I booked the Grand Canyon West Rim day trip tour through the hotel I was staying at, the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The tour company for this review was Maverick Airlines and they have a shuttle service that picks up clients at most hotels in Las Vegas. The shuttle driver arrived on time, which was an early morning pick up at 6:30am and drove myself along with other passengers to the airport which was a short 20 minute drive from the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. After arriving, we were all checked in by the Maverick Airline staff for the day trip. We had the option to purchase tickets for the Skywalk Glass Bridge. The Skywalk bridge is a glass bridge that overlooks the canyon and the Colorado River. The purpose of the bridge is to give you the perception that you are standing over the canyon. Tickets for the Skywalk can be purchased when you arrive at the entrance of the Skywalk but by purchasing it through Maverick Airlines you will avoid the long lines.
After being checked in we were met by the friendly pilot who briefed us about the aircraft. We were flown in a 9 seater, Cessna Grand Caravan 208 Performance, pictured above. While the aircraft is small, the plane ride was fairly smooth and comfortable. I also got to sit next to the pilot in the front of the aircraft. The pilot was highly knowledgeble and provided us various bits of information us as we passed the Hoover Dam and small towns. Unfortunately the plane is not authorized to fly inside the Grand Canyon, only helicopters can, so if you would like to fly inside the canyon you should opt for the helicopter day trip tour.
After landing at the airport the pilot explained what we could do. There are 2 main attractions, Eagle Point and Guano Point. You are transported via bus between the airport, Eagle Point and Guano Point. Buses arrive every 10 minutes at each location.
The first stop was Eagle Point which has two main attractions; Eagle Rock and the Skywalk Glass Bridge platform. Eagle Rock as pictured below is a rock formation that looks like an eagle spreading its wings. You get some great views looking down the canyon from Eagle Point. There is also the option for the Skywalk which I purchased through Maverick Airlines at the airport. The Skywalk Glass Bridge was the only disappointing part of the tour. You are not allowed to take anything with you on the Skywalk Glass Bridge including your own camera. You are forced to make use of their own photographers and pay a ridiculous fee to have the pictures printed. The Skywalk Glass Bridge floor has scratches on and while this does not impact looking down at the Grand Canyon its still not what you would expect to pay $30 for. My advice would be to bypass the Skywalk Glass Bridge.
Next up was Guano Point. Guano Point is where you will be served your lunch. There are many tables and chairs covered in shade to protect you from the harsh sun. A short 10 minute walk takes you to a viewpoint that provides a stunning 360 degree view point of the Grand Canyon. Guano Point is also home to the now closed tramway which has broken down after a US Air Force fighter jet collided with the cable system. The tramway was a transportation mode to the nearby bat cave.
The final stop of the day trip was back to the airport where there is a souvenir shop where gifts can be purchased. You are then flown back to the airport where you once again get great views of the Colorado River and the Hoover Dam. The tour to the Grand Canyon West Rim was great and superbly organised by Maverick Airlines. I would however liked to have stayed at the Canyon and spent a few days exploring the hiking trails, however, for a day trip its well worth the money. If you would like to fly inside the canyon rather opt for the helicopter tours.