Grand Canyon Skywalk

Status: Real
image My wife emailed me this image, wondering if it was real. Yes, it's real. I think it's been circulating around for a while. It's one of those once-in-a-blue-moon kind of emails in which all the information is actually correct:

New Grand Canyon Sky walk
* Scheduled to open Jan. 1, 2006 Hualapai Indian Reservation
* Juts about 70 feet into the canyon, 4000 ft above the Colorado River
* Will accommodate 120 people comfortably
* Built with more than a million pounds of steel beams, and includes dampeners that minimize the structure's vibration.
* Designed to hold 72 million pounds, withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake 50 miles away, and withstand winds in excess of 100 mph
* The walkway has a glass bottom and sides...four inches thick

A hi-res version of the image (which is a drawing, not a photograph) can be found at I'm not sure I could go on this skywalk. I don't consider myself afraid of heights, but the last time I was at the Grand Canyon I had a lot of trouble getting too close to the edge without feeling sick to my stomach.


Posted on Thu Nov 03, 2005


If it is real you would not catch me up there!.
Posted by Iridium  in  Middlesbrough  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  12:53 AM
Well, I'd do it. Not actually any more dangerous then walking over a bridge, if the architecture is done right. I'm sure native americans have to pass code too, right?
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  05:35 AM
And of course the image isn't actually real (viewing it large demonstrates that) but is just an example of what they're building.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  05:36 AM
Designed to hold 72 "million" pounds? Must be a misprint.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  09:39 AM
It's ironic that the Hualapai say they are trying to show people the "untouched beauty" of their part of the canyon, and to do so they are going to deface it with this eyesore!

If it looks anything like the drawing, you won't catch me on that thing, either. It may be perfectly safe, but it would scare the bejabbers out of me.

Citizen Premier, if this is reservation land, there may not be any building codes at all in force. Even in (non-reservation) unincorporated areas of most states, there are no building codes to speak of. And Native American tribal governments are free of most state and federal regulations. That's why a lot of corporations are trying to locate some of the dirtiest industries, like nuclear materials processing and toxic waste dumps, on reservations.
Posted by Big Gary, retreating faster  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  11:13 AM
Hey grand canyon! can you hear me under all those law suits? man, one guy thinks it's funny to bring a baseball bat and beat the glass till it cracks it all falls down, and what if it isn't sturdy enough?

My question is, how do they build something like that without killing anybody?
Posted by Blood For Nothing  in  Somewhere in the Arctic  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  12:51 PM
Captain Al, you're right. How could it hold 72 million pounds? That would be like the weight of half a million people. That's absurd. But if it's a misprint, then many papers have reproduced the misprint.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  12:56 PM
"... man, one guy thinks it's funny to bring a baseball bat and beat the glass till it cracks ..."

If that glass is really four inches thick, you'd need more like a jackhammer to break it.

But if the bottom of the walkway is glass, won't people be slipping and sliding all over it (especially on rainy days and dewy mornings)?
You could roughen up the glass, of course, or stick rubber treads to it or whatever, but then it wouldn't be transparent anymore, so why bother using glass in the first place?
Posted by Big Gary in Utopia  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  04:37 PM
I work in the bridge industry and have saw the designs for this a few months back. I'm also scared to death of heights but I would go on this without hesitation. If anything, they have over-built it and spent a lot more money than necessary.
Posted by Craig  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  05:52 PM
have seen

Posted by Craig  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  05:59 PM
You know, I get the same feeling standing right on the edge of the falls, a couple of feet away (if that) bye the railing. I love Niagra, but it freaks me the fark out!
Posted by Angie  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  07:13 PM
Not a chance. Even if it is built super well, you wouldn't catch me on it.
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  11:57 PM
* Designed to hold 72 million pounds, withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake 50 miles away, and withstand winds in excess of 100 mph

