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How To Do A Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour from Vegas

How To Do A Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour from Vegas

In this article, I take you on a fascinating journey, describing details of my Grand Canyon helicopter tour and how you can book a similar one, the sights and activities you will experience during your Grand Canyon day trip from Las Vegas, and some fascinating facts about this extraordinary geological marvel.

The Grand Canyon, nestled in the heart of Southern Nevada in the United States, has captivated the imagination of adventurers and nature lovers for centuries, and the best way to see this Unesco World Heritage Site is by air.

For those seeking an unforgettable experience, a helicopter day trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is the perfect way to witness one of the world’s seven natural wonders.

Please keep reading to learn all the key things you need to know about a Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tour and why it is worth doing.

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Aerial view of gold hotel on the Vegas strip.
Aerial view of Las Vegas

What to Expect on a West Rim Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour

A helicopter day tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure combining a little bit of luxury and breathtaking aerial views.

My journey began with a complimentary hotel pick-up by limo and transfer to a heliport by the Las Vegas Strip. Several reputable tour companies offer this thrilling experience, and you can conveniently book your trip in advance. Upon arrival at the heliport, I received a comprehensive safety briefing and met my knowledgeable pilot, who would be my tour guide throughout this remarkable air adventure.

Red helicopter on landing pad.

The 45-minute helicopter ride itself was nothing short of spectacular. As we lifted off, I was treated to a bird’s-eye view of the glimmering Las Vegas Strip, with its iconic hotels, casinos, and vibrant cityscape.

Aerial view of the Vegas strip from inside the helicopter.
Aerial view of the Vegas strip from inside the helicopter

Leaving the city behind, the landscape gradually transformed into a rugged desert terrain, starkly contrasting the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas.

Flying over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Mojave Desert was fabulous; it’s quite something seeing these landmarks from above.

Aerial View of the Hoover Dam.
Aerial view of the Hoover Dam

Our pilot shared insightful commentary throughout the flight, pointing out significant landmarks and explaining the region’s geology and history.

Lake Mead surrounded by rocky terrain.
Lake Mead

Our pilot pointed out Lake Las Vegas, an exclusive 320-acre lake community outside Sin City with famous residents, including Celine Dion and Elton John. It also houses the Reflection Bay Golf Course, one of the area’s most famous courses. We weren’t expecting to see all this built in the desert!

Aerial view of houses, a lake and a bridge.
Lake Las Vegas

Breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon

As the Grand Canyon came into sight, our helicopter descended into its depths, providing awe-inspiring views of the natural wonder as we approached. The vast expanse of the canyon’s vibrant rock formations and the winding Colorado River below left me utterly spellbound.

Aerial view above high rock walls in Grand Canyon.

We landed at the bottom of the canyon, on the banks of the Colorado River, and were transferred to a pontoon, where we enjoyed a 15-minute boat ride with commentary from our Hualapai guide. It was a fantastic experience to float along the river with the mighty canyon rock walls on either side of us.

Blue river boat on the colorado river.
Colorado River cruise boat
canyon walls rising from the river.
Cruising the Colorado River
view of Colorado river from the front of the boat.

Once our boat ride was over, it was back into the helicopter to be flown from the lowest point in the canyon up to a landing point, where we hopped aboard a shuttle and were driven back to Eagle Point, where we had free time to sightsee and take photographs.

red helicopter stationary on rocks beside river
Our helicopter beside the Colorado River

We spent around 3 hours on the ground. Enough time to enjoy our boat ride, go on the glass Skywalk, look around the Indian Village and enjoy refreshments.

Back in the air, we returned to Las Vegas, making a fly-by of the hotels along the Vegas strip. With the sun shining on the buildings, it was a great way to see Vegas and the perfect ending to a bucket list experience.

Our helicopter tour lasted 6 hours, from when we took off to when we landed. It took approximately 45 minutes to fly from Vegas to the West Rim and the same on return. Allow extra time for transfer to the helipad from your hotel and a safety briefing.

Angela Price
Aerial View of the Vegas Strip.
The Las Vegas Strip
Aerial view of hotels on the Vegas strip.
Flying close to the Vegas hotels was a fantastic experience

Want To Do The Same Helicopter Tour As Me?

If you like the sound of my helicopter tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim, one of the best helicopter tours to book is the Grand Canyon Celebration – Helicopter, Boat & Skywalk.

