Active + Adventure

The World's Highest Destinations

by Jonathan Trew

Grand Canyon Skywalk, Northwestern Arizona

High Notes: A U-shaped walkway made of steel and three-inch-thick heat-strengthened glass, the Grand Canyon Skywalk juts out 70 feet beyond the canyon's rim at Eagle Point. Look down, and it's a stomach-churning 4,000 feet to the Colorado River—that's around three times the height of the frankly snack-sized Empire State Building. The Skywalk is the brainchild of the Native American Hualapai tribe, which is hoping to lure visitors to its reservation in the seldom-seen Grand Canyon West area with the promise of a bird's-eye view (assuming the bird doesn't get vertigo). The walkway is open from dawn till dusk, and lets 120 people at a time tiptoe out over the void. Fingers crossed you aren't there when a bunch of schoolkids decide to goof off by jumping up and down simultaneously. The engineers assure us that with one million pounds of steel involved, the Skywalk is perfectly safe and able to take 71 million pounds in weight and 100-mph winds. To ensure that nobody's stilettos or trail boots mark up the glass floor, every visitor is given a pair of numbered souvenir shoe covers. The more acrophobic might prefer a souvenir parachute.

Where to Catch Your Breath: There are basic lodges on this side of the canyon, but true highfliers stay in Las Vegas, 120 miles (or a 45-to-60-minute helicopter ride) away. The Bellagio is still the peak of luxury on the Strip.

Admission to the Grand Canyon Skywalk is $25 per person; doubles at the Bellagio start at $159

Next: The French connection >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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