Grand Canyon Helicopters Are The Ultimate Way To Visit The National Park

Travel & LeisureTravel Tips

  • Author Susan Bissonnette
  • Published July 29, 2013
  • Word count 633

The Grand Canyon is both vast and fascinating. It was carved out of the Kaibab Plateau by the Colorado River in a process that has taken about two billion years.

The canyon runs a length of about 277 miles and it is one mile deep. Parts of it are 18 miles wide. The National Park covers a staggering 1.2 million acres. Its sheer size explains why Grand Canyon helicopter tours are incredibly popular. How else could you see more than a tiny portion of this Natural Wonder of the World?

You need to see this vast chasm from the air in order to fully appreciate its grandeur. Grand Canyon helicopters that fly to the South Rim originate in Arizona in Tusayan or Sedona, while helicopters to the West Rim originate in Nevada in Las Vegas or Boulder City. There is no helicopter service between the South and West Rim.

The Rims

The South Rim is too far for choppers to make it from Vegas or Boulder City, so that is why they only go to the West Rim. If you'll be based in Vegas but your heart's set on the South Rim, consider the plane tour that comes with an exciting rim-to-rim chopper flight.

When you take an air tour of the South Rim, you pick between a thirty-minute flight or a more comprehensive 50 minute tour. Helicopter tours of the West Rim are available as landing tours or air-only, the landing tours are great fun.

Seeing The Sights

Both of the rims provide you with spectacular scenic views from the window of your helicopter. The West Rim air tours fly over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert, and an extinct volcano called Fortification Hill. A tour to the South Rim offers equally beautiful sights. Since helicopters fly much lower than airplanes, they are perfect for sightseeing.

Rock formations such as Vishnu's Temple, Unkar Delta, and the Zuni Corridor are amazing to behold. The rim-to-rim flights you can take at the South Rim take you over the impressive Dragoon Corridor, which is the deepest and widest part of the Grand Canyon. There is also a lot of wildlife to watch for since there are 89 mammal species, 355 bird species, and 47 types of reptiles that live there. You might even spot a rare California condor in flight.

The pilots on these Grand Canyon helicopter tours also serve as tour guides and know a ton about the canyon and its geology and history. The information they share makes your tour very interesting and educational.

Tour Upgrades

The helicopter tours are available with different add-ons. For example, you can go on a fun horseback ride through the beautiful landscape or take a relaxing float trip down the river. Some offer an optional overnight stay in a traditional Native American teepee. You can also opt for pick up and drop-off service by limo to your hotel on the Vegas strip. One of the tour options for the West Rim is very exciting because the chopper flies you to the bottom of the canyon where you enjoy a fun Champagne picnic. Evening flights from Vegas will give you a unique view of the world-famous Vegas Strip. Some tour packages even include dinner and a show after the flight.


Taking a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon is worth the price, but it doesn't hurt to look for the best price. Go to the tour operator's website to book your tour because you will find the lowest prices there. Just make sure to complete your purchase online so you qualify for the company's low Internet rate. Keep in mind these tours of the Grand Canyon are popular so book yours early. For the best choices in tour options, try to book your tour one or two weeks ahead of your travel date.

Most effective way to visit the Grand Canyon? Go on a helicopter excursion. Check this page for the very best prices on South Rim trips and here for Las Vegas tours:

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