The Grand Canyon is one of those places where photos just don’t do it any justice. Most people come from Las Vegas and there are tours organised from there, but you can also drive. The Grand Canyon West is the closest part, being a 3 hour drive away. You can drive 2 hours further to get to the other side of the Canyon if you would prefer.
The Grand Canyon West opens at 7am and the last tickets in can be bought at 5:30pm. There are free shuttles around to the various areas of the park. It is definitely worthwhile getting there early so you don’t have to queue, it gets very hot out there.
The first stop on the bus is a ranch, where you can experience the way the Indians lived. We decided to go straight to stop no. 2 – Eagle Valley (the shuttle driver advised this so we could get to Eagle Valley before the crowds) Eagle Valley is named after the rock face that looks like an eagle spreading its wings. You have a perfect view of it.
Here, you can go out on the Skywalk. The Skywalk is a glassbottom walkway that is 4000ft above the ground. Yikes! As scared as I was, it is worth going out there. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring a phone or camera with you, but they do have photographers there. You can buy the pictures afterwards if you want, it is $16 for one print or $65 for them all to be emailed to you. Tickets for the skywalk are available with certain ticket types – see here!
Around Eagle Valley, there are teepees and different huts that the natives there used to live in. You can also see a performance from some of the natives there, near the Skywalk.
Next stop on the shuttle was Guano Point. This was even more spectacular than Eagle Valley. You have an amazing view of the Colorado River and The Canyon itself. You can also see the old cable system that was used when the mine was in use, before an airforce jet crashed into it. This is where I took my profile picture for my blog!
There are also options to raft down the Colorado river as part of a full day trip. We didn’t leave ourselves enough time to do this, but I would have loved to have done it. Check it out here.
One of the coolest thing about the Grand Canyon is that you can get a helicopter ride above or through the Canyon. It is quite expensive, but without a doubt, it is worth it for this once in a lifetime experience.
You can book the tour through the Grand Canyon Packages. I would recommend the flight through the canyon rather than over the canyon. These tours are generally around $200 per person but this can vary depending on the package you book.
These book out regularly so booking early is essential, but if you can’t get a booking, there is a ranch close by that does tours too (They are on the road in so you won’t miss it!). Because they are outside the Canyon, you see the views before the canyon too which is an added bonus. You can dine and stay here too if you’re looking to stay close by. They have a ranch too where you can go horse-riding. Here’s the link for it.
There are so many companies that organise these trips, here is a link to more companies. If you’re staying in Las Vegas, you can book your heli-tour from there.
- Get there early to avoid the heat and the crowds
- Book your helicopter tour in advance
- I only went to the East Entrance of the Grand Canyon, if you have more time you can explore the South, West or North too. More info here
- Check out my posts on San Fran, LA and Yosemite too
Top Tip Traveller 🙂