During our stay in Las Vegas (You can read Parts 1 and 2 of my experience in Vegas too!), we decided to devote one day to visit the Grand Canyon West Rim in Arizona. We were able to book a bus tour online through Viator, and luckily, it was actually a great find! The tour bus (Grayline Tours) picked us up at the Bellagio Hotel around 6 am, and the road trip to the Grand Canyon began.
The bus first dropped us off at the Grayline Tours Office to confirm our booking tickets as well as to separate those who would be going to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon from those who would be going to the South Rim. The West Rim, where we went, was a 4-hour drive from Las Vegas, while the South Rim takes an additional two hours. There are actually more activities to do at the West Rim, such as a helicopter ride, a boat ride along the Colorado River, and the Skywalk at Eagle Point.
After we got on the bus that would take us to the West Rim (which was around 8 am), we were able to look at the scenery that we passed by for a couple hours. We were able to see Lake Mead, one of the largest reservoirs in the United States.
A couple of hours later, we had a 15-minute stop at Hoover Dam which is between the states Nevada and Arizona. I was able to see the border between the two states (Yay for being at two states at once!) and admire the wonderful view of the dam. We didn’t stick around much due to the limited time given to us by the tour guide.
After Hoover Dam, we rode the bus for another couple of hours and we passed by Mojave Desert which had a lot of unique-looking trees called Joshua Trees.
Our bus driver / tour guide Felix also gave out a map of the Grand Canyon West and explained the different points we can visit there.
Finally, we got to the Grand Canyon West Rim around 12 noon. The West Rim is also known as the Hualapai Reservation which is owned by the Hualapai Tribe. Our guide/driver Felix dropped us off at the main entrance and we were free to go to any stop that we wanted. There are three stops that we can access via a free shuttle that goes around the Grand Canyon points. Stop 1 was the Hualapi Ranch, Stop 2 was Eagle Point, and Stop 3 was Guano Point. The first stop we went to was Eagle Point which had a great view of the Canyon.
Our ticket came with a pass to the Skywalk, a U-shaped glass bridge on the edge of Eagle Point. We had to put cover on our shoes to avoid friction before entering the Skywalk. Once we were there, it looked pretty overwhelming since we can see what’s under the path we’re walking, but the experience was worth it!
Bags and gadgets aren’t allowed on the Skywalk so we had to store them in lockers. There were two photographers on stand-by so we had some pics.
Our next stop was Guano point which is another area where you can view the Canyon. We had lunch there (which was also part of the ticket) and it was nice to eat at a place with a magnificent view. I personally love the view at Guano Point better than Eagle Point, and the view here took my breath away. (The photo at the very top of this post is taken from Guano Point!)
Overall, we had a wonderful time. The tour was great. It was on time, we even left a bit earlier than what was scheduled so we got back early. We also had enough time at the Grand Canyon (The tour allotted us 4 hours to go around the place), our guide Felix was really helpful since he gave a lot of tips and suggestions that we used! If you would be going to the Grand Canyon West, here are some of the tips he shared:
- Do the Skywalk first. It is better to go there before 12 in order to have less people waiting on queue for their turn, since the Skywalk only accommodates up to a hundred people at once.
- Eat either at Guano Point or Hualapai Ranch. (We weren’t able to go to the Ranch because of lack of time). Those two spots have great food. Don’t go to the Eagle Point for food.
- If you are out of time, skip the Hualapai Ranch since there is no view of the Canyon there. It’s just the place where you can meet some of the natives.
I really enjoyed my time there and hopefully next time, we can go to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon!