The Grand Canyon Skywalk is one of the most exciting attractions in America, allowing visitors to step out over the edge of the canyon and look down through the glass walkway into one of the deepest trenches in the world.
It seems that the Grand Canyon’s glass bridge would attract its fair share of thrill-seekers, but the horseshoe-shaped bridge itself has always been completely safe, anchored 46 feet into solid rock. Less safe, however, was the road to reach this iconic landmark, but with the final 9-mile stretch of the connected road recently completed, the trip has become far less dangerous.
When the Skywalk was opened in 2007, the Hualapai Tribe in charge of the attraction had every intention to have the 21-mile Diamond Bar Road completely paved, allowing visitors to come and go in comfort and safety. The road was supposed to be paved before the Skywalk even opened, but a variety of obstacles including an uncooperative dude rancher and a lack of funding postponed the road’s completion. No one imagined that the road would lie uncompleted until 2014.
The dude rancher in question was Nigel Turner, a landowner who wasn’t happy when a portion of the Diamond Bar Road crossed into his property. He filed a lawsuit with the Hualapai Tribe that was settled for $750,000 only to be opened again when Turner claimed that amenities included in the settlement were being neglected. Turner began to charge tourists a fee to cross his land on the way to the Skywalk in west Grand Canyon, but an agreement was reached with the federal government that put an end to the delays caused by Turner.
The 21-mile Diamond Bar Road is now completely paved, the last 9 miles finally completed nearly 7 years after the Skywalk’s grand opening. This will, without a doubt, make traveling to the Skywalk much easier for both casual visitors and tour groups. The gravel and dirt path that existed for so long was reportedly causing expensive damages to tour vehicles, including but not limited to broken windows, flat tires, missing hubcaps, and rampant dust. Now tourists can safely make their way to the Hualapai’s most popular and iconic tourist attraction.
Are you planning on making the trip out to west Grand Canyon to see the Skywalk? Have you been before, or were you holding out, waiting for the road to be completed? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below.