This past week I spent a lot of time in Las Vegas Nevada. My reason for going was to work an event but of course I made time to explore around. Prior to my trip, I researched all types of activities to do and what immediately caught my attention was the Grand Canyon.

Although the Grand Canyon is located in Arizona, it’s a two and a half hour drive from Las Vegas so it’s a common tourist attraction for visitors. As I started seeking great deals to view the Canyon, there were two transportation options to choose from, a helicopter or bus tour. My immediate reaction was to go with the helicopter tour, until I saw the price ranged from $250.00- $500.00 per person. At that moment, any tour that’s well over $100.00 was out of my price range. I went ahead and a booked a bus tour through a company called Comedy On Deck Tours, that facilitates public tours to the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon West Rim for Vegas visitors. Regular price passes are $189.00 and VIP, which was the one I had, are $209.00. The standard prices were a bit much for me, so I searched for deals through Groupon and I found a VIP pass for only $99.00; much better!

The bus tour was an all-day excursion that included a quick stop at the Hoover Dam Bypass and pre-paid meals for breakfast and lunch. The most convenient part about this tour was that they arranged pick-ups at several hotels along the Vegas strip, such as, the Stratosphere, Circus Hotel, Treasure Island Hotel, Bally’s Hotel, Monte Carlo, and Excalibur Hotel. Pick-ups started around 6:00 AM so we were on the road about 30 minutes later.

After breakfast, our first stop was at the Hoover Dam Bypass. The Hoover Dam, also known as the Boulder Dam, is a massive concrete dam built along the state border between Nevada and Arizona during the Great Depression.

The original purpose of the dam was to tame the Colorado River from flooding, provide irrigation water, and produce hydroelectric power. Now the Hoover Dam is used to impound Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States.

After stopping by the Hoover Dam Bypass, we headed straight to the Grand Canyon West Rim. What makes the West Rim pretty special is that it’s apart of the Hualapai Indian Reservation and operated by its tribal members. Since the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., the park is always packed with nearly five million visitors each year. Due to the substantially high number of tourists, there were hop-on-hop-off shuttle stops to three different viewpoints of the Grand Canyon: Hualapai Ranch, Eagle Point, and Guano Point.

The first shuttle stop was Hualapai Ranch, which is a place with a western feel that provides a dining hall, live entertainment, gift shops, overnight cabins, and of course a view of the Grand Canyon.
Next stop was Eagle Point, which had the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Skywalk is a horseshoe shaped bridge with a glass walkway built along the edge of the Canyon. When you walk out on the bridge, you can literally see all the way down the very bottom; kind of scary! When I heard about the Skywalk, I thought it would be interesting to try out, but there were some issues at hand:

One, it cost an extra $25.00 to get on.
Two, the line was extremely long.
Three, you couldn’t bring a camera or take any pictures of your own on the walkway.
Four, if you wanted a professional photograph you would have to pay an extra $30.00.

Although the idea of the walkway seemed to be a pretty cool experience, at the time it didn’t seem like it was worth the extra money or time so I enjoyed viewing it from an outside perspective.

The last and final shuttle stop was my all time favorite, Guano Point. Back in the 1950’s, a bat cave was discovered down at the very bottom and later became a guano mine to create fertilizer from bat droppings. Hence the name Guano, which literally means bat shit.

As you get to Guano Point, there are two peaks that you can climb to view the Canyon, a Baby and Mother Rock. At the top of the Baby Rock was simply mesmerizing and I have the photos to prove it. Click the following link to view what I captured,West Rim Grand Canyon.

At the top of the peak awaits a clear panoramic view of the Canyon along with Mother Rock. I would of made my way to the top of the Mother Rock, but it’s difficult to explore the Canyon to fullest when your traveling companion is afraid of heights and more afraid of you falling off the edge.

Although visiting the Grand Canyon was the highlight of this trip, the only issue I had was the amount of people that was there. I felt like there were a ton of distractions and I really didn’t get the chance to sit back and really appreciate the beauty of the Canyon. Everyone was rushing trying to capture a photo or asking you to take a photo for them.

Overall this was an unforgettable experience that I’ll cherish with hopes of returning one day. Maybe next time it will be on a helicopter tour, * crosses fingers. *

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