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Grand Canyon Skywalk is a sham!

August 25, 2009

Note: This post was written in August 2009 so prices and all details are effective at this time and may subject to change. It’s best to contact the Skywalk directly for latest up to date details.

Grand Canyon SkywalkAfter reading good and bad things about the Grand Canyon Skywalk, we wanted to experience the feeling of “walking in air” on this architectural marvel, that was completed in March, 2007 after 2.5 years and 30 million dollars worth of hard work. After reaching there we were shocked for what it was worth and we DO NOT recommend visiting this horse-shoe shaped glass walkway.

The reasons why we call it a sham are:

1. The road leading to the Skywalk has 20 miles of dirt-road which, surprisingly, is not constructed even after 2.5 years of the opening of Skywalk. This can be be extremely difficult to drive if it’s pouring down.

2. Parking at The Skywalk is provided but access to the Skywalk is only permitted by supplied coach buses. The cost of the coach ride 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.

3. No personal equipment is allowed on the Skywalk and lockers are provided. No photographs may be taken by visitors on the Skywalk! However, up to three photography stations are installed. Photographs taken may be purchased in the gift shop at $29 each.

4. The whole experience of “walking in the air” is impossible because visitors have to walk on a carpet laid on the half-side of the glass floor. Walking on the glass is prohibited which makes it feel like ‘walking on land’! We were told that this was because of the “upcoming” rain, but all we saw was clear skies!

5. The authorities may close the Skywalk on a slight chance of high wind or rain, and visitors who make it up to the Skywalk parking area, after driving through the dirt road, are NOT informed that the Skywalk will be closed and are still issued tickets. Upon reaching the Skywalk, they are informed that they will have to wait until the winds have died down or the rains have stopped. No refunds!

Video of the 14-mile dirt road

One of our readers asked if the skywalk is handicap accessible. This is what their website says:

Wheelchair Accessible: Manual and battery-operated wheelchairs are allowed on Grand Canyon Skywalk using our access ramp.

Wheelchairs Available: Grand Canyon Skywalk provides wheelchairs for temporary use on the Skywalk. No rental fee is charged. Wheelchairs are available when you check-in at the Grand Canyon Skywalk ticket counter.

Customers with disabled parking permits are allowed to bypass the shuttle and drive themselves to the Skywalk and other points of interest within Grand Canyon West.

 
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  • John

    Having had three trips to the grand canyon inc helicopter flights over the canyon i was pleased to see that on my last visit a few years ago,it wasnt too comercialised,ie no mcdonalds or berger bars set up at the tuscyon entrance to the park,the best views are from here,the day they do that will be the end of the canyon as a natural beauty spot,as teddy rosevelt said,leave the canyon as it is,for your children ,your childerns children etc !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POINT TAKEN ??? Lets see what they have done when i go back in may.2013.

  • http://travelonthedollar.com terrie

    OMG ME AND MY HUSBAND WISHED WE HAD READ THIS BEFORE ATTEMPTING THE ROCKY BOULDER ROAD THAT TAKES U TO THE SKYWALK WE ENDED UP WITH A FLAT TIRE JUST LUCKILY WE HEADED OUT EARLY FROM VEGAS IT TOOK US 3HOURS TO GET THE FLAT TIRE CHANGED MIND U WE NEVER MADE IT TO THE SKY WALK WE WERE COLD AND TIRED JUST LUCKILY I HAD A TRAC PHONE BECAUSE MY SAMSUNG HI DOLLAR PHNE COULD NOT GET RECEPTION I WAS ABLE TO CALL FOR HELP THE RENTAL WE WERE IN HAD A TEMPORARY SPARE NOT A FULL SIZE TIRE AND THE JACK WAS A JOKE TRAFFIC CAME UP N DOWN THE ROAD APPROX 20 VEH BUT ONLY 1 OR 2 STOPPED TO HELP FINALLY THOSE GREAT MEN AT THE MANTIANCE SHOP ARRIVED AND SAVED US WE WERE STILL 10 MILES STRANDED FROM THE SKYWALK MIND U WE WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN WE DROVE THE NEXT DAY OVER 200 MILES TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GRAND CANYON WE ALSO FOUND OUT THE ROAD HASNT BEEN PAVED IN OVER 5 YEARS BECAUSE THE NATIVE INDIANS AND GOV HAVE BEEN N A BATTLE OVER WHO SHOULD PAY TO PAVE THIS ROAD SO IF U ATTEMPT THIS HAVE GOOD TIRES A GOOD PHNE AND PLENTY OF MONEY OR JUST PAY TO RIDE THE BUSES……OVERALL WE HAD A NICE HONEYMOON….GOODLUCK TO ALL 12/26/2012

  • Kris K

    YES IT’S A SCAM
    I was there in 2011 and not being able to take my own pics really pissed me off. No where in the natural world was I told I can’t take photos

  • nina corinth

    I am amazed by those writing in to say that they’ve spent days in Las Vegas – spending lord knows what on it’s nasty silliness – but are offended by the tribe asking for a little money to walk the Skywalk. If that same sight was built over a FAKE canyon in a some crappy hotel back in Vegas, they’d be throwing their money at the builders! Honestly, who are these people?

