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West Rim Skywalk Bus Tours
 

Grand Canyon West Rim Skywalk Bus Tours from Las Vegas, NV

If you're on a budget or don't like flying, the West Rim bus tour with Grand Canyon Skywalk is the trip for you. By the time you're back on the Las Vegas Strip, you'll have seen all the key canyon points of interest. Not only that, but you'll have done at a price that will make the most frugal of travelers jealous.

The Route

This bus tour departs from the Las Vegas metro area every day of the year including all major US holidays (e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas). There is only one departure time, which is usually between 7-7:30 a.m. The start time is early because 1) it takes 2.5 drive hours (5 hours round trip) to reach Grand Canyon West and 2) you get up to 3 hours to explore the area. Add it up and trip duration is appx. 12.5 hours.

West Rim coaches all follow the same route to the canyon. You head east and once you get past Boulder City, NV, you'll be driving along Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the country. Then you'll go over the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge, whereupon you'll pull over for a 15-minute stop of the Dam (prior to the bypass, buses drove the two-lane road that's at the top of the Dam).

You'll now drive through geologically magnificent Black Canyon, gradually gaining elevation until you are right on the side of Colorado River gorge. If you are sitting on the right side of the bus, you'll be able to see the Colorado as it snakes its way past Willow Beach, AZ, the spot where all 1-day West Rim rafting tours pull out.

Diamond Bar Road

You'll leave the newly paved highway at Dolan Springs, which is a fairly well maintained stretch of country blacktop that continues on to Pierce Ferry Road, which is also in pretty good condition. The last stretch of road, Diamond Bar, is dirt, and it stays that way for 10-plus rugged miles until you reach the West Rim.

Today's buses are specially built to handle Diamond Bar's terrain. In fact, you'll barely know you're on it because the suspension on these coaches is so high-tech. Not the same story if you self-drive in a sedan. In fact, I don't recommend driving yourself unless you've got a SUV and a working spare tire. Furthermore, you'll pay more in fees, insurance, gas and taxes than if you were to take the bus. Consider this if you are weighing your options.

At Grand Canyon West, buses pull into a roundabout-like area and stop. It's here where you disembark and make your way to the Grand Canyon Skywalk Complex. The first thing you'll notice is the line. Don't worry about that. This trip includes VIP tickets, which let you cut to the front. During summer, this literally can save you an hour! Inside the Skywalk visitor's complex, you'll be given a pair of cloth booties that you'll pull over your shoes. Then it's off to the glass plank!

west rim skywalk bus tours

Skywalk!

The Skywalk is quite a marvel of engineering. The U-shaped structure is estimated to cost between 20-30 million dollars. The entire walkway is made from specially imported glass from Germany. Each panel (there's more than 40) cost $250,000 each. Despite this, the glass has a tendency to scratch, which is why the Hualapai Tribe, which owns and operates the Skywalk, bans cameras and all other personal electronics. If you want pictures, you'll have to hire one of the staff photographers that saunter about the bridge.

By the time you get to the bridge's farthest point, you'll have walked a bit more than 70 feet past the edge. Below you 4,000 feet is the bottom of the canyon! No reason now to fret over the Skywalk's construction - it was designed to hold two fully loaded Jumbo jets and withstand multi-directional winds in excess of 100 MPH. So kickback, relax and enjoy panoramas of the canyon that you'll never see anywhere else.

West Rim bus tours come with up to 3 hours to explore the top. I recommend you take advantage of that and check out Guano Point (a.k.a. the Bat Cave), Eagle Point, the Indian Cultural Center and Hualapai Ranch (live gunfights for the kids!). Future developments at the rim include a hotel, several restaurants, lounges and gift shops. The Tribe's even discussed building a tramway from Guano Point to the bottom! Stay tuned.

Everything's Included

Bus tours are all-inclusive and come with complimentary hotel pick up and drop off, a lite breakfast, a BBQ-style lunch, professional tour guide and all Park fees, fuel charges and taxes. Everything's included and is reflected in the final price you pay on the website. I've verified this myself and have never been hit with undisclosed fees (editor: this statement only applies to tour companies referenced in this article/website).

west rim skywalk bus tours

Too many good folks are operating under the impression that it's cheaper or more convenient to purchase their West Rim bus trip in Las Vegas. That's simply not true. In most cases, you'll end up paying more. Worse yet, you might not get a seat. Bus tours are incredibly popular, and during peak season sell out quickly. If you're serious about seeing the Grand Canyon by bus, I strongly urge you to reserve your seats ahead of time. I usually recommend at least a week in advance, especially if you are a group of three or more.

Deals

I'm coming across a lot of travelers who spend hours or days shopping the Internet for the best price. If you're like me, you value your time. So here's the truth of the matter. The best prices are on the Internet. There's no doubt about it. What it all boils down to is where you go. Surprisingly, it's not Viator or Travelocity or the other big Internet brands out there. It's the websites operated by the bus tour companies! It's there and only there that you'll get the best price. But don't take my word for it. Go here and see for yourself.

Click for Grand Canyon West Rim Skywalk Bus Prices & Availability

Have a grand day,

P.S. Not sure which tour operator to use? Go here for a comparison of Grand Canyon bus tour operators based on safety, quality and price.

 


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