO lucky!! I saw a picture of this bridge in an email a while back, and almost couldn’t believe it. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon twice, but would love to go back just to walk on that bridge. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures with us! Wow! 😀

  2. Wow! That’s just amazing. I could almost drown out the television here and imagine what that was like! Love the pictures.

    Thanks for sharing. Too cool!

  3. Hi Pam and Andrea!

    They cool thing about the Skywalk was that the sides were fogged…so those bothered by heights could hold the railing and not see the canyon below. The center was crystal clear–and made MY tummy flutter 😉

    I borrowed the first two pictures from online ariticles — one drag was that they don’t allow cameras or ANY personal item on the walk. They don’t want anything on the walk that could damage the glass and have lockers with those oragne keys to hold your stuff.

    Andrea, I hope you get to go back! They’re still building the structure and plaza that will be the entrance and exit to the Skywalk, so it’ll only get better 🙂

  4. Happy to share, Taryn 🙂

    Cheryl, they also had guides who’d take you out and help you around, which I thought was really neat 😉

    Isn’t that cloud affect the coolest?! My boys really enjoyed the relfection…an angel’s view 😉 It really felt like a walk in the clouds (loved that movie, btw!).

  5. We actually spent too much in the village and up at Guano and misssed an entire segment of the tour, which was the Hualapia Ranch. A functioning cattle ranch, they have a wild west show, hay rides, horse rides, a dude program….can’t believe I missed it!!! When we were driving back down the dirt road the rain was coming down and a cowboy was running through a corral with his hat tugged low, chaps a flappin’ and his duster trailing out behind him…I might have to sign up for their dude program sometime in the future 😉

  6. Geez, Stacey, I’m got a pulse rate problem just from looking at your pictures, and I’m already writing the book about the person dangling from that thing…hey, people dangle from Mt. Rushmore ALL THE TIME.
    Well, once in the while. In fiction.
    Absolutely breathtaking. I wonder if I’d be able to stand it? I’m NOT the world’s most adventurous person. I much prefer to sit at my computer and make up mayhem for others.
    I’d love to go see that, though.

  7. Those are beautiful pictures. I’d love to go there & see all that. Might be a little scared to walk out on it though.

  8. Stacey, what an amazing trip! Every once in a blue moon we’re lucky enough to do something that just blows our socks off. It’s great to have those images, sounds, and smells so permanently imbedded in our brains that they become a part of who we are. I visited the Grand Canyon when I was still not old enough to appreciate the utter beauty and serenity of that place. I’d sure like to go back. Maybe I will someday.

  9. Fantastic pictures. My daughter went before it was built but we have a photo of her out on this ledge that still amazes me. I would love to go some day (we went 30 yrs. ago but it was a short visit because we had my inlaws with us lol).

  10. Thanks for sharing, Stacy. I haven’t been to the sky bridge but plan to go sometime. When I first saw the plans I couldn’t imagine why someone would spend so much money building something like that, but it seems to be a great source of revenue for the tribe.

  11. Stacy, my first trip to the Grand Canyon was the celebration for our 30th anniversary a couple years ago…and wow, what a place to rejoice in! Surreal, spiritual, beyond any dream I ever had. Your pix just reminded me of a very special time. I, alas, am one of those bothered by heights…so I salute your bravery with the Skywalk! (I’m not afraid to fly, however; go figure.)

  12. My hubby didn’t like the no barrier thing either, Maureen 😉 I tried to get him to pose for a picture with me, a good five feet from the ledge–I barely tugged on his shoulder and he climbed over me like a treed cat 🙂

  13. Linda Brody said: It’s great to have those images, sounds, and smells so permanently imbedded in our brains that they become a part of who we are.

    So true, Linda 🙂

  14. Hi Stacy, Crystal, Cherie, Susan and Jeanne!!! It’s been fun sharing the pics! They usually get stuffed into a drawer *lol* My mom-in-law does these gorgeous picture scrapbooks—I’d love to talk her into srapbooking my Canyon pics 😉

  15. Elizabeth, you’re right about the revenue. Which is great, and if you ask me, the Skywalk, village and incredible lookout points are perfect, subtle, still allowing you to have your time alone with the canyon. But it seems they’re also in the midst of adding a full-size air strip within the next couple years, and then a hotel and movie complex…..all of which really saddened me. I kept thinking about standing on that tranquil rim and hearing those giant planes bulldozing through the sky 🙁 The word I heard over and over was “convenient”, how convenient this would be for tourists, to fly in on a Boeing and have the comforts of Vegas—kind of spoils the whole point of traveling to the rim if you ask me. Some things are worth the inconvenience 🙂

  16. As for the coming attractions to the West Rim, my hubby didn’t agree with me–he can’t wait for the air strip and his eyes lit up when they said hotel and movie complex 😉 You’d think he didn’t like being stuck in the car with me for hours on end 🙂

  17. Wow, one place I have never visited but your pictures certainly make me want to go NOW. There are so many wonderful places to visit around our wonderful country, aren’t there! I love taking pictures but sometimes I just make a memory in my heart and can pull it out anytime I need a quick get away.

  18. I’ve seen pictures of that skywalk and as beautiful and breathtaking it would be to go on it, with a deadly fear of heights, I know it’s one place I’ll never go on!
    But beautiful pictures

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