  • Nikki

    Hello,
    The Grand Canyon West experience includes the Skywalk but is much more than that. This area is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe and is not a National Park therefore it is funded by ticket sales and not by the United States government.

    In order to access Grand Canyon West, there is a basic entry package ( Hualapai Legacy). There are several to choose from starting at $29.95 (parking is free) based on individual preference. They all include a Hop on Hop off shuttle through out multiple view points, live Native American performances and much more as described below and more detail on the web site, http://www.grandcanyonwest.com . There is a Native American Village where you can tour through and learn about dwellings of different tribes. Once the entry package (Hualapai Legacy) is purchased, there are several options that can be added such as; The Skywalk, Helicopter tours, airplane tours. Horse back riding and even overnight cabins. The Hualapai live 60 miles from Grand Canyon West and employees commute 2 hours each way every day over the same unpaved roads you did to provide a cultural experience for thousands of visitors every day. This road is owned by Mohave County, not the tribe. The county maintains and grades it however once you reach the tribal land boundary, it is paved. Grand Canyon West has no power, it is all generator powered. There is no water, it is hauled in and there are multiple choices for food at every view point which has to be delivered from far and prepared. Over 2000 visitors come on a daily basis and know none of this. They know there are bathrooms, coaches to take them around, power, entertainment and food available. Please take the time to see that this is not just about the Skywalk, it is about an entire Nation sharing this with you and creating a cultural experience for you like no other. It is understandable that if someone did not call ahead or check the web site that they might be misinformed about what to expect. There is certainly no obligation to purchase any of the options such as the Skywalk.

    Hopefully this has given you some clarification and understanding of how the destination works.

  • Nancy

    first of all, i work at the sky walk .. the 9 miles of dirt road are because it is own by mohave county not the reservation and the man who owns the ranch on the dirt road is fighting not to have it paved.. it has nothing to do with the grand canyon west.. and those who missed out on going and not experience the sky walk did miss out.. yes it cost a little bit but so does the amusement parks.. and yet no one stops going to those.. also this part of the grand canyon is not a national park but is owned by the natives.

    • Travel On The Dollar

      Hi Nancy,
      We do understand all of this, but Skywalk is not an amusement park where one can have many rides and entertainment for the buck. Our post was our own experience when we visited a few years back. And the biggest disappointment, amongst all, was we didn’t get the experience of walking in the air as the Skywalk website promises. They had covered with carpets even when there was no rain! And why not mention that when someone is purchasing the tickets? Why make people pay all that money, go there and find out that they won’t be having that great experience? The dirt road is just a warning. We do understand that the land is owned by natives, and we are not pointing fingers at the Skywalk management, but just giving our view and experience as a whole, for all the travelers who will be spending time and money to reach there and be disappointed.
      Thanks
      Andrew

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406007848 Auth

    Hey Eric,It’s Paulette! I did Rim to Rim to Rim last year. We started at night. It’s my fatorive run/hike ever!!! If you have any questions hit me up!

  • Patty

    Thanks for all the info! I’ve decided not to experience the Skywalk and just go straight to South Rim for the mere fact I can’t take my camera!

  • Steve Clark

    I can’t believe anyone would call the Skywalk a sham. That\’s ludicrous. It was one of the coolest experiences we\’ve ever had. Expensive, yes. Convenient, no. Awesome, absolutely. Worth it? Oh, yes.

    I\’ve never read a whinier report than this one. It\’s not like Disneyland so you\’re going to have a temper tantrum? No wonder the rest of the world refers to American tourists as \"Ugly Americans.\" Grow up. The Grand Canyon is an incredibly beautiful place. The Skywalk gives you an incredible way to view a section of it in a completely unique way. There’s nothing like it anywhere in the world and the Haulapai Tribe have the right to run it any way they want.

    • Austin Gold

      Shut up

      • Chris

        Witty response there, full of interesting well thought out points to Steve’s interpretation of the skywalk.

