Every year, 5 million people visit this natural treasure in northern Arizona, but nothing compares to the experience of observing the Grand Canyon from the very sky on a helicopter. Get ready for an exceptional adventure and breathtaking views of this World Heritage National Park.
1. The best helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon
Depending on how much free time you have on your trip to Las Vegas and the type of excursion you want to do to visit the Grand Canyon, here I propose two activities to make sure you choose the best experience for you.
2. Extended helicopter tour of the west side of the Grand Canyon
This tour through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado: of 4 hours (approx.) is best for those travelers who will be staying just a day or two in Las Vegas but want to live the fantastic experience of admiring this spectacular gorge almost 50 feet deep with a bird's-eye view.
What you will see
Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Grand Canyon West Rim including the Colorado River.
What the tour consists of
After choosing your departure time, the Grand Canyon helicopter tour begins when you are picked up at your hotel in Las Vegas, and transferred to the heliport where you will board the helicopter.
Once in the air, the pilot will explain the history of the Grand Canyon while you and your group enjoy awe-inspiring views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Grand Canyon West. This helicopter tour ends with a return to your hotel. Refreshments are included to keep your energy level high during the activity.
About the flight
While other Grand Canyon helicopter tours only spend a few minutes flying over the Grand Canyon, this extended tour of the west side offers more flight time, almost 70 minutes, over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the West Rim.
About the West Rim
The west side of the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon West or West Rim) is the most popular for tourists visiting Las Vegas, as it is the closest place to the city (about 180 kilometers away). This area is home to the Hualapai Indian tribe and is noted for its most deep cliffs. It is also famous for being the site of a glass-floored observation deck known as Skywalk on a cliff 1,300 meters deep.
Book in advance
This tour admits a maximum of 30 travelers, so it is advisable to book well in advance if you want to make sure there are available seats on the date of your preference.
3. Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tour with bus tour, boat ride, and optional entrance to the Skywalk
If you can spare a full day of your Las Vegas trip for an in-depth visit to the Grand Canyon and are looking for a complete experience by land, water, and air, then this 12-hour Grand Canyon tour is the one for you. In addition, for a ** 360-degree panoramic view** of this natural monument, this tour offers an optional entrance to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
What you will see
Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Colorado River, Arizona's Joshua Tree Forest, Eagle Point Overlook, Grand Canyon Skywalk (optional), Guano Point Overlook, and Hualapai Ranch.
Your adventure to visit the Grand Canyon West Rim from Las Vegas begins when the luxury bus picks you up on the Las Vegas Strip for the first stop of the tour, the Hoover Dam on Lake Mead, an artificial reservoir to the southeast of Las Vegas formed by the water collected by the dam. Here you can take the first pictures of the tour with this spectacular work of engineering in the background.
Flying over the Grand Canyon
Back on the coach, the trip continues to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon (also known as Grand Canyon West), which is the most popular part of the Grand Canyon for tourists visiting Las Vegas.
Here you will climb aboard a helicopter to make a slow descent of 1,200 meters to the base of the canyon. This is one of the most exciting moments of the excursion, where you will not only feel like one of the many eagles that inhabit this natural wonder, but you will also get the strong adrenaline rush of flying in a helicopter.
Boat ride through the Colorado River
After landing, you will board a boat to sail the Colorado River enclosed in its high sandstone walls for 15 minutes. The scenery is absolutely spectacular and certainly gives you another perspective of this impossibly beautiful place. After the tour, you will return to the helicopter to ascend to the top of the canyon and take the bus to the overlooks of Guano Point and Eagle Point, in Hualapai Indian Territory.
The Skywalk Lookout
Both Guano Point and Eagle Point are two of the main overlooks of the Grand Canyon's West Rim, but the unmissable attraction at Grand Canyon West is the Skywalk, a glass bridge suspended over a cliff more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.
From here, you will have an astonishing ** 360º-degree panoramic view**. Visiting this attraction during the tour is optional but I highly recommend it: it will just leave you speechless. Not only you will witness the unique beauty of the landscape, but you will also be amazed by the impressive glass structure built to admire it. Don't be afraid to step on it because it is totally safe and although it is designed to support the weight of 800 people, they only let a hundred people on it at the same time.
Although you can't take your own photos or videos on the Skywalk, you can purchase souvenir photos of this great moment of the trip in the gift store.
The last stop on this day trip to the Grand Canyon's West Rim is the Hualapai Ranch, an old west style town where you will enjoy a delicious cowboy barbecue lunch included in the price.
4. What to know before booking
Why is it worth taking a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon of Colorado is a spectacle in itself but seeing it from a helicopter is a very special and unique experience, where the thrill of flying joins the thrill of seeing the amazing landscape at your feet.
How many people fit in a helicopter?
Normally 5 to 6 people, not including the pilot. However, tour operators can organize groups of up to 9 people and make a distribution in two groups right before the helicopter flight.
Why am I being asked for my weight?
They need to know your weight to calculate the weight distribution in the helicopter and balance the flight.
How are seats distributed on the flight?
Seating arrangements are made according to the weight of the passengers, which must be evenly distributed throughout the helicopter to offer a safe and comfortable flight as required by the FAA.
Do I need to bring any documentation?
Yes, passengers need to carry an ID card or passport.
What can I take with me on the tour?
You can take your phone and camera with you during the helicopter tour but no backpacks or purses are allowed in the seats of the aircraft. These are placed in the baggage area and are not accessible for the duration of the flight.
Can I order pictures of my helicopter tour?
Tour operators may offer a photo service where photos of passengers are taken in front of the helicopter, which are not included in the price.
5. Other experiences to fall in love with Las Vegas
Discovering the Colorado Canyon is a breathtaking experience, but don't forget the city of Las Vegas is the main course. Beyond the neon-lit casinos and the city's dazzling lights, there is much to discover in this jewel of the desert and, just so you don't miss anything, here is a must-read: Best Tours and Day Trips from Las Vegas.
And of course, something that many people travel to Casino Town for: get married in Las Vegas!. If you've always dreamed of saying "I do" in front of an aging Elvis, here's something you and your partner will remember forever.