The skywalk, located on Hualapai tribal lands, is the main attraction at Grand Canyon West’s Eagle Point. Grand Canyon West is remote: it will take a 3 hour drive from Las Vegas, a 6 hour drive from Phoenix, or a 5 hour drive from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. However, the long trek is worth it. Visitors to the skywalk will walk upon a glass floor, with a deck width of 10 feet, 2 inches, as they look down at the canyon floor 4,000 feet below. This cantilever bridge is made with a steel frame, and is shaped like a horseshoe; at at its furthest point from the rim, you can see the other side of the Grand Canyon 3 miles away. The bridge reaches 70 feet out from the canyon rim, and is 65 feet wide, allowing for some truly impressive views for those who choose to purchase access to the bridge.
Entrepreneur, David Jin was the original creator of the skywalk, and he enlisted the help of several outside sources, including geologist John Peck; geotechnical engineer Aaron Hasting, P.E. from Arroyo Engineering Consultants, Inc; the Las Vegas design firm, Lochsa Engineering; DJ Scheffler, Inc.; and Crux Subsurface, Inc. Safety was a primary concern while designing this bridge, as well as maintaining an unobstructed view of the canyon. The glass floor is 4 inches thick and a 5 foot, 2 inch glass railing surrounds the deck on each side. According to reports, the bridge can withstand an 8.0 earthquake within 50 miles of the structure, and up to 100mph winds.
Here is a quick video on the construction and history of the Skywalk
The bridge itself was manufactured in Berlin, Germany and then imported to the USA. It was then assembled on top of the canyon, and moved into its current location over the course of 2 days. Final costs for the bridge are estimated at about $30 million. The opening ceremony on March 20th, 2007 was attended by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and John Herrington, and was then opened to the general public on March 28th, 2007.
For a LOT more detail, check out this 50 minute special that the TV show MegaStructures did
Safety for its visitors is a primary concern of the Hualapai tribe. While the bridge can technically withstand the weight of up to 822 people, each weighing 200 pounds, there is a max occupancy of 120 people on the bridge at a time. Weather may affect bridge access. Visitors will be required to put all of their personal belongings, including cameras, into the lockers provided by the tribe, and all children must walk while on the bridge. Those who wish to take photos may do so from the side of the canyon.
The Hualapai tribe manages the skywalk and the proceeds from the 370,000 visitors that it attracts goes to the tribe. Access to the local attractions depends on the package that your purchase. In addition to the skywalk, Grand Canyon West offers access to several different viewpoints along the canyon, hiking, white water rafting, and cultural presentations from the Hualapai tribe.