  • http://travelthedollar.com helen hall

    I seen the canyon in 2004 in november, skywalk was not yet ready but did view it from this west rim. I was entralled by the beauty, would like to see it again but being a senior on limited budget, could never do it…as for the na tive tribe well they are trying get ahead but if they are going to gouge and not keep the place spotless then yes the govt. will take it away…native poeples where ever they are not much on physical work.

  • Kathy

    It sickens me to read all these “rip-off” complaints. After all, who has ripped-off whom??? We went to Vegas, flew to the Skywalk and took the helicopter ride down to the river to ride in a boat along the river. It was the BEST trip of our vacation!! The Skywalk was built on the reservation to help the tribe economically. As Americans, we felt no matter what the cost, it was our SMALL contribution to the Native Americans. People–we stole the land from them, stuck them on this reservation where NOTHING grows & we complain that they are making money off of us?? Unbelieveable!! If you can’t afford it or don’t like the dirt road–don’t go!! But if you want to experience the 70 foot walk out over the canyon, it is an experience you will NEVER forget. This tribe, up until a few years ago, owned the land on the other side of the river. The federal government TOOK the land on the other side of the river away from this tribe–to preserve it–RIIIIGHT!! Mark my words, it will only be a few more years before the government takes the Skywalk away from them because it is such a profitable spot!! Let’s put this controversy into prospetive. The Skywalk was built to economically help the tribe & that is what it is doing!!

  • Arizona Granny

    @Whatever – what do you know about the lives of the Hualapai? I doubt you have even been anywhere near their lands or seen their “lifestyle” and yet you are willing to condemn them and say “The stupid white man should have just wiped you out instead of leaving any of you alive.” Think about it! They were at the Grand Canyon before any of the white men came along and decided to take the land. The white men of that time (not you) took that land and used it for anything they wanted. Then finally, their government decided that to “right the wrongs” it would give back a small percentage of the land the Hualapai used to have. Now these people are trying to be strong and lift themselves up by their bootstraps and you want to condemn them for trying? I’m not saying that they are not over-charging for the experience. I’m just saying you shouldn’t condemn them for trying and (as Wes said) they are just using what they learned from their past experience with the US government. Also, just for the record, I have been to the Skywalk and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I didn’t drive the road but I took an expensive airplane tour and I didn’t feel ripped off. I guess it just all depends on your expectations.

  • WES FORTITUDE

    I Fully understand the importance of money in our society, but the Land the US government \’GAVE\’ 2 the Hualapai Nation; is ALL they have! With most American Indian Reservations, the Unemployment rate is around 90%. After exterminating hundreds of thousands of indeginous peoples, where do you think they learned it from? It\’s like that old Anti-Marijuana commercial, where the guy is screaming at the kid \’where did you learn to do this\’- & then the kid says \’I learned it from watching you DAD\’-now after SCREWING over indeginous people 4 centuries, a bunch of ignorant white people are now blogging \’Boy, these Indians sure know how to screw you out of Money- well who do you think we learned it from? \’WE LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!\’ -& for the record Mount Rushmore was built by a racist, in order to BE a racist shrine for white people & all the other STATE/NATIONAL PARKS that were mentioned by others, are run OFF OF State & Government funds. The Hualapai reservaton is making money finally after 400 uyears of injustice…is that so bad? Besides all you dumb white people get DOUPED a million times a day from Corporations, who sell you products you don\’t need, feed you over processed Foods that are more bad than good for you, & brainwash you into thinking you must keep up with the Jone\’s so much, that you\’ll go into debt just to maintain a self centerd, egotistical, over-priced, placebo life-style. But instead of being mad at a corporations or the government for Ripping you off on the daily, you feel that since you paid a lot of money on vacation (which is what you end up doing anyway) you must ruin an entire Tribes Name & sombody\’s lifestyle must now suffer beacuse of your idol worship of the allmighty US DOLLAR!

    • Whatever

      @Wes Fortitude, whatever! The stupid white man should have just wiped you out instead of leaving any of you alive. “The unemployment rate is around 90%” Then move to where the jobs are. And why do you care about the unemployment rate? The only reward is the almighty dollar you so detest. Go back to living the way your ancestors did then you won’t need the almighty dollar and won’t have to worry about unemployment. Waaaahhhh!

  • kim

    we visited the skywalk and were dutifully impressed with the structure but as we went with a coach line, we were provided with access to coaches that travelled the dirt roads.
    the only problem we had was the misrepresentation of what to expect. the indian nation people wonderful however the advertising people not so much. spent a lot of money for now much reward. would not do it again or recommend the experience.