It seems weird that it could hold 72 million lbs but if there were an earthquake it would only withstand an 8.0. Well, I would figure that 72 million lbs should be equal to a 9.5 or more.
????I don't know.
Posted by Beauty  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  01:02 AM
I'm worried that Alex's wife had to e-mail it to him. Aren't they speaking? Or is it just that she couldn't wait till he got home?
Posted by Mr Henderson  in  UK  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  09:03 AM
Maybe Mrs. Alex is on a business trip somewhere.
Posted by Big Gary, a little dizzy at this height  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  11:02 AM
This is such a terrible idea (and I'm not just saying this because I'd be shitting my pants if I ever walked on that thing). Why not just build a friggin' hotel on top of Mount Everest while you're at it??
Posted by Elizabeth  in  Austin, TX  on  Sun Nov 06, 2005  at  08:03 PM
I found another link to info about it, and supposedly they're supposed to be charging the visitors $25 to go on it. Seems a bit steep to have your willie scared off.
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Mon Nov 07, 2005  at  10:59 AM
Well, four inches of glass is *VERY* durable, especially if the panels are small. Square surface area, etc. One inch is used on armored cars. Two inches would be enough to support a dance club comfortably. Three is nigh-indestructable. I'd have no problem walking on four inches, even above a giant canyon.

Mind, I wouldn't want to be the *first*...

Besides, then you can always make fun of your mother for saying "If your friends walked off a cliff..."
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Mon Nov 07, 2005  at  11:35 PM
Mr. Henderson, my wife was the one at work. I was sitting at home.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Nov 18, 2005  at  08:44 AM
This looks awsome. Why not see the canyon from a birds eye view. Everyone thats talking it down are just a bunch of pussies and complainers. tongue wink
Posted by Gab  in  New York  on  Mon Dec 05, 2005  at  02:21 PM
I am going to this part of the canyon this weekend. If this thing is there and open I will be taking the walk.
Posted by Nate  in  Las Vegas  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  11:26 AM
Oh My Gosh......This thing is AWESOME !!! I can't wait 'til I can walk out on this thing. I just called them this morning 12-30-05 and they said that it it wouldn't be open until late 2006. I wonder if they allow parachutes? big surprise
Posted by David C.  in  Phoenix, AZ  on  Fri Dec 30, 2005  at  10:43 AM
so disappointed to hear sky walk not open yet. will be in nevada in feb and was really looking forward to "the walk"
Posted by Susan S  in  Oneonta, NY  on  Sat Jan 07, 2006  at  05:34 AM
wierd that almost a month after the walk was supposed to order, there are still NO pictures of it other than the artists renderings.

I was planning a trip out to the Grand Canyon for this summer, and someone suggested that this project might have gotten stalled somehow.

Has ANYONE actually seen ths thing??
Posted by Katy  in  Cville GA  on  Sat Jan 28, 2006  at  05:25 PM
Like many projects of this magnitude the Skywalk is making slow progress.The glass flooring will be just under 3" thick. Each floor panel will be 48" x 100".The side glass will be 1" Thick. Like any public project the skywalk is being built with a safety factor of 4.
Posted by Tom  in  Mesa  on  Thu Feb 09, 2006  at  10:55 PM
I don't like heights but just want to go see this dang thing.. It would scare the be-jesus out of me thats for sure
Posted by nancy  in  Pennsylvania  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  01:00 PM
Sure wish it was open before this summer though. :(

We are looking at other options, overlooks, etc, but nothing even close to this.

Well, Havasu Falls sounded cool, but the 10 mile hike EACH WAY was a bit of a turn off.

Guess it is the Grand Canyon Railroad for us.
Posted by Katy  in  Cville GA  on  Tue Feb 21, 2006  at  03:55 PM
Why isn't there a real photo of the walkway? Is this thing for real? And if it is, can they really charge $25.00 per person to walk on it? How ridiculous....The Grand Canyon is spectacular enough. What about bird poop? Who wants to clean that? And how will they clean the underside of the glass? YIKES!!
Posted by Kirsten  in  Puyallup, WA  on  Thu Feb 23, 2006  at  04:40 PM
Maybe the $25.00 IS for cleaning the bird poop? lol rolleyes
Posted by nancy  in  Pennsylvania  on  Thu Feb 23, 2006  at  04:49 PM
Kristen, there's no photo of it because it hasn't been finished yet. If you check the site that has been linked to in the main post, you'll see that it's not scheduled to open until the end of the year.
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Thu Feb 23, 2006  at  05:04 PM
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