Grand Canyon, Skywalk, Hoover Dam from Las Vegas

Who wants to go to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas? We scouted out all the different tours, from the Grand Canyon west rim tours to the south rim Grand Canyon tours and we finally decided on the west rim tour where you can do the Skywalk — and it was FUN!

Aside from visiting the Grand Canyon west rim, we decided to do a bunch of touristy things while in Las Vegas, like the High Roller Chocolate Tasting Experience!

Las Vegas trip to the Grand Canyon, Skywalk and Hoover Dam! Visit the west rim of the Grand Canyon, experience the Skywalk 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor and then stop at the Hoover Dam on your way back to Vegas! See how we did it at the last minute!

If you’re visiting Las Vegas and are interested in taking a day trip to the Grand Canyon there are a few things to keep in mind. You can either drive there yourself or take one of the many tours offered. We opted to take a tour bus to the west rim. For weeks leading up to our Las Vegas trip we looked at all the different tours and rental car options. A lot of the tours took you to the south rim of the Grand Canyon – and that’s like a 5 hour drive just to get there!

Canyon Tours from Las Vegas

As a matter of fact, if you Google Las Vegas to Grand Canyon you’ll get directions to the south rim Grand Canyon National Park, 4+ hours if you drive straight through – without stopping to see the Hoover Dam or to take a leak on your way! However, if you Google Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Skywalk or Grand Canyon West you’ll get the WEST rim directions, only 2 hours away. Plus, you get a chance to walk out onto the Skywalk!

We arrived in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon and it was then that we finally decided to go to the Grand Canyon and check out the skywalk. So we did a quick Google search and came across Canyon Tours here. The price was $114 per person or upgrade to $128 per person. We decided to upgrade since it included breakfast and lunch, as well as express pick up and drop off at our hotel without the need to check in at the tour office. “Authentic Indian BBQ Lunch” we’ll get to that… But the upgrade was worth it just to get back at our hotel an hour earlier. It’s freakin’ Vegas! haha

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim

For the Grand Canyon West Rim tour you’ll leave Vegas and travel past a few noteworthy places, like over the Hoover Dam bypass bridge – we also stop here on the way back too. You’ll also travel through the desert and find yourself winding through one of the world’s largest and oldest Joshua Tree forests.

Joshua Tree Forest Arizona Grand Canyon

Our tour guide was pretty good and he told us a lot of tidbits along the way. He was a movie buff and pointed out where the different movies were filmed. Like did you know, you’ll travel past the road that you see in Forest Gump — the long highway scene in the middle of the desert? You do! haha

Hualapai Indian Reservation

Anywho… Only a couple quick hours on the road and you’ll arrive at the Hualapai Indian reservation. They are building a new parking lot so things may be different when you go. Our bus took us right to the main entrance where you could see all the helicopter pads, the gift shop and all that good stuff. Our tour guide handed us our passes, a bottle of water and off we went.

You use your ticket to board the bus behind the main entrance. The bus takes you to three different stops inside the Hualapai Indian reservation.

Hualapai Indian Ranch

First stop is the Hualapai Indian ranch. There’s not much to see or do here, so don’t spend too much time here. Skip the shooting gallery and keep moving. It’s basically a little western town type of deal. It’s not even an Indian ranch really… Snap some photos and hop on the next bus (there are always buses running) to the next stop, Eagle Point.

Eagle Point and Skywalk

This will be your first real experience of the Grand Canyon. You’ll see the bird etched into the rock and be able to explore the edge of the canyon. Just don’t fall in. Please? Walk around a little bit and snap some photos. If you want to do the Skywalk, now is your chance!

Eagle Point Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Skywalk

At Eagle Point you’ll find the Grand Canyon Skywalk. You can walk out onto the glass floor for an additional cost, go inside to get your tickets. Otherwise, hop on the bus to the next and final stop.

Skywalk at Eagle Point Grand Canyon West

Some people say the Skywalk is underwhelming, and that might be so. But, when one is standing in front of the Grand Canyon West Skywalk, one goes on the Skywalk! You only live once folks, experience everything you can! Looking down through the Skywalk glass was the most underwhelming part for me. It’s 4,000 feet to the bottom of the canyon, but it really didn’t look like it.

It felt like you could jump and land on your feet lol. You have to remember that the Grand Canyon is SO BIG that everything appears much closer than it actually is. You’ll know what I mean when you spot a helicopter flying around — they look like a housefly against the canyon walls!

Grand Canyon West Rim Skywalk

Yes, we did go out onto the Skywalk – and here’s the proof!

Me and Katie on the Grand Canyon Skywalk

Things to keep in mind…

The costs do add up. If you travel to the Grand Canyon West Rim by car, you’ll need to pay to enter the park and purchase a package to go on the Skywalk at an additional cost.