  • Peggy Borgen

    Our family of 4 just returned from a long week end in Las Vegas. We went up to the Skywalk, knowing the fee to go on the walk was $30 which was OK. We knew about the dirt road, which was OK. What was not OK was to charge $40 plus $8 “impact” fee and a $3 fuel surcharge fee to take a “tour” we didn’t want. the skywalk was cool but the grounds and building are a mess…amenities (and I use the word loosely) are a joke. Do NOT plan on eating up there! The only reason we paid was because we rented a car in LV just to do this and we had driven 2.5 hours to get there. Yes, the canyon is beautiful but go to the south rim and save a boatload of money. PS…stop at the Last Stop cafe on the way back to LV but a FANTASTIC burger and fun experience…lunch there made our day almost worthwhile.

  • A Havrilla

    I just went to the Skywalk’s website and checked out the price: http://store.grandcanyonskywalk.com/tickets/
    Seems pretty upfront about the prices people complained were “hidden”. $29.99 + $43.05. Glad I didn’t go to the Skywalk, as I suspected that it wouldn’t be something I would be interested in-TOO touristy. Especially for the price. I’ve been to the North & South Rim of the Grand Canyon and thought it was great.

    • Whatever

      Maybe they just recently added the fact that you had to pay the “tour fee” to the site recently because of the bad publicity. What about the $8 access fee and $3 fuel surcharge? And why wait until you get there before making you pay? Because if they made you pay for everything up front more people would choose not to go. But if they can sell you the “tickets” before you get there then you are more likely to say, “Well, I already have the tickets. It would be a shame to let them go to waste.” Not quite a “bait and switch” but it is along the same vein.

  • Rachel

    My husband and I were in Las Vegas and decided to make the trip to the Grand Canyon west rim. First, you do start out on paved road then you are on an unpaved, rough, winding road for about 15 miles. Then you are on paved road again for the final three miles or so to the canyon. You cannot simply get out of your car and look for free. You are stopped and have to park and leave your vehicle. For two of us just to get to see the canyon the price was $84.00. That gave us a four minute bus ride to the Eagle Point stop and then another five minute bus ride to Guano (sp) point stop. So, for that price you get on a bus and get to see the canyon from two vantage points. We said no to the skywalk. It would have cost around $40.00 per person in addition to the $84.00 we were already charged. Bend over and grab your ankles if you go. Also, we shook our head because they tell you you cannot take a camera, back pack or anything else on the skywalk in “order to maintain the integrity of the skywalk.” Laughable. Wish we had gone to another location to view the Canyon. Still glad we were able to see it, just wish we hadn’t been so ripped off.

  • paula

    I went to the canyon and ALL other tourist attractions in the entire west in 1963. Month long vacation with my parents. We did not pay a dime to see the majestic canyon nor were we bombarded by crowds (as I hear it is today). The only charge was if you wanted to ride the mules or horses down the skinny trail into the canyon. Petrified forest,painted desert, Mt. Rushmore,Garden of the Gods, Monument Valley, Death Valley,Tar Pits, Yellowstone, etc. NO CHARGE! Last time I checked these were gifts of the earth not man made for profit. Upkeep for our Nat. Parks is one thing..charging transportation because the entry points have been blocked to the public is just for profit in my opinion. I realize there has to be some sort of control so people don’t destroy the lands but lets keep it affordable for ALL to get a chance to see. Thanks MOM and DAD..such a blessing…it will be with me forever..and shared!

  • Dennis thomas

    Yes its a SHAMMMMMM and total rip off. Are you crazy charging those kind of prices. My wife and I REFUSED to pay those high prices and drove to the South rim to the National Geographic is and ONLY had to pay 25.00 for a week pass and they have FREE tour buses if you get tired of walking yes FREEEEEE. They were so kind and helpful there. And at the Skywalk you have to buy a picture that they take,kiss my asssss.

  • Mark

    No cameras, no interest!

  • Marcella

    How many times can you say – these comments truly reflect the environment around the Skywalk. I just took my best friend to the “West Rim” expecting to see the same canyon as in the south rim — WRONG! totally unprepared to drive a dirt road and then pay a ridiculous amount to view a natural wonder – protected by tax dollars! A reasonable charge would have been acceptable – like per car, not per person. And the endless restrictions to view a place not dedicated to anyone in particular – the view of the canyon should never be restricted in such a revenue producing mentality. To want your children to see the canyon but have to turn around because you cant pay the price is a travesty – especially when the road is right in front of you! Sorry for the tribe – but this time they went in the wrong direction.

