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April 17, 2007

Grand Canyon Skywalk reviews

Long time readers may be familiar with my coverage of the Grand Canyon Skywalk and have even expressed interest in going. And while I enjoyed my recent trip to the Skywalk, others have not. So in the spirit of fairness I give you some recent reviews by people who have gone to the Grand Canyon Skywalk and didn’t think it was worth it. There are some issues but, lucky for you, I also have pictures from the Grand Canyon Skywalk itself.

Avoid this tourist trap! 1. The site is not ready, evidenced by total disorganization from start to finish. 2. The cost was too much for the value-$346 for a family of five (three young kids) 3. The road up is 12 miles of HELL. Wash pan for 12 miles and it is going to get worse before it gets better. Add and extra 1 1/2 hours for this 24 mile gem. Everyone wants tips, from the ladies who swipe your credit card (tip jar out) to an Indian chief who stands by the bus as you get back on with his tip basket. (I expect this in Vegas-like a Elvis guy who will let you take a photo with him for tips, but not here.)
5. The whole site plan is horrible, for example the tour buses are too big to make a turn at the sky walk-so they make a K turn rolling down toward the canyon!!! (Also, there are no guardrails between you and the edge of the canyon. Scary! Tip Basket on bus) 6. NO Camera?s on SKYWALK ALLOWED!. They don?t want you to drop them and damage the canyon!!! They are planning, eventually, to have someone take photo?s of you (like a cruise ship and of course you can buy those!) 7 . They will serve you a FREE lunch with paper plates, napkins and cup which in 20 minutes I watch several blow down into canyon-so much for protecting the sacred land!! (tip basket included here also) Avoid!! Avoid! Avoid! We were disappointed and feel taken. We do, however strongly recommend visiting the Grand Canyon National Park. – Jon

I just returned home from the Skywalk today and what a disappointing trip it was. They say that 200,000 visitors went to the Western Rim (prior to this tourist trap being erected). Why they didn?t get a loan to pave this embarrassing washboard of a road is beyond me. The investor who fronted the 30 million should have fronted another million for fun. But then again, they probably flew in everytime and don?t realize how idiotic this 12 miles of hell really is. I suggest you rent a HUMMER or don?t make the drive. You car will be in bad need of an alignment and 2 trips through the car wash, not to mention a complete detail inside. I found only one bathroom, no others. The line to the all you can eat buffet was over an hour long so my family decided to go without food. They scream at you to walk on the sidewalks, but they forgot that there AREN?T any where you?re walking! ONLY once you get up to the skywalk area is there a sidewalk. I didn?t see one tip jar as the person mentioned in the previous blog but I can tell you that I didn?t purchase a single thing other than the tickets. There are no signs telling you where to go, what line to stand in or what the line is for once you stand in one. There was only one cashier station with the ability to take credit cards. The Southern Rim is run by the National Park Service and has ample signage, facilities, parking, guardrails etc. Someone is going to fall off the side of this Canyon. Although I walked to the edge – anyone could have slipped and grabbed ahold of me and brought me down with them. VERY VERY disappointing. The only people that won?t find it disappointing are those that fly in via plane or helicopter and fly back out. The Skywalk is nice, but you can?t take any belongings on there and you don?t put your belongings into a locker like they say – you put it in one of those bins like you do at the airport, write your first and last name on a raffle ?ticket? and trust your personal belongings to the SECURITY guards. They wear security jackets and put your items in a storage area that has a back door that I could walk into when I exited. You?re putting your purse, camera and everything else into a bin that is placed on a shelf in a room that is not locked. Save your money, you?ll have better luck at the roulette table. – Jeanie

I contacted the folks over at the Skywalk but have not heard from them regarding these complaints. They may be avoiding the issue or may simply be too busy to respond to all the emails they get – or both – so I ask you…

Have you been to the Grand Canyon Skywalk?
What do you think of your experience?

UPDATE: Allison Raskansky of hualapaitourism.com (the official site for the Skywalk) left this comment on another post about pricing and I thought it was worth sharing here as it touches on some of the major complaints. My comments are [bracketed].

There is a really big misconception here [referring to pricing]. The information posted on here is dated and incomplete [again, referring to pricing on another post]. For the most updated information go to hualapaitourism.com [Yes, go. You owe it to yourself to verify the facts]. The Grand Canyon West experience includes the Skywalk but is much more than that. This area is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe and is not a National Park therefore it is funded by ticket sales and not by the government.

