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Grand Canyon Trip Day 1: Hoover Dam, Joshua Trees, GC West Skywalk, Route 66

Updated: Mar 22

To celebrate the 40th birthday for one of my husband's sisters, we spent a week at the Grand Canyon. I had been to the South Rim once as child on a rare family vacation, but was eager to see it again with my "adult eyes." This would be both my husband and his sister's first time at the Grand Canyon.

Since my husband and I were just in Las Vegas for our road trip to Zion and Bryce a few weeks ago, we decided this time we'd fly to Vegas instead of driving there to start our Grand Canyon trip. So, all 3 of us flew there and then rented a vehicle and headed straight to the Hoover Dam, the first destination on his sister's itinerary.

After a short less-than-45-minute drive through the Nevada desert, we arrived at the Hoover Dam.

Next, we walked up the busy path to this bridge spanning the Colorado River: the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

The 1,905-foot bridge was constructed from 2005 to 2010. It is 88 feet wide and sits 880 feet above the river and 280 feet above the dam. The span of the bridge's arch is 1,060 feet. The arches are hollow and are 20 feet wide by 14 feet tall with 1-foot, 2-inches thick walls. We walked about halfway across the bridge.

Some impressive views of Hoover Dam from the bridge.

Then it was into Arizona, bound for Grand Canyon West Rim to check out the Skywalk attraction.

On our way there, we stopped at a Joshua Tree forest. Now, we've seen some Joshua Trees in California on our trip to Death Valley, but this forest in Arizona had way more trees than we've seen in one area. And, the prickly pear cacti were blooming!

On to Grand Canyon West Rim...

...where we parked in a giant lot, walked through rows of parked cars, waited in line for a shuttle bus for a long time, boarded the bus, rode to the Skywalk attraction, then waited in multiple different lines for an even longer time to get to enter the building and eventually go out on Skywalk. It may have taken hours. I didn't allow myself to look at my watch because I was trying to be patient.

Before you can go out on Skywalk, however, you must stow your phone/camera and other valuables in a locker, then put protective booties on your shoes and wait for the signal that you can enter the Skywalk. No photos are allowed. If you want a photo, one of the staff takes it of you and then you must pay for it.

We were on the actual Skywalk for less than 10 minutes.

The Skywalk structure and concept is neat. It's a semi-circle walking surface made entirely of glass that juts out from the edge of the canyon rim and you walk out on it, suspended above the canyon, which falls 4,000 feet beneath you.

After we got out of the Skywalk buildings, we wandered around for some sightseeing. Here are a couple of viewpoints of the Grand Canyon at Eagle Point from the West Rim.

These bright orange globe mallow flowers were in peak bloom all around throughout our Grand Canyon trip.

Once we were done, we had to repeat the process of waiting in line for an available shuttle bus, then riding back to the parking lot, and walking back to our rental vehicle.

Getting to and from the attraction is quite a production. I think we all agreed that Skywalk wasn't the best use of time and money while on a Grand Canyon trip. It was very tourist-trappy, and far too much time is spent waiting in line to see something for 10 minutes that you cannot photograph. That's my takeaway from this attraction.

After Skywalk, we headed out to Kingman, AZ, on the famous and historic Route 66, and grabbed some dinner at a themed diner before heading to Peach Springs, AZ, which is where we'd be lodging for the night, because tomorrow is the rafting adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon!

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Another wonderful trip!


Jul 21, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

great pictures!


Mary Jo Schrader
Mary Jo Schrader
Jul 17, 2023

I’m just going to say ……. I can’t not sing the song when reading that sign post. LOL.

Brianna Sheck
Brianna Sheck
Jul 17, 2023
Replying to

Hahaha... 🎶🎹 Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona. Kingman. Barstow. San Bernardino...


Hi, thanks for dropping by!

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures and checking out the photos I take along the way!

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