  • Gloria Morales

    Thank goodness for this review…. I knew there was something “fishy” about this skywalk Lol!

    hidden fees!! pricey – omg yes!!!…

  • Robert

    I remembered reading a newspaper article years ago about the proposal to build this thing. I had a feeling it was going to be a tourist trap. Today, checking out some YouTube videos about Grand Canyon hiking, I encountered videos about the Skywalk. Seeing comments on this web page and others confirmed the suspicion I had years ago. It is indeed a tourist trap. I am not paying $75.00 to walk this thing after a five hour drive. What’s the issue with no pictures? Ridiculous!

    For those who can, hike the canyon. That experience will beat experiencing this monstrosity hands down.

  • joe

    Totally agree!! Just returned and will do my homework better next time. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. I would give it zero stars if I could. Totally misleading. The prices say $30 for skywalk, but you cant even get out there unless you pay $44 for the tour. So, after driving 2.5 hrs to get out there you have to pay $74 to do the skywalk. If I didn’t have my wife and kids I would have turned around. And the skywalk itself is very disappointing. I got more of a thrill just standing next to the canyon.

  • Richard

    Skywalk @ the west rim is over-hyped. Road leading to site is 21miles of very bumpy, winding, rocky/gravelly, dusty road. Should have been paved since the site was opened in 2007. They charge a fee for entering the reservation, then another fee for access to skywalks. Cannot bring cell phones, cameras. Can’t take pictures on the skywalk. Photographers will take several pictures which you can buy for $30.00 each or $25 for 4 selections. Bottle water is $ 2.25. If you really want to see the Grand Canyon, a helicopter ride is your best bet. Don’t waste your time, money, and effort even going there. A bus tour is the second-best route.

  • Island King

    My job dropped when I found out that you had to pay $76/person. We just wanted to experience the Skywalk but ended up turning around. You’ll have a much better experience at the South Rim instead.

  • Andre

    I agree with the majority of posters. The Hualapai are running a huge scam. You will drive through about 15 miles of horrendous washboard roads and will trash your vehicle. The last couple of miles are paved. Once you arrive you can visit the Skywalk for about 35 bucks but not without also paying for a bus ride which is less than a mile. It will cost about 80 total for one person. You can not take a camera or any personal belongings ” because you might scratch the glass”. It’s already scratched up beyond belief. They will take your photo for about $40. It is not nearly as attractive as the south rim which will cost you $20 for a vehicle pass and there are no money-hungry vultures. You can spend all day and the views are stunning. Steer clear of the so-called Grand Canyon West. The Hualapai will try to milk you out of every dollar they can with their gaudy contraption built over the canyon. Go to Grand Canyon National Park and save yourself a lot of hassle and money.

  • Ron Kuhn

    We just got back. 9 days and 8 nights in Vegas area. Worst rip-off we encountered yet. Total dishonestly about revealing what its going to cost. dont go – you will reget it. I will spend the remaining time I have left letting other folks know how much of a rip-off the Hualapai access represents. by the way, they apparently have not paid their contractor for the skywalk and its in the courts – no surprise

  • Carolyn Gerold

    Does anyone have information/opinions on handicapped accessibility on the skywalk? We would appreciate any comments.

    • Richard

      Don’t bother going there. You will be totally disappointed, angry, and broke.

  • Ohlar

    Very ridiculous to pay $160 each for the skywalk, grand canyon is soo big and wide that you can see in another place, yes in the south rim (nation park) you can take unlimited photos or until memory full.

  • justin howard

    The skywalk is a SCAM! It was not advertised that it would cost about 75 per person to visit the skywalk. The road was not a big deal I understand its off the beaten path but theyshould fully disclose the prices

  • gdog

    i read the reviews and still went on it. it was a complete and utter rip off. from the 1 mile bus ride to the lunch provided. they must be laughing there butts off when people pay that much money for that!!

  • Sarah

    My husband and I visitied the Skywalk last september, and thought it was an incredible experience! Yes, the road to the skywalk is dirt, but that was just part of the experience for us… If you want to see the Grand Canyon as Mother Nature intended . . . undisturbed by civilization and tourism, this is DEFINATELY the way to go… a bit procy, but WELL worth it!

