Guano Point ~ Hualapai Grand Canyon West
The entire western Grand Canyon region in Arizona is the home of the Hualapai Nation. The Grand Canyon West airport, resort and entertainment facility are part of a modern Hualapai Nation Tourism operation that has become popular destination in recent years. The reason why is because the neighboring Grand Canyon National Park has severe overcrowding problems and Grand Canyon West offers plenty of breathing room. Another reason is because Grand Canyon West offers a more natural Grand Canyon experience that is also a spiritual one.
The Hualapai Tourism Bureau has done a fantastic job promoting the Grand Canyon West and Skywalk Experience. This place is not operated like some kind of an average tourist trap and overcrowding is minimized by the sheer size of this destination, as well as limiting visitor travel to shuttle buses within the park. The emphasis of the Hualapai Grand Canyon West Experience is on the spirituality of the natural world itself and some heartwarming cultural exchange is part of the experience.
The design of Grand Canyon West says it all. Tourists have to park their cars and ride eco-friendly shuttle buses to the scenic overlooks and Native American Village locations along the canyon rim. Trails are carved in the landscape, so the footprint on the natural surroundings is reduced. Maintaining the highest respect for this pristine environment is necessary, because the Hualapai have always revered the Grand Canyon West territory as a sacred spiritual place. It is only right that visitors do the same and this frame of mind becomes part of the experience at this majestic destination.
Guano Point is about a 10 minute shuttle bus ride west of Eagle Point and the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Guano Point is the western most location at Grand Canyon West. This area is where the Colorado River runs through the last few hundred miles of the Grand Canyon and eventually tapers off into the Lake Mead Basin. The eastern coastline of Lake Mead actually is not far away, yet one would never guess just by looking at the intimidating landscape.
The view of the Grand Canyon extends for miles in every direction at Guano Point. Guano Point is a branch of a mesa that extends far into the Grand Canyon. A conical shaped hill with a central peak is located at the end of the trail and the unobstructed views of the Grand Canyon are spectacular from the top!
Guano Point got its name from a guano mining operation at the nearby Bat Cave Mine. The giant cave was estimated to contain high tonnage numbers of both ancient fossilized guano and fresh bat guano. Bat guano is the ultimate natural plant fertilizer, so the mining venture got underway. After a short time the geologists discovered that the amount of bat guano was far less than expected, so the guano mining operation at Bat Cave came to an early end. Remnants of the old antique cable tram pulley framework and guano loading facility can be seen at the end of Guano Point.
Guano Point has full facilities on the site. The Guano Café is nice open air restaurant and every table has a nice view of the Grand Canyon. Yes, I know that naming a restaurant after bat poop is not par for the course in the restaurant industry, but things are a little bit more down to earth on the Hualapai Reservation! Guano Café kind of has a nice ring to it and people that do not know what guano is, will surely ask questions that will draw an amusing response!
During my visit, the bats were sleeping at Guano Point, but the desert ravens were definitely out in full force. These birds sure are smart and they seem to live for opportunities to taunt and tease unsuspecting bystanders. Desert ravens seem to find me wherever I go in the Southwest and I kind of turn the table on them when they fly by. I do one of the best desert raven bird calls that there is, if I do say so myself. I often send the ravens into retaliatory payback mode with my raven call and things can quickly get amusing. It is funny how these majestic birds always seem to find a way to get the last laugh!
It is easy to spend hours wandering around at Guano Point at Hualapai Grand Canyon West, because the setting is so peaceful and picturesque! Guano Point is one of the most spectacular scenic overlooks in the entire Grand Canyon and it is the last one that can be accessed by by regular vehicles in the west end. The serene majestic views are unobstructed and the spectacular scenery extends for many miles into the horizon. Guano Point truly is a great place to experience what the Grand Canyon is really all about!