Grand Canyon West Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Skywalk

More than 10 million guests have visited since opening.

As the summer travel season heats up, Grand Canyon West is celebrating a milestone anniversary. Skywalk, the iconic glass-bottomed bridge that spans above the canyon, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

Since its opening, the world-famous structure has welcomed more than 10 million visitors to experience a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon. The venue has also played host to countless special events such as a performance by EDM artist Kaskade, romantic proposals, and even wedding ceremonies. The property is located on the Hualapai Native American Reservation and is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe.

Experiences at Grand Canyon West

Grand Canyon West welcomes visitors from around the world to experience the heart-pounding, soul-searching, bucket-list-checking adrenaline rushes only found on the West Rim. In addition to thrilling views from atop Skywalk, visitors can explore Guano Point & Eagle Point, race along ziplines, and take to the Colorado River with excursions via Hualapai River Runners. A variety of ticketed experiences are available, including seasonal specials.

Grand Canyon West Aerial and Airport. Photo Doc Searls, via Wikimedia Commons.

History of the Skywalk Glass Bottom Bridge

On March 28, 2007, Skywalk opened to the general public at Grand Canyon West. This $30 million modern engineering marvel took four years to build. At that time, Skywalk was the world’s biggest glass cantilever bridge at 70 feet (China’s walkway in Chongqing took that title in 2016 by extending 87.5 feet), soaring 4,000 feet above the Colorado River, offering breathtaking views of the awe-inspiring natural wonder of the Grand Canyon.

Skywalk and View of Grand Canyon West. Photo by By Jonas.Tesch – Wikimedia Commons

Construction began on this one-of-a-kind glass-bottom bridge in 2004. Engineers employed the same rod and plate method used on the Egyptian pyramids to roll Skywalk out over the Grand Canyon’s edge, creating an unencumbered view from the bridge. Support beams formed the foundation by anchoring deep within the red limestone bedrock of the site, acting as counterweight rods. This allows Skywalk to extend over the canyon’s edge with no direct support from underneath.

Highly skilled craftsman used 1.2 million pounds of steel and glass to build the Skywalk, using glass units that can hold up to 800 people at any given time. The glass bridge can withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, wind speeds up to 100 miles per hour, and can support the weight of seventy-one 747 airplanes.

Aerial of Skywalk in Grand Canyon West. Photo credit: (Werner Keulen, labete), via Wikimedia Commons

Getting to Grand Canyon West and Skywalk

The Grand Canyon West Skywalk is not located in Grand Canyon National Park, it is located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, approximately halfway between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon’s South Rim.  It is a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas, a 6 hour drive from Phoenix and 1.75 hours from Kingman.

Tickets to experience the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West are available to purchase online. To complete the experience, visitors can stay on-site at the cabins of Grand Canyon West or opt for accommodations available at the Hualapai Lodge, located along historic Rt. 66.

About Grand Canyon Resort Corporation and Grand Canyon West

The Grand Canyon Resort Corporation, a wholly-owned enterprise of the Hualapai Tribe, welcomes millions of visitors each year to experience unique ways to explore one of the seven natural wonders of the world by foot, sky, and boat. The corporation’s properties include the Grand Canyon Skywalk, Hualapai River Runners, Zipline at Grand Canyon West, Hualapai Lodge, the Cabins at Grand Canyon West, and the Diamond Creek Restaurant. A variety of ticketed experiences are available, including seasonal specials.

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