    • Travel On The Dollar

      Sarah,
      It has been a great experience for many but for us it was a disaster as we did not experience the “walking in the sky”. Moreover, we think paying $75 to just experience that was a bit too much and you can’t even take pictures!
      Andrew

  • Vicki

    We just returned from our Vegas vacation, which included as half day wasted going to the Skywalk. I could care less about the dirt road. That was a minor inconvenience. What I thought was utterly ridiculous was the fact that we would have had to pay $150 for my husband and I to see the Skywalk, and do so without being allowed to take our own photos “in the interest of preserving the glass floor”. Meanwhile, the have dane troups dancing on the stupid thing, but my 1 oz. cell phone would somehow damage the glass if I dropped it. I expect to have to pay a certain amount of inflated prices when going on vacation, but I really dislike out and out gouging, and that’s exactly what it was. The west rim is no where near as spectacular as the south rim is. Save yourself the wasted time and expense and rent a car, drive off the Reservation land and head to the south rim in the Grand Canyopn National Park, which only cost $25 per vehicle. They also have tons of FREE buses running constantly to take you to all the south rim viewing spots, which have lots of over-looks, various landings that you can walk to, and gorgeous vistas that you can actually photograph yourself, without having to pay for the priviledge. Plus, they have all sorts of amenities in the immediate area too, and nothing seemed over-priced to me.

    • Kevin Wasson

      Amen to Vicki.. Skywalk sucks…..

    • taxpayer

      And its all payed for by the taxpayers! Figure out what it costs to run the GC National and start charging the tourists, I bet it would cost even more. The Skywalk is free enterprise, if you don’t like the price go dump quarters in the slots in Vegas. The road costs money, the section of road on the res was the first section to be paved, the rest of Diamond Bar road was held up by a stubborn property owner the the Hualapai Nation finally paid off with $750,000 of the road paving money. The first 5 miles of Diamond Bar rd is now paved, so there is only 8 miles of dirt road, sportscars and minivans are a poor choice until its paved. Maybe Disney Land is more your style.

    • Edrian

      Good thing I was able to read this before we headed to the west rim or else I’d be disappointed too. Now I know that the south rim is still better off than the GC Skywalk.

  • Wil

    Now, I was planning a trip to the Canyon and I am totally confused. I am educated. I do research. However, I am also on a tight budget and cannot afford to take a trip I will not enjoy.

    I don’t really know what to expect, I am a beach bum who likes to do different things, no to terribly outdoorsy and not one to follow a planned day.

    You have all made me feel like the Grand Canyon is best viewed on the Discover Channel.

    • roger

      The Grand Canyon South Rim (national park) is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I love bringing first-time visitors just to see their faces as they are awestruck by the beauty.
      The area of the Skywalk is beautiful, but hardly a shadow of what you see in the national park.
      If you want to see the canyon, start with the South Rim ($25 a car to get in). There are lodges and campsites, and motels just outside the park.
      THEN, think about if you want to see the west canyon/skywalk.
      If there is any way you can get to GC, don’t miss it.

      • Andy

        I agree with you 100 percent Roger. My wife and have been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of traveling over the years and have some really beautiful places. But having said that, i must agree that by far the Grand Canyon is the most awe inspiring place on earth!! We have been there twice and hope to make it there again. The South Rim is the best viewing spot on foot and if you go you must make advance reservations to get a window table at the El Tovar, (if i spelled that correctly) for dinner. No better view on earth for dinner…

        • Jan

          Andy. Did you eventually go to the skywalk? So, are you saying that it really is not worth the trip? We are staying in Sedona this June and had this on our list of things not to miss – but according to everything I have read, missing it might be a good thing. Please share how you really feel. We are not in a position to spend several hundred dollars for the 3 of us and be disappointed.

  • Emily

    First off, it is still part of the Grand Canyon, which is 277 miles long. However the Skywalk is a tourist destination, and like all tourist sites it is going to base its ticket prices on what people are willing to pay. If you are savvy enough to research someplace before you visit then you have the right to choose not to go. For my money, I say drive a few more hours and go to the National Park at the South Rim. For $25 a vehicle you can walk right to the rim or down into the canyon itself. And the roads are almost all paved, and not because “namby pamby city folk demand luxuries.” It’s safer for everyone in the park during inclement weather. True outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and backcountry campers will have a much more enriching experience at the Park.

  • http://www.grandcanyone.com/images/Grand-Canyon-Skywalk-Wallpaper.jpg Grand Canyon Skywalk

    There are always several opinions. I don’t understand why you would tell some one not to visit the Skywalk. Just say you didn’t like it and people will decide on their own after that..

    • Kevin Wasson

      I feel obligated to tell everyone so they don’t get screwed like I felt we did. ADVERTISE your prices………

      • Jennifer

        Thanks Kevin
        We are vacationing in Lake Havasu City (we are from Canada) and planned to visit the Skywalk tomorrow (a 2.5 hour drive one way). We have now changed our plans and appreciate your honest posting on this place. Saved us a wasted day (we are on the backside of our vacation and don’t want to waste a single monent) and a lot of dollars. I don’t mind paying for something of worth but this sounds like an over the top money grab.

