Meadview is a tiny town near the west rim of the grand canyon. If you can imagine the town from the movie Tremors and the people from that movie. It’s exactly this. No trees taller than a cactus. On the map it looks like there’s a lot of roads, but in reality you can just see forever with little homesteads dotting the landscape. I don’t know why (or how) anyone lives out here. But I kind of loved it. We took SO MANY PICTURES! We decided that we needed a real vacation so we took off on Thursday and really just enjoyed looking at the views.
It’s a very small park, but what they lack in amenities. They make up in personal attention and beautiful sunsets. The wifi is available, but barely usable. Luckily we had just purchased our hotspot, so we just used that. ATT signal was good at the park, but almost unusable in the town. the sites are all gravel and pretty level. The manager of the park was very friendly and helped with everything. It was a nice quiet place in the desert
We decided that Saturday would be our full Grand Canyon Day. So we got out kind of early (for us) and started driving over to the reservation. It’s private reservation land so you have to pay a pretty steep admission price. They do offer helicopter tours, but they were sold out by the time we got to the front of the line. (probably for the best) They have 3 stops on their bus line Eagle Point (skywalk), Guano Point, and the indian village (food). The food is kind of terrible but it comes bundled with the admission and skywalk package. If I had to do it over I would have brought a lunch and skipped the skywalk.
Eagle Point – Skywalk
This was our first real view of the canyon, its sort of a smaller canyon piece that feeds over to the part where the river is. The attraction is that the tribe has built a horseshoe shaped walkway with a glass floor that extends over the edge of the canyon. Which would be impressive except for two things that kind of ruined it for me.
1. They charge $27 to walk out on it. Which in itself I don’t oppose, it’s that they won’t let you bring anything in your pockets out on the walkway. They pretend this is because they don’t want you to drop things over the edge. They complete this charade by having a metal detector at the entrance. But its clear that the real reason is that they have photographers out there selling photos for $15 each.
2. Right out in front of the skywalk they let you walk RIGHT UP TO THE EDGE WITH NO GUARD RAIL. No metal detector, no safety. It’s a million times more frightening. Free* and Frightening. If I would have seen this first I would have saved my money and skipped the skywalk. I cannot state enough how there is no gaurdrail over a cliff that means instant death if you slipped.
Guano Point is named that because there was an enormous cave there that was mined for bat droppings until the 40’s. The site is impressive, you can really get a 30 view of the canyon and there are some really beautiful views. We spent a long time there taking so many pictures, but none of them could capture that sense of openness and scale that you get being there in person. But looking back I at these I can still feel it.
We drove down to the boat ramp for Lake Mead in Mead View, it’s not a very impressive point but the drive is nice. What I will really remember is how low the water is. It has to be down about 100 feet, they’re going to have to build more boat ramp if it continues to drop.
Saying that the Grand Canyon is impressive might be the biggest understatement in history. But I don’t think you can fully appreciate it unless you’re standing on the edge of an 800ft drop down to the rocky bottom. Faced with looking down into rock formations that are impossibly far away. When you see the helicopters dip down below the rim where you are stanging your brain can’t really process it. The whole experience from seeing what equipment it takes to live out in the desert then seeing the scale of the canyon really puts into perspective how tiny we are on the earth.
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