The Grand Canyon National Park spans over 1,000 square miles, so it is important to know which area of the canyon is nearest and which hosts the activities one is most interested in experiencing. While the South Rim is the furthest from Las Vegas, the West Rim is only a one-hour flight on a Grand Canyon tour. The West Rim is located within the Hualapai Indian Reservation, an expanse of land designated to the tribe by Executive Order in 1883 by President Chester A. Arthur. The nearly 1 million-acre reservation is the same land that their ancient Hualapai ancestors roamed thousands of years earlier. This Native Nation's deep respect for nature and the sanctity of the land, particularly the Grand Canyon, is largely responsible for the preservation of this remarkable landmark throughout the ages.
While non-Natives are generally not permitted on reservation land, the Hualapai people have assigned over 9,000 acres of canyon land for tourists to experience. This tourist-friendly area is officially known as the "Grand Canyon West". Here guests will find fantastic and unique sights of the canyon, including Guano Point - which offers a 360-degree view - and Eagle Point, best seen from the breathtaking Skywalk Bridge, which lets one stand a mile in the air over the canyon floor. The West Rim is also the only region of the canyon that allows guests to venture down to the canyon floor. A dazzling flight down to the bank of the Colorado River or a gentle rafting trip between the mile-high canyon walls is truly an experience unlike any other.
The Grand Canyon West hosts a public access airport, where airplane and helicopter tours take off and land. Guests can also reach the West Rim via Mohave County Route 25 (Pierce Ferry Road). Grand Canyon West is open daily and receives buses, chartered jeeps and other vehicles. For more information, call the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe at (928) 769-2419.
The West Rim offers aerial tours to provide views unlike any other. Airplane tours provide climate-controlled, relaxing trips over the canyon's expanse - perfect for capturing aerial photos. The West Rim also offers helicopter flights over the canyon, including the opportunity to soar down to the bottom of the canyon floor, as well. This experience is only available at the West Rim, and is perfect for both thrill-seekers and first-timers alike.
From Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West
Helicopter Tour Operators
Papillon Helicopters: (702) 736-7243
Grand Canyon Motorcoach tours transport guests in comfort along 4.5 miles of the canyon rim. Plentiful views of the magnificent American landmark lie just outside the massive sightseeing windows. One of these relaxing day tours also includes a lunch at the West Rim's famous barbecue cafe, nestled on the edge of the canyon wall. The tour runs from 10am to 3pm, allowing plenty of time for exploration of the various canyon viewpoints. Tour costs are $35 for adults and $22 for children ages 2-12. Guests with cars can also purchase a $10 permit at the Air Terminal desk and drive to Quartermaster Vista for more fantastic sights of the canyon
The Grand Canyon International Marathon and Half Marathon, hosted by the Hualapai Nation, takes place at the West Rim annually. Athletes and enthusiasts from around the world are invited to test their endurance on the 26.2-mile course that snakes throughout the Kaibab Forest, just beyond the canyon. Both the Marathon and Half Marathon are officially certified by the United States Track and Field Association.
Register online at www.active.com.