To say that the Grand Canyon is breathtaking is a grand understatement. According to the UK Daily Mail, Rice University seismologist Alan Levander discovered that the gorgeous, stratified layers were formed when the magma in a layer of the earth's crust forced the top layer down, and pushed up the land around the valley that forms the canyon. This activity, which happened in the last 6 million years, according to Levander, means the canyon is not as old as previously thought, but no less stunning.
A recent trip to the West Rim, on a tour through Grand Canyon West, revealed incomparable views with nods to the Native American culture and the Old West. The journey begins with a short two-hour drive through picturesque small-town Arizona. When you reach the Grand Canyon West parking lot, make your way to the the visitor's center for tickets; you can then take a hop-on, hop-off shuttle to three points of interest: Eagle Point, at which you’ll find the Skywalk; Guano Point, at which you can view a guano mine on the canyon’s floor; and Hualapai Ranch, where you can partake in Wild West festivities, stay overnight or take a ride in covered wagon.
Grand Canyon West is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe, and you’ll find many nods to the Hualapai culture along the way, making for a more enriching experience. You’ll see the greatest example of this when you visit the Skywalk; an outdoor amphitheater on the opposite side features live Native American dance and performances throughout the day. The walking tour passes through the Native American Village, where you'll see authentic dwellings from multiple tribes.
The main ticket at Grand Canyon West is the Skywalk, a glass bridge that puts you 4,000 feet above the canyon’s floor. It gives you incredible, once-in-a-lifetime views you’ll never forget! You can literally see for miles.
Explore native plant life and unique rock formations at your next stop, Guano Point, and see the remnants of a historic tram that stretched 8,800 feet across the canyon to a guano mine. You’ll have views of the Colorado River here that you can’t anywhere else on the tour.
And, when you wish to get your Wild West on, a stop at Hualapai Ranch is a must. Myriad activities abound, such as covered-wagon rides, horseback riding and cowboy activities—you name it, they’ve got it. Staying overnight? Don’t miss s’mores and tall tales by the campfire.
When photographing the Grand Canyon, the glorious views make for great pictures—scroll down to view the images captured by this novice photographer!