Everyone knows the Grand Canyon as one of the seven wonders of the world, but did you know you can stand over part of this marvel without falling? You can with the help of the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which gives you amazing views of the Canyon’s western rim. Read on to learn several fun facts about the Grand Canyon Skywalk and why you should visit it on your next trip to Arizona.
The Skywalk Puts You High Above the Grand Canyon
Built in the shape of a horseshoe, the Grand Canyon Skywalk stretches 10 feet wide and extends 70 feet over the Grand Canyon’s rim. But what makes it even more incredible is that it puts you at a height of 4,000 feet over the gorge’s floor. The natural wonder and beauty of the Grand Canyon will astound you as you admire it from the Skywalk.
You Can Get a Clear View of the Canyon Through the Floor
Builders constructed the Grand Canyon Skywalk with steel and glass, with the latter completely comprising the structure’s floor. That allows you to see the Canyon below you as you walk on the Skywalk. This will make you feel like you are hovering in space over this massive natural marvel, with nothing between you and the Canyon. This is an experience like no other!
Builders Used Unique Methods To Construct the Skywalk
Even though the Grand Canyon Skywalk is a very modern structure, builders used a less contemporary method to construct it. After starting work on it in 2004, builders opted to use a method similar to one that the Egyptians employed to build their pyramids. Constructors lifted the bridge using hydraulic jacks while moving it on rollers toward the edge of the Canyon. This was comparable to how the Egyptians transported the blocks for their pyramids. But when it came to installing the bridge’s glass panels, they had to employ the use of suction cups and manipulators.
A Famous Astronaut Opened the Skywalk
When you open a structure as amazing as the Grand Canyon Skywalk, you need a renowned legend to take the first steps on it. In 2007, the first person to walk on it was someone with a history of taking steps in new territory: Dr. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. The Apollo 11 astronaut has gone down in history as the second person to walk on the moon. But this time, he was the first person to take a step over the massive Grand Canyon.
Walking on the Skywalk Is Very Safe
Plenty of people who visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk question its safety. This is probably because it stands at such a great height, with only glass between visitors and the Canyon floor. But that leads us to our next fun fact about the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which is that walking on it is very safe.
Engineers regularly inspect the bridge’s bolts to confirm they are still stable. In addition, the bridge’s floor consists of 46 glass panels that are each 3 inches thick and can support 800 people. The bridge itself can support at least 70—yes, 70—747 passenger jets, which should give you the confidence to step onto it and enjoy the views without fear.
Visiting the Skywalk Is Fun for Your Children
Now that you know it is safe to go for a walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, you may ask, “Is it something that my kids would enjoy seeing?” The answer is yes—your kids will love visiting the Skywalk! The attraction allows children over the age of three who can walk on their own to step onto it.
As you take them over the Canyon on the bridge, the sight below and the views around will wow them. You’ll be able to make memories with them at this attraction that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
You Can Have Your Picture Taken on the Skywalk
If you want to bring home a photo that reminds you of your fun time on the Skywalk, you can. Although you cannot bring a camera out onto the bridge, a professional photographer can take the photo for you. That will allow you to show your friends and family members how you viewed the Canyon from this wonderful piece of architecture.
A Trip to the Skywalk Allows You To Learn About Culture
Another fun fact is that you will have the chance to learn the Hualapai Tribe’s culture and history when you visit the Skywalk. The tribe helped fund the project, which rests on Hualapai ancestral lands.
Today, the Hualapai manage the Skywalk, which even has a visitor center where you can learn information about their tribe. Its members will often sing and dance at the location as well, providing you with entertainment while informing you about their culture.
Your Visits Support the Hualapai Tribal Nation
When you pay to visit the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West or make any purchases at the location, your money is going toward a good cause. Those funds will help support and sustain the Hualapai Tribal Nation’s communities, giving you a sense of satisfaction beyond seeing one of the world’s greatest wonders.
Visitors Play a Part in Taking Care of the Skywalk
Believe it or not, when you visit the Skywalk, you will play a part in preserving it so that others can enjoy its views. Before you step onto the bridge, you must put on special slippers. Wearing these slippers prevents your shoes from any causing damage that will obscure or damage the glass. This helps ensure future visitors can see clearly through it, just as you did during your visit.
If you want to visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk, consider taking a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon bus tour with Comedy on Deck Tours, which operates 365 days a year. The trip to the Skywalk is an add-on to our tour, which also includes a hot breakfast and lunch and even a trip to the Hoover Dam Memorial Bridge. We’re ready to help you make memories with your family while you visit Las Vegas!