Sunday, June 15, 2008

Grand Canyon West

I can only compare the Grand Canyon West to the Southern Rim because I have not yet been to the Norther Rim. Compared to the Southern Rim the western rim is....nice but expensive. $20 to park your car, $30 to ride the bus to the canyon.

To begin with the Western Rim is located down a 21 mile side road, 14 miles of which is a poorly maintained dirt road. It is a trecherous drive and be prepared to change your air filter when you are done. Cars will pass you and leterally leave you sucking up sand!

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From where you park no persal vehicles are allowed so you have to take a bus.
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About half of the buses seemed to have well functioning AC. The other half seemed to have somewhat functioning AC. The busses did indeed run about every 15 mins so there was not much of a wait to go to the next place.

There are three stops along the bus route. The first is where the "Skywalk" is located as seen below:

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Since you are not allowed near the edge of the canyon at this point the view is much less dramatic that at the Southern Rim. It is my opinion that they do not let you near the edge(it is all roped off) because they want you to pay an aditional $30 fee to go on the "Skywalk" to be able to see down into the canyon. You are also not allowed to bring any personal items onto the Skywalk including cameras. Ofcourse they are more than willing to sell you photographs that they take of you. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate the first stop a 4 primarily because the view is very limited.

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On the plus side of the first stop there were many Indian displays of Tipis along with Inian performers.

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The second stop is MUCH better than the first as you can see below:

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The view here is very similar to the Southern Rim. It is quite amazing actually.
The second stop rates a 9 out of 10. There are no signs telling you to be careful around the rim or to stay back. Then again there is no $30 "Skywalk" either.

The third stop, while they make it sound interesting with a petting zoo, cowboy gunfights, free non alcoholic drinks and such, in reality is not very interesting. We got there about 3PM and most of it seemed to be closed down. Here you can see a few pictures fromm it:
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The dinner was $13 per person. Although we did not eat there we were told by some of the patrons that the food was indeed very good. Your choice of entrees were either chicken or ribs along with various sides. After about 15 mins at the third stop we were ready to go. I would rate it about 3 out of 10. I'm not sure why they chose to go with a "Cowboy" type set up here as it is on an Indian Reservation. I would have expected it to be more in tune with their Indian Heritage or at least "Cowboys and Indians".

To be fair it is a fairly new destination and it is still a "work in progress" so to speak. Overall I would rate the entire experience a 6 out of 10. It is worth seeing no doubt, but I'm not sure I would return to it again.

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