GRAND CANYON – Looking down into the Grand Canyon has always been a test for those vertigo because it’s thousands of feet from the top to the bottom.
And now, in what would appear to be an attempt to make it even scarier, the Hualapai Indians have the Skywalk, a glass-bottomed walkway that allows those with a high queasiness quotient to view the Canyon from 4,000 feet while they’re jutting out over the sheer drop into the thin air that surrounds the gorge.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is part of a $40 million project designed to turn 1,000 acres of reservation land into a tourist attraction . Visitors drive, or are driven, to the site and pay a fee to look straight down more than three-quarters of a mile through the glass bottom and over the sides of the walkway. But fear not, it’ll hold you.
It is supported by steel beams sunk well back into the solid rock sides of the canyon, and can easily accommodate 120 people at once because it was designed to hold 72 million pounds, the equivalent of 70 Boeing 747 jetliners. It can withstand winds of up to 100 m.p.h., an 8.0-magnitude earthquake and all the tremors 120 tourists can generate while clutching the guardrails at the same time.
The Skywalk is 72 miles northeast of Kingman on the Hualapai reservation. For more information, call (888) 216-0076 or log on to Hualapai Tours.