  • mark

    Wow. You are mad because the world isn’t paved smoothly? This is the WEST man! Leave your Jetta in Vegas.

    This is some of the prettiest ground on this earth. It would be a shame to miss it because of a rough road…

  • Paul

    Just got back from my Trip to Las Vegas. Visited Grand Canyon yesterday..

    I completely agree with the article. I cannot believe that the tribe can make you pay $40 for a 5 minute bus ride and $35 to get on a skywalk per person and cannot even pave the road. Be prepared to pay at least $160 for two people just to look at the canyon. and bring an SUV to get there…

    • Paul

      And it’s not even the Grand Canyon. I think a better name would be Las Vegas Canyon, because it is just another miniature imitation of the real thing. The only people who would have been impressed by this fake are those who have not seen the real thing, which is vast and breathtaking, not money taking.

  • Linda

    We were just there in May of 2010, I thought it was absolutely beautiful. Yes, it was a bit expensive, however what isn’t? We were given booties to wear on the glass floor and you could walk wherever you wanted. The photographer that we had was amazing, very patient and took any photo we wanted. My daughter was lying on the glass floor and he made it look like she was almost flying like superman would with the canyon below her. We were able to purchase all of our photos on a USB stick for $100 and we also got three photos (of our choice) 5×7 in nices frames. Also on the stick there were a dozen more photos preloaded of different views of the canyon. That was great!

  • chow & fong family

    Very disappointed on the poor direction signs, entrance fees, mandatory meal plan, man-made wonder & inadequate services.
    Unbeleivable it is in USA. Tons of improvement are necessary.
    Please follow Japan.

  • Key

    What a scam! The prices listed on the website for tickets are not the actual prices you pay once you drive 27mi., 10+ mi. of that unpaved road to get to the actual visitors center. The center is a temporary structure, and they MAKE you purchase a tour package that you don’t even want!

    I was so pissed off, we actually turned back and went home! I know the tribe needs to recoup for expenses, and maybe some of the price gouging is out of their control, but everything is so misleading.

    We’ll try for the national park in a couple months-good thing we live close, in Vegas.

  • Kristin

    I visit the skywalk several times a year since it opened, and I love it! The dirt road out to it is half the fun and makes for a great adventure. The only thing I don’t like is the namby pamby tourists that try driving out there in the family sedan, you need an SUV or a truck, and when you see the big white Chevy Duramax riding your keester, MOVE OVER!

    • Kevin Wasson

      I have a F350 powerstroke and have been hunting for 25 years. I don’t mind it at all.
      But my trip we had my 89 year old grandmother and a minivan. They need to pave the road or advertise the fact that it’s dirt. Also advertise the correct cost. They hide the price. I was so mad… $43X6 people to ride a bus for 1 mile??.. They can kiss my you know what… we left

      • Carolyn Gerold

        Hi Kevin…..I read your comments on the skywalk with great interest because we are planning a trip for October of this year. 2011. We are staying in Sedona and were planning to make the 5 hour road trip each way. We will be traveling in a handicapped accessible mini van so it is a little lower to the ground than a regular minivan. We have two travelers in power wheelchairs. My first concern is the vehicle we are traveling in and my second concern is the accessibility of the bus to the skywalk and the skywalk itself. We also have plans to take the Grand Canyon railway to the South Rim. Would you mind giving us your opinion?

        • Travel On The Dollar

          Hi Carolyn,
          This is what their website says:
          Wheelchair Accessible: Manual and battery-operated wheelchairs are allowed on Grand Canyon Skywalk using our access ramp.
          Wheelchairs Available: Grand Canyon Skywalk provides wheelchairs for temporary use on the Skywalk. No rental fee is charged. Wheelchairs are available when you check-in at the Grand Canyon Skywalk ticket counter.

          Hope this helps.
          Thanks
          Parind
          Travel On The Dollar

    • Donna

      LMAO…that is great.

  • Keith Dapper

    I found the Skywalk to be fantastic!

  • Larry

    For reason #1: the roads are on an indian reserve, perhaps this is a reason why the roads aren’t paved, and isn’t the grand canyons one of the states greatest natural wonders? if you pave it with road it will loose it’s appeal and rustic/dessert feel and therefore the residents on the reserve don’t want their lands unnaturalized.

    • Bill

      That’s nonsense. The mere fact that there is a road removes the “appeal and rustic/dessert(sp)feel” Pave the darn road.

