Grand Canyon Visit
My visit to the Grand Canyon was part of a greater exploration of the West with friends. My advice to those who intend to visit the Great Canyon from Las Vegas is to take off early. A road trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon village can be very satisfying especially during the summer months. The only issue however is that you risk spending long hours in traffic should you leave late.
After about seven hours on the road due to numerous stops in our quest to immortalize the moment through photos, we finally arrived our destination at Bright Angel lodge at about 2pm. Which reminds me... Unless you are looking to spend only a few hours at Grand Canyon (which a significant number of people do), it will be in your best interest to book your accommodation at least a month or two in advance. The summer season is a peak period here and most lodges sell out very fast. After haven properly rested, we spent most of the evenings drinking in anticipation of the next day.
After an early breakfast, we made our way to the famous South Rim just in time to watch the sun make its big reveal – The Grand Canyon. Personally, I do not mind heights. But standing at the edge of the canyon, the first thing that hit me was how small and insignificant I was. Just staring at the canyon, my usually calculative brain had to give up on the math which forged such a massive crater. I mean, we will probably need all the excavation companies in America working for thousands of years to create another grand canyon. The desert-like nature of the Canyon allows the eyes to see for what seems to be miles and to just marvel at it all.
A little off from where we stood, hikers had begun making what I saw to be the nerve racking descend in to the valley as they headed towards the Colorado River which flowed pass below.
With only a couple of more hours to spare at the Grand canyon before checking out for Las Vegas that evening, there was only one more stop to make – The Grand Canyon Skywalk. The skywalk is located at Grand Canyon West, so it took us a while to get there. Haven seen the walk severally on YouTube, I thought I was somehow psychologically prepared to walk on the sky – Nope I wasn’t.
The only way to get on the skywalk is if you buy the legacy package. The package cost about $90 depending on the agency you use. It comes complete with other stuffs like shuttling to other view points, a meal and other activities. Our focus however was solely on the skywalk, but since it is impossible to purchase a ticket strictly for the skywalk, we went with the legacy gold ticket... Enough about the preparations already!!!
In we went, took off our shoes and wore the mandatory sock-shoe and voila!!! In front of us was a semi-circle glass path which curved from the West end of the lodge to the East end and supported by absolutely nothing. The corners of the path are tainted in solid color, allowing the middle completely transparent for looking down and just enjoying the view while keeping your thoughts as far away as possible from negative thoughts. One of the first things that happen when you step on the glass is that your body suddenly becomes so conscious of the risk you are taking. This fear for me was made physically manifest in that I literally began to walk with baby steps as most people, we had people we even when down on all fours. I have never been so scared and so vulnerable my entire life. There is nothing that prepares you for a walk on a glass bridge suspended 4000 fts above death. An hour and a meal later, we were off Grand Canyon West Rim.
In retrospect, when I completed my skywalk, I felt this incredible sense of accomplishment. My confidence level was bolstered a thousand folds and I actually will not mind doing it all over again. It is my recommendation that if you are to visit only one place at the Grand Canyon, let it be the Skywalk. Besides the incredible view of the Canyon it provides, completing the walk itself could go a long way in building your confidence. It will also serve as a great destination for building exercises.
Had we stayed any longer, I will have loved an opportunity to hike down six hours to the Colorado River and taste of the canyon.
Later that night we checked out from the Bright Angel Lodge and hit the road for… (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas). I might just write about my Vegas adventure some day.