Grand Canyon West Rim Viewpoints
The Grand Canyon West Rim is nestled into the eastern Arizona desert, approximately a 2-hour drive east of Las Vegas and a 4-hour drive west of the Grand Canyon National Park. Unlike the national park, which is surrounded by the lush Kaibab Forest, the West Rim features a much more rugged desert landscape. Here visitors can find some of the most unique canyon viewpoints and sightseeing opportunities, including the world-famous Skywalk Bridge and even helicopter landings at the very bottom. If you’re planning to visit the Grand Canyon West Rim from Las Vegas, you can also forgo the drive and reach the canyon in just half an hour aboard a helicopter tour. Learn more about the exciting sightseeing options found at the West Rim before you visit.
This region of the canyon wall features a massive naturally-eroded formation that very much resembles an eagle spreading its wings in flight. This mystical wind carving is a sacred landmark to the Hualapai Native Americans, who have resided in this region of the Grand Canyon for hundreds of years. Eagle Point is best viewed atop the Skywalk Bridge, which juts out of the opposite canyon wall. However, similar views are also possible at the canyon’s edge.
Near Eagle Point, sightseers can also explore authentic Native American dwellings and watch song and dance performances at the Native American Cultural Center. Visitors to the West Rim can reach Eagle Point and other lookout points aboard a complimentary shuttle that operates throughout the area.
Jutting out into the Grand Canyon, Guano Point could be one of the most stunning viewpoints in the whole of the Grand Canyon. This nearly mile-high peninsula of land stretches into the canyon gorge, offering a complete 360-degree view of the massive stone walls surrounding you. Adventurous visitors may even want to climb the promontory at the end of the peninsula to get a better view.
You can also explore the remnants of an abandoned mine, which once served a historic purpose at the Grand Canyon West.
In 1958, the rights to a nearby bat cave were purchased by U.S. Guano Corp. The company constructed a $3.5 million dollar tramway system to extract guano from the cave beneath the canyon rim. Guano was a valuable ingredient in fertilizer, and the Corp estimated they could extract 100,000 tons of the material. Unfortunately, their original site survey proved to be massively incorrect and by the end of 1959, just a mere 1,000 tons of guano had been extracted.
Shortly after the mine proved to be a disappointment, a US Air Force fighter jet collided with the overhead cable system, permanently disabling it. The remaining towers were left intact as a commemoration of the attempt to mine the canyon.
Visitors to Guano Point can also browse the Hualapai Market, a unique shopping area hosting many Hualapai artisans. You can also enjoy lunch right at the canyon’s edge at the nearby cafe serving up rich barbeque dishes.
The best part of visiting the Grand Canyon West Rim is that, because of the points’ proximities and the efficient shuttle system, you can experience all of these sights and activities in one day! For more information while planning your trip, browse our Grand Canyon Guide to the West Rim.