AND NOW THE REST OF THE STORY:
We were still full from our dinner the night before so we just had the free continental breakfast but I looked at the regular menu. If you were a hotel guest, you could add the regular menu for $5 Bucks! A really good deal. Again, a very nice menu with regional items, Huevos, Rancheros, Buckwheat Cakes, and other good looking items.
We headed for the Sky Walk by going back to Kingman since the dirt road shortcuts through the reservation were closed. Even if the roads were open, the locals advised not using them with a regular passenger car. High clearance 4 wheelers advised. The Sky Walk is about 75 miles from Kingman, about 1 1/2 hours.. In Kingman, you head Northeast on Stockton Hill Rd ( County Road 20). It's a flat, straight, 2 lane road so you can make good time. It intersects with Pierce Ferry Rd (County Road 25), turn right and go to Diamond Bar Rd which is Indian Reservation Road 1. About 14 miles of this road is a dirt road winding up thru the mountains via switchbacks to get to the top of the Mesa where the Skywalk is located. We saw some wildlife while on the dirt road. One you reach the plateau, you have a panoramic, 360 Degree view of the Beautiful AZ Sky. The elevation is about 5000 ft. It was cool & sunny, about 65 degrees. a sweatshirt or jacket was needed due to the winds that blow across the Mesa.
There is a small aircraft airport there that's used by Tour Operators who fly customers in from Las Vegas, Flagstaff and the South Rim Airport. Small private aircraft can use it also. Excursion Tour Busses also operate from these locations. so if you're in Vegas with no car you can get there. http://www.bestamericandestinations.com/skywalk.html
The Facility is very nice and well controlled. Everyone must park in a central parking lot and then you're bused to the Sky Walk. You go into an inflated domed Welcome Center where you purchase your tickets before boarding the buses.They have plans to build a permanent Adobe style building in the future. The Sky Walk has been open about 3 years and they average about 3000 visitors a day. The're open 365 days a year, weather permitting. Prior to the Sky Walk there were facilities there and they averaged 300 visitors a day. The Sky Walk has made a big difference to the Reservations Economy.
We bought the all inclusive package that included access to everything as well as lunch. Our Senior Discount Package price was $158 for both of us. Would you be surprised if I told you there's also a Gift Shop you must go through to get to the buses??
AND there's a seperate Gift Shop at the Sky Walk that sells Items that you can't buy at the first gift shop!
Good Old Fashioned Indian Marketing!
When you get to the Sky Walk, there are posters explaning how the Sky Walk was built, how mant tons of Concrete and specially made glass from Germany was used and how well it's anchored. In other words they want you to feel safe there. It also reflects the amount of engineering that went into building it.
It was interesting "People Watching". First, They have you wear paper slippers over your shoes so you don't scratch the glass. They have attendents on the Walk. Some people had no problem going out there. Others just crept out, shuffling their feet and holding on to the railings. When I looked straight down through the glass it made me a little dizzy. My Bride had no problem. When you look off to the side there's no problem. The line of sight from the Skywalk down to the Colorado River is 4.5 miles! Beautiful Panoramic View of the Canyon and the River.
We stayed out there about 20-25 minutes and were satisfied with what we saw.
We boarded for a trip over to the area where lunch and other viewing areas were located. Lunch was served mess hall style. BBQ Beef or Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy & Green Beans, Rolls and a Brownee. You sit outside under a Canopy with views of the canyon as well as Lake Mead off in the dsistance. They have an Authentic Indian Village set up with wikiups, tee pees made with sticks and tree broughs and some Tribe Members in authentic dress. There's also a pavilion for authentic shows including singing and dancing. Back at the Bus Stop, there was an area where Indian Women were set up to sell their hand made jewelry. Prices were reasonable and of good quality
Five miles from the welcome station, on the rim of the canyon, there's also a Ranch and Lodge where you can eat and stay in cabins. They have horseback riding, wagon rides and other activities there. http://grand-canyon.com/grand_canyon_skywalk.htm
Having seen everything in about 3 hours, we headed back to the car and our return trip to Kingman and on to Flagstaff.
To be Continued.
<message edited by Foodbme on Fri, 10/29/10 6:30 PM>