We combined a visit to the Hoover Dam with the Skywalk on the West rim of the Grand Canyon for a self drive day out from Las Vegas.
Hoover Dam is 32 miles from Las Vegas, which is around 45 minutes drive. The distance to continue on to the Skywalk was a further 96 miles, just under 2 hours. It’s important to note that during the winter months, the state of Arizona is an hour different to Nevada and the last ticket at this attraction is 16:30, as it closes at sunset.
Don’t miss the left hand turning off the US-93 S onto Pierce Ferry Road, there was a billboard on the actual junction but no prior warning. This road was fascinating, passing rows of postboxes with no properties in sight, there was also a Hot Diggity Dog diner which caught our attention, and a breakers yard with some rusting classics, both of which we would have loved to stop and go in but we were running late. As we steadily made our way into the Hualapia Indian Reserve there were Joshua trees growing as far as the eye could see, this species of yucca likes desert conditions and an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet.
We arrived around 15:30 which was later than planned, as we hadn’t allowed for the time difference. That only left us around an hour to take the shuttle bus to the three viewpoints, the temperature had dropped considerably and it was windy, so I bought a hoodie from the gift shop to keep warm, before hopping onto the bus.
We had pre purchased the Gold Package at $76.43 per person, which included entrance to the attraction, a meal and the Skywalk. Our first stop was Eagle Point where the Skywalk glass bridge is suspended 4,000 feet / 1,200 metres above the floor of the Grand Canyon. You’re not allowed to take any personal items out into this area, there are photographers available to capture your special moment, priced from $16 to $65. It’s a weird feeling walking out on the glass floor and seeing the sheer drop below. If you opted for the cheaper option, you can stand on the edge next to the bridge to enjoy the view.
We hopped back on the bus to Guano Point which offers an impressive 360 degree view of the Grand Canyon. There’s a footpath leading to the remnants of the old tram which connected to a guano mine across the canyon.
At this point the sun was setting, we were given a tip to drive our own vehicle to the third viewpoint called Hualapai Ranch as the restaurant here was inside and open until 20:00. This was a quaint western town where you can go horse riding or hang out with the cowboys.
The tip of the Grand Canyon was highlighted by the setting sun as we stepped inside and enjoyed a feast of ribs or chicken with a choice of potatoes, rice, vegetables & beans. Plus corn bread, chocolate chip cookie and unlimited soft / hot drinks.
It’s a real shame we didn’t have more time, it’s an awesome view and our visit felt very rushed. I would have liked to have fully explored each viewpoint and watch the complete sunset. You can stay overnight, fly over the canyon in a helicopter or airplane, take a boat ride or ride horses in the canyon on the west rim.