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As Grand as can be


Located in the northern half of Arizona is one of the most exquisite jewels in America's crown, the mighty Grand Canyon. And, with a length of over four hundred kilometres and a width of over twenty kilometres, to call it anything other than grand would be an injustice.

There are several sections of the Grand Canyon that can be visited, each with its own unique attractions. One such section is the West Rim. This destination is close to the Nevada border and is a popular choice of day tour from Las Vegas. For those who are adventure seekers, the West Rim offers a helicopter ride down into the Canyon itself. Once there, visitors are treated to a boat ride along the Colorado River, before climbing back into the helicopter and ascending to the point of departure.

There are three main tourist spots along the West Rim: Hualapai Ranch, Eagle Point and Guana Point. Hualapai Ranch is reminiscent of a scene from a Western, complete with horses, donkeys, an old stage coach and a wagon. There is a saloon that supplies a hearty lunch fit for a cowboy. The menu is not extensive, but it's tasty.

Eagle Point is so named because of a particular rock formation that looks like the wingspan of an eagle. There are no fences or railings at this part of the Canyon and tourists are able to walk right up to the edge of the rocks. It is here that the sheer magnitude of the Canyon will have you gasping in awe. Eagle Point also has a fantastic viewing platform called Skywalk. It is a horseshoe shaped structure that juts out over the edge of the Canyon. The glass floor requires onlookers to wear a special cloth covering over their shoes so as not to scratch it. The advantage of the glass floor is of course the spectacular views directly underneath one's feet. Looking straight down is a phenomenal experience that almost gives the illusion of walking on air.

Guana Point is usually the final destination inside the West Rim. Like the other two spots it also has some unique and amazing views. There is a gift shop in this area with a beautiful selection of locally hand crafted dolls and figurines mostly depicting traditional Native American ladies. It's almost impossible to leave without purchasing a keepsake.

Seeing the Grand Canyon up close and personal is a magical experience. This natural phenomenon leaves those lucky enough to visit her in absolute awe of how truly grand she is.