The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a transparent horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge and tourist attraction in Arizona near the Colorado River on the edge of a side canyon in the Grand Canyon Skywalk West area of the main canyon. USGS topographic maps show the elevation at the Skywalk’s location as 4,770 ft (1,450 m) and the elevation of the Colorado River in the base of the canyon as 1,160 ft (350 m), and they show that the height of the precisely vertical drop directly under the skywalk is between 500 ft (150 m) and 800 ft (240 m).
The Skywalk is operated by the Hualapai Tribe, which owns and protects more than one million acres of land throughout the Grand Canyon’s Skywalk western rim. During construction of the Skywalk, architects and engineers were concerned not only with safety, but also with creating a structure that would balance well with its natural surroundings and protect the values held by the Hualapai.
History of the Skywalk Bridge
The Grand Canyon Skywalk cost $30 million to construct and was funded by Hualapai Indian tribe in partnership with Chinese-American businessman David Jin. Built to withstand 100 mph winds, the Skywalk’s frame was constructed with 100 million pounds of steel.Founder Jin describes his vision for the Skywalk this way: “Just like an eagle can fly into the Grand Canyon Skywalk, my vision was to enable visitors to walk the path of the eagle, and become surrounded by the Grand Canyon Skywalk while standing at the edge of the Glass Bridgeand tourist attraction in Arizona.
Grand Canyon Skywalk Facts
- Entrance to Grand Canyon Skywalk West is $25 per private vehicle. (Please note this is a 7-day pass and is the same pass offered at the South Rim and North Rim. So as long as your visit is within 7 days of when you purchased a pass for one of the aforementioned entrances, you will not be charged again).
- Although Grand Canyon Skywalk West is open and accessible year-round, and the Skywalk is open from dawn until dusk, hours of operation for Skywalk vary depending on time of year. During Winter (mid-October to mid-April), the Skywalk is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. During Summer (May 1 to mid-October), the Skywalk is open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- The skywalk was completed on March 20, 2007. However, the general public was not allowed to preview this masterpiece until March 28, 2007.
- The skywalk is the world’s highest man-made structure standing at 2,300 ft.
- The skywalk is a glass bottomed structure on the west rim of the canyon that extends over the canyon and you can peer down at the canyon below.
- When you look at the floor you can see a thousand foot drop below the glass walkway.
- You will also enjoy the incredible views around the building south of the entrance where you have the opportunity (that is if you are a thrill seeker) to walk up to the very edge of the chasm with no guard rails. (An acrophobia person should skip this one).
- Photography is strictly prohibited. The claim is that they don’t want anything falling into the canyon. However, the reason may be more related to their attempt to up sell you some of their own “home-made” photo. Either way it is quite an experience. Read more adventurous travel.