In order to access Grand Canyon West, there is an entry package. There are several to choose from starting at $29.95 (parking is free) based on individual preference. They all include a Hop-on Hop-off shuttle throughout multiple view points, live Native American performances and much more as described below and more detail on the web site. The Hualapai employees commute 2 hours each way every day over unpaved roads to provide a cultural experience for thousands of visitors every day. There is no power, it is all generator powered. There is no water, it is hauled in and there are multiple choices for food at every view point which has to be delivered from far and prepared. There is a Native American Village where you can tour through and learn about dwellings of different tribes. Once the entry package is purchased, there are several options that can be added such as; The Skywalk, Helicopter tours, airplane tours. horseback riding and even overnight cabins. So for those of you that take the time to read these comments, please take the time to see that this is not just about the Skywalk, it is about an entire Nation sharing this with you and creating an experience for you like no other. There is also an incredible One Day Grand Canyon White Water Raft, take a look at the web site. When someone writes a comment without really knowing and you don?t take the time to look it up for yourself, you are missing a great thing!

Message to those who leave comments: Thank you for your feedback. This kind of honesty and detail will help many others make an informed decision about their trip. I would love to add any photos you care to share with our readers so they can see what to expect. From the parking area to the food tables to the views themselves. Let me know if you have photos to share in your comment and be sure to use a valid email so I can reply. And again, thank you.edit

Share on Twitter or posted to General Ranting,Grand Canyon Skywalk @ 2:52 pm

67 comments

  • At 10:31 am on July 12, 2010, Varsha commented:

    Just back from visiting the West rim of the grand canyon. Loved the skywalk and would say it was well worth the trip.
    However, having to face the 8.4 miles of unpaved roads was definitely unpleasant.

    The rates we were aware of and so cannot complain.

    We had to go and see the second site whether we wanted to or not. There was no other way to get back to the base camp (where our car was parked) without going to spot no 2. We had very limited time, and did not like the fact that we had no control over our schedules.

    Last, the fact that they do not allow us to take cameras on the skywalk is plain wrong and they should change that policy.

  • At 2:21 pm on July 5, 2011, H commented:

    Want to give this place a 0 rating but there is some worth for it to get 1. Just because it is the West Rim of Grand Canyon.

    The very intial experience you will have (if you are driving) is the dirt road for about 13 miles. If you have a vehical infront of you then you cannot even see where you are going. Looks like a project left in-between but then you wonder this place have been opened (ripping people off) from March 2007, they didnt get enough money to build a concret road YET.

    Once you reach there you will just feel getting ripped slowly and slowly. By the end of it you will feel wow this was an expensive trip. People out there are so friendly and have such a good smile, maybe they are thinking here comes…. one more family/person that can be ripped.

    You will be changed $44 for bus ride from parking to skywalk. You dont have a choice to decline it since you cannot take your own car to that place. By the way the ride from parking to skywalk is 5 mins drive. 40+ dollars for that 5 mins…

    The sky walk ticket is another $35 +. By you remain in that skywalk for min of 5 to max of 10 min. Is there somthing wrong here…???

    Once you reach there FORGET about AC, proper sitting place, AND even the RAILINGS to the canyon. THEY DONT EVEN HAVE RAILING ON THE EDGE OF GRAND CANYON. So parent with kids beware….

    You will pay extra either $30/picture or $100 for all pics per family for PICTURES and by the way those are not so special ones, if they allow your own camera then you can take much better picture quality than those.

    So if you will like to have see from the perspective of ENJOYMENT/DOLLAR OR ENJOYMENT/CONVINIENCE, it NOT worth to spend that kind of money.

    I hope people will read these reviews before making the trip. I didnot but I should have.

  • At 2:45 pm on July 5, 2011, archshrk commented:

    Thanks for the feedback. I would like to point out that the dirt road is outside the tribes control. Diamond Bar Road is owned by Mohave County and as of Jan 2010 was 1/3 paved.

  • At 3:37 pm on December 28, 2011, pungo commented:

    how sad after so many appalling reviews of peoples visit to the west rim it seems whoever is in charge just does not give a shit. i know the indian nation have had a rough deal
    but how sad so many people are leaving this site with a huge amount of anger and bitterness
    its not just about the money its projecting your community in a good way and not as a load of rip off merchants who do not care that this, one of the worlds most amazing sites is being
    appallingly managed……….please somebody put the head dress on and take a lead

  • At 9:45 pm on April 21, 2014, Joe Audino commented:

    Beautiful sights but very dangerous they need guard rails and a the price seems pretty steep. The unpaved roads are under construction and will be paved in the future. They seriously need to organize lines for the shuttle rides, people crowd and nobody does anything even the guys standing out there that are supposed to be directing people. That was our only real complaint besides safety. Overall glad we did it but wouldn’t do it again unless they lowered the prices.

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