Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Grand Canyon Skywalk: Why You Can't Bring Your Camera"

Grand Canyon Skywalk's No-Camera Rule

You get on the Grand Canyon Skywalk and go 70 feet beyond the edge of the West Rim. The views are picture-perfect. In most cases, you'd pull out your camera and capture the moment. But not here. Cameras, as you've been informed, are not allowed.

The reason? The glass. Turns out that the Saint-Gobain and DuPont Sentry glass panels used for the horseshoe-shaped observation deck can chip and scratch - especially if camera equipment strikes it.

Initially, I didn't think this was a big deal. I figured you could replace the panel much like you would a broken windshield. Not so: Each of the more than 40 glass panels are valued at $250,000 a piece, with the same material used to fashion the 5' guard rail.

The Hualapai Indian Tribe, which manages the bridge, takes the probability of damage seriously, and insists that you put all personal electronics (digital cameras, cell phones, iPods, camcorders and the like) in a locker. You are also required to wear cloth booties over your shoes.

So, what to do? Several things. The Tribe has hired a corps of professional photographers to take your picture. These individuals are insured and specifically trained to take photos under these conditions. There are also self-serve cameras fixed to the guard railing. Images from both can be purchased for around $30 each in the main gift shop.

You don't have to be on the Skywalk to take a picture of it. There's a place where you can take excellent pictures just south of the Skywalk - travelers typically pose on the edge with the Skywalk to the right of their shoulder. If you are taking a helicopter or airplane tour to the West Rim, you'll have plenty of fantastic aerial photo opportunities.


Since it's opening in 2007, more than a million people have visited the glass bridge. Today, more than 200,000 people visit it annually. The bridge is located in Grand Canyon West, a 9,000-acre expanse just 120 miles east of Las Vegas. Lots of folks decide to book a rental car and do it themselves. I personally recommend taking an all-inclusive tour. Skywalk trip costs can quickly mount if you do it yourself; package tours protect your travel budget.

There are plenty of Skywalk trip options. Bus, chopper, and plane trips take 2.5 hours, 45 minutes, and 25 minutes, respectively, to reach Grand Canyon West. The most popular route includes Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and the pristine Mojave Desert. For the best deals, I recommend that you book your tour online, where I've seen discounts up to 35 percent.


If you are looking for a great outdoor attraction, definitely consider the Grand Canyon Skywalk, especially when visiting Las Vegas. The Glass Bridge gets a lot of hype, but, unlike it's imitators, it delivers big time! But realize that you will not be allowed to take your camera. This caveat is because the bridge is made of incredibly expensive glass panels that will chip or scratch if you drop your camera. To fix this, the Tribe has employed experienced photographers to snap you picture. They've also installed self-serve cameras. As you embark on this journey, remember this: Anyone can see the canyon. It's the lucky who "skywalk" it that have stories to tell...and the pictures to prove it.


Want to walk on air? Do the Grand Canyon Skywalk! Travel critic Keith Kravitz reviews the best tours to to the bridge at: http://www.GrandCanyon123.com
Source: http://www.submityourarticle.com
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