We Go Zip’ing
The Hualapai Indians, owners of the Grand Canyon West, home of the Skywalk, recently added a zip line to their attraction and invited some tour guides and operators out to try it out. I had never been on a zip line so I volunteered. Why Not?
If you have ever been out to the West Rim, you know they have three main parts to their tour. You stop at the Hualapai Ranch, Eagle Point, and Guano Point. The Zip Line is located at the Hualapai Ranch and sits out at what is known as QuarterMaster Point. When I started to do tours to the West Rim, before the Skywalk, this is where we would take out guests for picnic lunch. A beautiful, but rugged overlook into the canyon and a view of the Colorado River. Plus a side canyon where we would often see bighorn sheep and hawks all around.
So after they suited us up, gave us an introduction to the equipment as well as the guides who would be with us, showing us what to do when we come to the end and all that stuff, they loaded us up on a van and headed out to the first tower. The Zipline is a two-part adventure. The staff was always helpful and considerate, letting us know what they were doing and how safe the equipment is for us with a few fears of, well, falling!
The first line will send you over 1,100 feet (335 meters) to the other side, takes about thirty seconds and goes over the side canyon. Giving you a view of the ranch as well as some of the taller peaks on the distant North Rim. Thirty seconds sounds short, but when you are out there, hanging by a few cables and straps, it was enough to get used to the surroundings and take in the raw beauty as the cold air blew past your helmet head.
It was February morning, meaning windy and cold. My phone app said 39 degrees F/ 3 degrees C, not counting any wind chill. Yea, that’s’ cold. Normally I would have expected to see some wildlife below. But even they were smart enough to be someplace warmer! Yet, there we were, soaring over the open canyon below. Looking at the rough rocks, deep crevasses with varied desert vegetation, and mesa’s as far as the eye can see. The Grand Canyon never disappoints in its beauty and spectacular views, no matter the weather.
After coming to a soft halt and being unhooked by the kindly crew admiring our looks of frozen joy, they pointed us and our gear to the next tower. This one would take us the farthest and over the largest part of the side canyon. Looking down to the end tower 2,100 feet (640 meters) away, I was actually looking forward to this stretch and not having any fear of not completing this alive.
As they radioed to the team below they were about to release us, the wheels started to spin us down the canyon, I was appreciating the beauty of the canyon as well as the thrill of the flite. I can only imagine how beautiful this will look in the spring or fall as the vegetation sneaks out of its hibernation and draws out the wildlife below.
Once unhooked on the end, we waited a short time for the pickup vehicle. Getting a few minutes to look back over the canyon and back up to watch the next group of adventure seekers heading down the line. On the return vehicle, they do stop along the route to let you get a better view of the actual Grand Canyon before bringing us back to the beginning point at the ranch. I always missed taking my tour groups to Quartermaster Point once they closed it off after the Skywalk opened. So it was nice to see it again.
From start to finish, from when you sign the waiver and get suited up to the time you get unbuckled and are back at the ranch, they say is about 25 minutes. It was a great way to wake up and feel energized, I can say that. As a first time Zipline’r, I can say I enjoyed the event, loved the people who were helping and would do it again in a heartbeat. They were always professional, knowledgeable and got those of us with fears of flying, rest, relax, and let them do the work and worry.
Please Note: Grand Canyon West is not part of the Grand Canyon National Park and requires a fee to enter.
- Grand Canyon West is about a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas
Click for Google Maps
- Detours of Las Vegas offers daily tours to the West Rim.
You get a 10% discount with promo code “TVT”
Driving? Arizona is in a different time zone and does not follow daylight savings time.
If you do drive, be warned you will drive through the town of Dolan Springs.
The Speed Limit in Dolan Springs is 25 MPH, not 26!
Seriously, watch your speed and there is a school zone.
- Cost of Zipline is $44 in addition to West Rim Ticket Price
- Weight limit minimum of 90 pounds/40.8 Kg
- Weight limit maximum of 275 pounds/124.7 kg
- Detours of Las Vegas Grand Canyon West Rim Tour
You get a 10% discount with promo code “TVT”
- Need a new action Camera? GoPro 6 on Amazon
Disclosure: As a member of the tourism community, I was offered complimentary admission and ticket to Zipline with no expectations. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.