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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Grand Canyon Skywalk: Stepping Over the Edge

From: http://www.vivaboo.com/


Stepping out onto the Grand Canyon Skywalk is like walking effortlessly across the sky. You step out over the edge, a full 4,000 feet above the Colorado River below and walk along the skywalk, experiencing the Grand Canyon from a truly amazing perspective. Being able to walk 70 feet straight out from the rim allows you to take in the beauty that only Mother Nature can create…the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon Skywalk 3 The Grand Canyon Skywalk: Stepping Over the Edge
Image By Jonas K
The Grand Canyon itself is 277 miles long and stretches over 18 miles wide at some points. It has been a national monument for over 100 years, but its history dates back millions of years. The canyon we see today is estimated to have taken at least 3-5 million years for the Colorado River, erosion and nature to carve.
Up until 2007, visitors were only able to go to designated viewing sites and of course, travel down into the canyon (which is a life-changing experience all its own). Then in 2007, the Grand Canyon Skywalk was officially opened making the Grand Canyon an even bigger tourist attraction that it was already.
Now this skywalk isn’t for those who have any fear of heights. Although, there is no need to worry about safety, it is very sturdy and safe. The skywalk was built strong to withstand not only the daily tourist traffic, but to withstand the elements as well.
The deck was built to handle 100 lb per square foot load. It weighs in at a little over 1 million lbs with a counterweight of about 1.6 million lbs. The skywalk deck floor consists of 6 layers of low-iron glass and structural interlayer glass, which is what gives it its structural integrity while still allowing visitors to see directly below them to the canyon floor.
The “walls” of the skywalk are made of the same glass, but are only 3 layers thick and stand at just over 5 feet tall with a curve in them designed for a better viewing experience. As only 120 visitors are allowed on the skywalk at one time (even though it could handle over 800), the skywalk truly delivers a breath-taking experience.
Keep in mind though, as you walk out onto the skywalk, you will be standing over the canyon at a height that is taller than the Gateway Arch, the Empire State Building and the CN Tower combined. Enjoy the views!
Grand Canyon Skywalk 2 The Grand Canyon Skywalk: Stepping Over the Edge
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