“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. The 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 you through the more common desert scrub of sage and cacti, and up to Eagle Point. Aside from the Skywalk, they also have authentic Indian dwellings 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 cultural 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 BARRIERS. The only thing keeping you from plummeting to the rocks 4000 feet below is your own common sense. For 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.
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 more perfect. Inspiring, thrilling, educational, serene…and more natural beauty than you can shake a stick at 😉