I think the park fee was $45/person and the Skywalk was $25/person? There are also people who say you need to purchase the lunch package to be able to do the Skywalk and that is like $45/person too?

I don’t know. We went through the tour company which covered the entrance fee and lunch (and the tour company provided breakfast and waters too). We did have to pay an additional $25/person to walk out onto the Skywalk.

Prepare to shell out some cash. It’s not like you go to the Grand Canyon every day, so suck it up buttercup!

You cannot take your camera or any other personal belongings with you on the Skywalk. They provide lockers, shove your crap in there and take the key with you.

They have photographers on the Skywalk (much like Disney World) and you can purchase the photos once you’re done hanging out on the Skywalk. You can buy one photo or a package with USB drive. The package was $65. The Skywalk tickets and photos were the only other expense we incurred aside from the cost of the tour and souvenirs.


You must wear booties on your shoes. The glass is scratched to hell already and they’re trying to keep it as clean as they can. But guys, they don’t have larger shoe covers so make it work. I wear a size 13 and the shoe covers were bursting at the seams, literally.

The glass creaks beneath your feet. This is especially funny when the lady in front of you is deathly scared of heights. She didn’t want to go but she “already told everyone at work she was going to.” lol – She hugged the railing and literally walked from the entrance to the exit without stopping, one slow petrified step at a time. She stood at the exit door waiting for her husband to finish exploring. It was pretty funny.

After you’ve experienced the Skywalk, you’re on to your final stop at the Grand Canyon West Rim, Guano Point!

Guano Point Grand Canyon West

Bat shit. Yup. Bat shit. Guano Point is named because of the amount of guano collected in bat caves here in mining operations. It’s also where you’ll get the best views of the Grand Canyon at the west rim.  There are still remnants of the mining operation to be found at the edge of the canyon. They’d send man and machine down to the huge bat cave to collect guano for the production of fertilizer and other products.

Guano Point Grand Canyon

And like I said, this is the place you’ll get the best views on your trip. There is a large pathway that leads down to the point where the old mining structure is. Take a nice stroll and snap some photos too!

Views from Guano Point Grand Canyon West

After walking the trail and exploring, it’s time to grab lunch before heading out. Or….maybe you should bring a bag lunch. lol That “authentic Indian BBQ lunch” was pretty much anything but barbecue. I expected to see smoke rolling and smell BBQ from a mile away. Nope. Nothing like that AT ALL.

As a matter of fact I find it super hard to believe that the food was ever touched by flame or smoke. The chicken was baked and the beef was probably done in a slow cooker. The corn was boiled and had obviously been sitting in water for a long time, it was soggy and waterlogged. I’ll spare you photos of the lunch…lol

Bottom line: skip the lunch or eat a bag lunch in your car (maybe bring it with you?) Not sure if you can bring outside food or not… Or if you’re hungry, go ahead an indulge. Just don’t expect anything more than very low quality cafeteria food. Aside from the lunch not being very good, the views from the picnic area is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Enjoy yourself under the shade sail and grab a seat at the picnic tables and enjoy the views of the Grand Canyon!

Authentic Indian BBQ Lunch at Grand Canyon West

Guano Point is the last stop. Boarding the bus will return you to the main entrance and gift shop. This is where you parked or your bus will be waiting for you. Our tour bus left on time to head back to Las Vegas and along the way we had a 15 minute stop at Hoover Dam to take some photos and, well, see the dam!

Hoover Dam Overlook

Our last stop of the trip before getting back to Vegas was at the Hoover Dam overlook. Before getting to the dam, the bus slowed down going over the Hoover Dam bypass bridge. The bridge walls are too high for cars to see the dam from here, but way up on the bus you can see over the bypass bridge walls and snap photos of the Hoover Dam like this one…

Photo of Hoover Dam from the bypass bridge

No, this was not a full tour to the dam, but we did drive down into the restricted area where the police boarded the bus and all that jazz — then over the Hoover Dam itself…

The Hoover Dam

The loop took us over the Hoover Dam and then up around the windy road where we stopped at an overlook to stretch and take a few more photos.

Overlook at Hoover Dam

There are half day trips to the Hoover Dam so you can do the tour. While it is an impressive structure and feat of engineering, I don’t think Katie or myself would find too much fun in a Hoover Dam tour… But, it was nice to stop and see it – another thing checked off our list!

We boarded the bus to return to Las Vegas and were happy to have gotten the upgrade and be dropped off right at our hotel. Well worth it! Mind you, this was day 2 in Las Vegas! We were exhausted and collapsed in our hotel room until 10am the next day. Oops! lol

Have you been to the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam?

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