"Grand Canyon Skywalk Rip Off" Grand Canyon Tourist Trap Tip by joits
Grand Canyon Tourist Traps: 20 reviews and 18 photos
One of the Grand Canyon's newest tourist attraction is the $40 million skywalk that features a glass floor that extends past the canyon ledge and supposedly it's over 4000 ft over the canyon floor. First of all, it's not directly over the canyon floor so all that hype about how far the canyon floor is is technically incorrect. Secondly, the pictures exaggerate how far the ledge juts out.
But those are just the small things. One of the main sticking points that makes this a tourist trap is the price of everything. Its $25 per person. I guess that sounds okay, it's new afterall. But wait, you need to take a short coach ride up there which costs $29.95. Even before you get on that coach ride, you are charged $20 for parking on a dirt lot. So that basically makes it about $80 per person. If that's not enough to make you turn around and go to the south rim then how about this... NO CAMERAS ALLOWED on the ledge. That's right, you are treated to an amazing view of one of the earth's greatest natural wonders, and you are standing on a glass floor so it seems you are floating supposedly over 4000 ft from the canyon floor... and you can't document it for yourself. You could always shell out another $20 for an employee to take your pic. And it's probably the excuses about the no cameras allowed that make people even more upset. Apparently on opening day, three people dropped their cameras "scratching" some of the surface. Right. So now to prevent this you can't bring a camera... or even a purse or bag. Apologists have claimed that it would be disrespectful for tourists to photograph on sacred land. But if that's the case, then why does the tribe have a photographer out there overcharging you on a crappy pic? They also make you were coverings over your shoes. Well, at least you've got the view, so you go and look for a secure locker to lock your valuables in... I'm sure you've guessed it, no lockers! Just a guy who you give your valuables, and you get a ticket. Nice. Naturally the tribe makes no mention of this on their site. I would imagine that a good number of potential customers wouldn't even consider coming here with those rules. Better to get those naive tourists out here where they won't have any choice because they've already committed to going. Now who's being disrespectful.
There are other tourist traps included such as a faux Western town and a faux Indian village and all the typical tourist trappings. There's also a buffet included... if you're patient enough to wait for an hour or more in line, you are treated to substandard food.
The land that the skywalk is located on is owned by the Hualapai tribe. It's obvious to see that they are less organized than the National Park Service. From buying tickets, to getting all the information, all the way to getting on the actual ledge... very frustrating.
ps: I'm not attacking the tribe, just the way they run this thing. Their website is very misleading and lacks a lot of information that would make people second guess. I'm writing this so that the people that do some research realize what they're getting into.
Fun Alternatives: Go to areas of the Grand Canyon that are controlled by the National Park service who actually have the interests of the Canyon in mind. They would not allow anything like this to be built on their land. They try and keep things as natural as possible. Unlike the tribe which is out to make money and so pretty soon, the whole area will be developed with Imax theaters, themed restaurants, the whole nine yards, something akin to the city on the Canadian side near Niagara falls.
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