"Grand Canyon West, Dolan Springs, Arizona" Dolan Springs by skipbourque

Dolan Springs Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 6 photos

The Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a tourist attraction along the Colorado River on the edge of the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon West) in the U.S. state of Arizona. It was funded by the Hualapai Indian tribe in partnership with Chinese-American businessman David Jin.

The horseshoe-shaped glass walkway stands at a 3,600 feet (1,100 m) height above the floor of the canyon. The Skywalk is not directly above the main canyon, Granite Gorge, which contains the Colorado River. Instead it extends over a side canyon and affords a view into the main canyon.

The Skywalk protrudes 66 feet (20 m) beyond the edge of the canyon. The walls and floor are built from glass 2 inches (50.8 mm) thick. The glass appears tinted on both edges; however, this is a protective cushioning for the glass. This running along the sides can be used as a sort of "safe zone" by nervous visitors.

While the Skywalk is capable of holding 70 tons of weight, the equivalent of 800 people weighing 176 lb (80 kg) each, the permitted capacity is limited to 200 persons. Visitors are provided with shoe covers to protect them from slipping and to prevent the glass floor from being scratched.

USGS topographic maps show the elevation at the Skywalk's location as 4,770 ft (1,450 m) and the elevation of the Colorado River in the base of the canyon as 1,160 ft (350 m), and they show that the height of the exactly vertical drop directly under the skywalk is between 500 ft (150 m) and 800 ft (240 m).

Commissioned and owned by the Hualapai Indian tribe, it is accessed via the Grand Canyon West Airport terminal or a 120 miles (190 km) drive from Las Vegas, which includes an unpaved and bumpy 18 miles (29 km) stretch.

Hualapai Indian Tribe

Opponents within the tribe view the project as disturbing sacred ground. Supporters within the tribe counter that it is an opportunity to generate much-needed cash to combat serious problems that plague the small 2,000-resident reservation. Other tribal members are happy with the Skywalk, but they have expressed concern over future over-development. They are also concerned about the potential lack of sustainability because the water used in both the development and the neighboring Grand Canyon National Park is not taken from the Colorado River but piped or trucked in from elsewhere.

Access to the Skywalk can be made from Las Vegas, NV in the North or Kingman, AZ in the South, via Highway 93. Both roads converge on Dolan Springs, the only access leading to Diamond Bar Road. Diamond Bar Road, as at June 20 2009, is currently being reconstructed. It consists of 20 miles of an ungraded gravel and dirt road, with several detours through gully washes. The average travel time across the unsealed road can extend to an hour.

Parking at The Skywalk is provided but access to the Skywalk is only permitted by supplied coach buses. The cost of the coach ride as at June 20 2009 is $30, which will take you the Skywalk and two other viewing areas. There is also an additional fee of $45 for being on Hualapai land making the total cost $75 per person. No personal equipment is allowed on the Skywalk and lockers are provided. No photographs may be taken by visitors to the Skywalk; however, up to three photography stations are installed. Photographs taken may be purchased in the gift shop.

Colorado River on the edge of the Grand Canyon

My wife, Kathy, and I visited the Skywalk from Las Vegas, NV by tour bus via Highway 93 to Dolan Springs, the only access leading to Diamond Bar Road. Diamond Bar Road is currently being reconstructed. It consists of 20 miles of an ungraded gravel and dirt road, with several detours through gully washes. The average travel time across the unsealed road can extend to an hour.

Parking at The Skywalk is provided but access to the Skywalk is only permitted by supplied coach buses, which will take you the Skywalk and two other viewing areas on Hualapai land. No personal equipment is allowed on the Skywalk and lockers are provided. No photographs may be taken by visitors to the Skywalk; however, up to three photography stations are installed. Photographs taken may be purchased in the gift shop.

  • Last visit to Dolan Springs: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated Jul 12, 2009
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skipbourque

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