I recently experienced an amazing tour of the Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon West Rim when I visited Las Vegas for Lenovo CES. We went on a day trip to Arizona with Big Horn Tours and our AMAZING Tour Guide Sean. He was very knowledgeable, and I honestly learned a ton about the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and lots of information in between as we were traveling on the road. I can now say that I’ve driven through the Mojave Desert in a Luxury Hummer H2.
We left Las Vegas shortly after 6:00 a.m. PST to head to Arizona. Our first stop was the Hoover Dam for photo opportunities as the sun rose. It was BEAUTIFUL! One fun fact is that for six months out of the year there is a time zone difference. Once we left Nevada and crossed the state line into Arizona, we jumped an hour ahead in time. I thought that was cool! One minute it’s 7:00 a.m. and the next it’s 8:00 a.m. PST. The Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River.
It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression. It’s the world’s tallest arch span, can hold a massive overflow of water and its earthquake proof. You can also enjoy the bypass bridge walkway, 890 feet above the Colorado River. There’s great architecture and art deco sculptures on the Nevada side. After we took some photos and learned about the Hoover Dam, we were on our way to the Grand Canyon West Rim. We also stopped briefly at a rest stop for snacks, restroom etc.
Once we got on the road again the time seemed to pass quickly because we were sightseeing and talking the entire way. I learned about the Yucca plants that grow in the desert along with the different cactus plants that we saw. There were signs to look out for loose cattle as we were driving through small towns. We made a stop in the Joshua Tree Forest to have some off-road fun and take some more pictures. The Joshua Tree Forest is a Nature Preserve in Mohave County, Arizona.
The Joshua Tree is a spiky Mojave Desert plant found mostly in Joshua Tree National Park. The Joshua Tree Forest is the largest and densest of its kind in the world. They are so beautiful up close. I don’t know why anyone would want to damage them or cut them down. I won’t go into a rant about the senseless acts of people damaging these protected Joshua Trees during this government shutdown. WOOSAH! Once we went through the Joshua Tree Forest we were off to the Grand Canyon West Rim.
Once we arrived we checked in at the visitor’s center. We also used the restroom before we started our official tour. We were able to stay in the Hummer H2 since it was a tour and not park and use the shuttles available to visitors throughout the park. If you drive your personal vehicle, you’ll be prompted to park and will be shuttled around to the different areas to go hiking, eat lunch, take photos etc. Tour Guides have a partnership agreement and can provide tours using their own vehicles.
History: In addition to the US Federal Government the Grand Canyon is partly owned by three Indian Tribes. The Grand Canyon West is owned by the Hualapai Nation & Havasupai. The East is on the Colorado River Tribal Park on the Navajo Nation. The first thing you’ll notice when you visit is there are NO railings or guards at the edge. It’s kept in its natural state and preserved as is. When you visit the Grand Canyon, National Park owned by the US Federal Government, you’ll see barriers along the edge in certain areas.
The Grand Canyon is 6 million years old and used to be under water. It’s 277 miles from start to finish, 18 miles is the widest width and a mile drop to the bottom. There are two ecosystems, one at the top and another at the bottom. There are a little over 2,300 people in the Hualapai Tribe. They have their own police department, fire department and airport on this land. It’s quite impressive. Eagle Point & Guano Point are the two areas you’ll want to see when visiting the Grand Canyon West.
We headed to Eagle Point first where you can take in the scenic views, experience a self-guided tour through a Native American Village and enjoy a skywalk. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a 10-foot-wide horseshoe shaped cantilever bridge with a glass walkway 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon and 70 feet out over the rim of the Canyon. Yes, this chick who is TERRIFIED of heights walked the sky! I held on to the railing and stayed glued to the side most of the time, but I did it! I even looked down. Yay Me!
Once we finished doing all the things at Eagle Point, we headed over to Guano Point to eat lunch and go hiking. Fun Fact: Guano means “Bat
Shit Droppings”. There is a bat cave that used to be mined back in the 1950’s for bat droppings because it’s rich in nitrogen and very useful as fertilizer. It was mined until the early 1960’s. A few months later the cable was damaged by an Air Force Jet’s tail and it never reopened. It remains as a tourist attraction at Grand Canyon West.
We ate a Western style lunch at the Guano Café with outdoor seating overlooking the Grand Canyon West. It was the BEST view ever! I had beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, bread and water. It was delicious! Once we finished eating we headed on a hike to take in the scenic views and amazing photos. In addition to the Skywalk you can upgrade your tour and take a helicopter flight with landing in the canyon. I had an AMAZING day and conquered a fear while checking off a bucket list item!
I learned so much on this tour, thanks to Sean with Big Horn Tours. Thank you to Lenovo for coordinating such a fun hospitality event. I had an incredible experience! #SponsoredTrip #LenovoCES