      • MB

        Nonsense. You’re in an area that was the last completely unexplored wilderness in North America. Stop expecting the world to be paved….dirt roads are the standard in that region. If you can’t take a little ride on a dirt road, stay out of the region. A huge part of the resistance to developing the SkyWalk, as well as South Rim Village, was because it was going to bring a bunch of namby pamby city folk who demand luxuries at the expense of the very environment they came to see.

        • kathyinnewmexico

          People have been all over the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas. There are lots of early sites of habitation going back thousands of years. If it was paved, they would have more people and would not be able to watch everyone.
          People would explore, go where they are not supposed to go, get lost and die. It would cost tons of money to find them and maybe get sued.
          So, they keep the masses away.

        • Joyce

          Thank You, I totally agree! If you want luxuries go to L.A!!

        • Kevin Wasson

          the first 20 miles in paved, the next 20 miles is dirt, then the last 10 miles is paved again. It has nothing to do with natural habitat. I dont mind hi prices or dirt roads. I want to advertised that way. They hide the fees. it was $43 per person to take a 1 mile ride from the parking lot to the canyon. Then if you want its $35 for the air walk. I will never go there again, my family of 6 turned around and drove back. We waisted 3 hours we will never get back.

        • Richard MacNeil

          Paving the road won’t adversly affect the environment anymore then the presence of a tourist attraction and traffic route already has. The people and cars and entire complex they constructed have done the acceptable amount of damage already. Roads are expensive and without the government to provide upkeep (its private not payed for by tax dollars) I don’t blame them for not paving it. Also after looking at the cost of visiting I think the indian reserve should be ashamed of themselves for charging so much.

          They know peole only want to see the skywalk so they force you to buy another pass to the reserve. What a joke! Also anyone talking about how they delibretely did this to keep people or ‘masses’ away. . .yeah I’m sure a tourist attraction wants to do that. Don’t be absurd, use your heads people.

          I won’t be visiting.

        • Noemi Reynolds

          Like. In Australia, we are well used to dirt roads our of the city. I will visit this someday when we visit the US and while we are grateful for the forewarning of the costs, we will be happy to contribute to the Huapolo people. We do this in Australia, too.

    • david

      total nonsense. the road on the south and north rim access points are fully paved. there is no reason that the road cannot be improved. this is supposed to be a money making venture for the Tribe. Please dont tell us that it is for the public good or something spiritual. the motive is profit. and the costs are enormous. required access fee, required parking and bus fee, entrance to skywalk fee. Also the videos on the skywalk website show people on the skywalk with cameras, which is a scam as they are not allowed. Plan on 150 a person to travel 14 miles on a dirt road, hearded like cattle from bus to whatever, spend a few minutes overlooking the grand canyon, then forced to buy high priced, terrible quality souveniers and food. No thanks. My suggestion to all is stay away.

      and by the way, it is “lose” not “loose”

    • Aupuch

      Turns out there are tons of paved roads in the Grand Canyon. and most national parks. They can build a structure over the Grand Canyon but can’t pave the road leading to it? That’s to preserve the wallet not the “rusticness”

  • Davy

    Thanks for the info. I’m planning a 3 week trip in western usa and I wanted to propose my girlfriend on the Skywalk, but indeed, what a sham… Now looking for an other unforgettable place…

    • Linda

      We were recently at the Skywalk in May of 2010. I thought it was absolutely breathtaking. Yes, it was a bit expensive, however still loved it. We were given little booties to wear on the glass floor but could wall anywhere we wanted on it. The photographers were great, took lots of time with us and we were able to purchase all of our photos on a USB stick for $100 and received three 5×7 prints in nice frames and on the stick there were a dozen more photos of other views of the canyon professionally preloaded.
      I was not impressed with the roads either, but the View was breathtaking once we got there.

    • Kevin Wasson

      I totally agree with everything. My family and I did not pay the BUS ride money and simply left. They are out of there minds. DO NOT GO… go to the other national parks to view the Canyon…

  • http://SkyWalkdebacle jean

    Did anyone notice the horrible architecture of this background building that defaces one of the most beautiful sights in the world.? Made me sick to see this monstrosity that did not blend in to the terrain AT ALL! UGH!

  • http://Skywalksham jenna

    Who cares about the origin of this article.. Whatever. Thanks for saving me time, money and exposing a real rip… A person can ,very unknowingly ,think the sky walk is the only expense and then be hammered.. OR drive all the way over there with 8 people in a van (as I was going to do next week) and find out it will cost our family of 8 adults $600. I don’t THINK so!

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  • Hamilton

    Thanks for the tip! What a rip off…

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