Grand Canyon West is located closest to Las Vegas. It is not actually part of the Grand Canyon National Park, but part of the Hualapai American Indian Reservation. In my opinion the difference in scenery is minimal and by visiting Grand Canyon West it will save you an additional 5 hour round trip. Pretty important when you are in a car full of people who are on the brink of not getting along.
We arrived to Grand Canyon West and found a modest visitors center and a field to park our car in. My friends and I walked inside the visitor center and looked into our options for tours. The basic tour was around $44 but this did not include the skywalk viewpoint but did include transportation to 3 view points. If we wanted to include being able to walk out on to the skywalk it would be almost $88. It appeared the married couple was annoyed again as the cost per person was more than they had expected. Granted it was more than the $25 fee for our car load of people to get into the national park, but we were 5 hours away from the national park.
As I stood in the visitor center with yet another dilemma my friend Amy offered up a birthday gift to me, purchasing my ticket. Clearly she wanted to go on the tour. I took her up on her gracious offer and she and I got our tickets. Laura had decided to sit this one out as she had already seen the Grand Canyon. And as you probably had already guessed the married couple sat it out as well.
Amy and I hopped on the shuttle that took us to all the major viewpoints. We took a quick walk on Highpoint Hike and found ourselves surrounded in the beauty of the canyons. We even made a stop where the skywalk was and I personally was glad we did not opt for this option. It was an interesting idea to be able to walk out over the canyon on a glass walkway but I did not feel it gave you any better view of the area. The last stop on our tour was the Hualapi Ranch. The highlight was seeing Norman the cow from City Slickers. The ranch was his retirement home 🙂
To visit the Grand Canyon West from Las Vegas take Nevada Hwy 93, passing the Hoover Dam. Travel 40 miles, turning north (right) onto Pierce Ferry Road for 28 miles. Turn east (right) onto Diamond Bar Road and travel 21 miles. Be aware that some of these roads are not paved, although it is still passable in a sedan – we followed a Porsche who’s average speed was a snail’s pace. Ticket prices vary based on what package you choose, ranging from $44 to $359. Hours are 7am -7pm April – September and 8am -5pm October to March. Remember Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
We returned back to the visitor center and met up with the rest of our group. The plan was now to return to Vegas for a fancy dinner. Upon our return we went back to our hotel rooms and glammed ourselves up. We walked over to the Paris hotel and ate at Les Artisies (this has since closed and has been replaced by Gordon Ramsay Steak). We all ordered up fancy meals and the tensions from before seemed to lessen. We had an enjoyable time, even swindling a free decadent cream-puff dessert for my birthday celebration.
After dinner we walked back to the hotel where we were stopped by a club promoter offering up wristbands to enter some club. He gave us all a judgmental look and approved most of us, with the exception of me. He looked down at my sandal wearing feet and said “you can go in if you change your shoes”. I responded “sorry these are all I got”. It was a lie, I had heels in my hotel room (who goes to Vegas without heels anyways). I do not care for clubbing – so now it was my turn to sit something out. The married couple went into the club and Laura, Amy and I went in to the hotel to play some slots. The married couple returned shortly after shelling out cash to get in and the club was a bust. Perhaps it was Karma for being a pain all day?!?!?!