Many canyon tours include a helicopter flight, but not all land in the canyon, or do return flights to Vegas or fly over the Vegas strip on the return home, so be careful what you book. The one above includes all those elements.

Entrance fee costs will be incurred on some Grand Canyon helicopter tours if you want to venture on the SkyWalk or try the Zipline. The Grand Celebration tour mentioned above includes entry to the Skywalk and a bonus glass of champagne before your Colorado River cruise!

Rocky gorge with river running through it.

What to Do and See at the Grand Canyon

Upon landing at the Grand Canyon by helicopter, you will find yourself in one of the most breathtaking places on Earth. Here are some of the activities you can do during your visit:

Experience the Grand Canyon West Skywalk

The Skywalk is a breathtaking engineering marvel extending 70 feet from the edge of the west rim of the Grand Canyon.

Composed of specially designed glass panels, this transparent horseshoe-shaped platform gives visitors a heart-pounding experience of hovering 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. Offering unparalleled panoramic views of the canyon’s majestic landscape, the Skywalk allows visitors to feel as if they are walking on air while gazing down into the depths of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Designed to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, the Skywalk is both an architectural feat and a thrilling attraction, providing a unique and unforgettable perspective of the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.

Side view of the Skywalk showing people looking over the edge at  the rocky walls and river.
View of the Skywalk and the canyon

Ride the Zipline

The Zipline across a small side canyon at the Hualapai Indian Ranch is thrilling for adventure seekers. As you glide along the line, the rush of wind against your face will create an unforgettable experience.

See Eagle Point Rock

Eagle Point Rock in the Grand Canyon is a striking natural formation known for its distinct and iconic appearance of an outstretched eagle’s wings created by rock erosion over millions of years. Eagle rock symbolises spiritual and cultural significance for the area’s indigenous people.

rock formation shaped like an eagle with outstretched wings.
Rock formation shaped like an eagle with outstretched wings.

Eagle Point is a breathtaking observation point offering one of the best panoramic views. To be in the heart of the canyon, looking at the mesmerising views is a ‘pinch-me-is-this-real’ moment.

Angie sitting on a large boulder with the canyon behind.

Visit the Hualapai Indian Village

The Indian Village near the Grand Canyon Skywalk is a culturally rich and immersive experience that offers visitors a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle, history, and customs of the indigenous Hualapai people. Their name translates to “People of the Tall Pines.”

Located at the Hualapai Reservation in the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, the Grand Canyon Village showcases the tribe’s vibrant heritage through interactive demonstrations, traditional dwellings, and storytelling.

Visitors can engage with tribe members, witness traditional dances, and explore the unique architecture of Hualapai homes. There is also a small souvenir shop – we came home with a hand-crafted Hualapai arrow with an authenticated label telling us precisely who crafted the arrow. It is a lovely keepsake of our Grand Canyon tour.

The Indian Village fosters a deeper appreciation for the rich traditions and enduring presence of the native people within the Grand Canyon region, making it an integral part of the Grand Canyon Skywalk experience.

Mud hut amongst desert plants.
Cacti plants in front of a mud built hut.

Fascinating Facts About the Grand Canyon

  • Geological Marvel: The Grand Canyon is believed to be around 6 million years old and shaped primarily by the mighty Colorado River cutting through it.
  • Size and Depth: The Grand Canyon is the most spectacular gorge in the world. It measures over 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and attains a maximum depth of over a mile.
  • Rock Layers: The canyon’s exposed rock layers tell a geological story spanning 2 billion years, showcasing some of the Earth’s most ancient rocks.
  • Biodiversity: The Grand Canyon is home to various plant and animal species, from desert bighorn sheep to peregrine falcons.
  • Cultural Significance: The Grand Canyon holds immense cultural significance for many Native American tribes, with archaeological sites and historic connections.
  • Protection and Preservation: It became a national park in 1919, emphasizing its commitment to preservation and conservation.
Rock mountains.

Best Helicopter Tours from Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim

There are many combinations of helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon West Rim from Las Vegas. Still, helicopter tours don’t come cheap, and Las Vegas to Grand Canyon helicopter tour prices will run into hundreds of dollars/pounds. Check out which is the best tour for you from the selection below:

I have visited Las Vegas twice and loved it, and I have flown to the Grand Canyon by aeroplane and helicopter from Vegas. Out of the two, the helicopter flight was, by far, the best experience.

My trip to Las Vegas was part of a West Coast Road Trip, which took me from Los Angeles to San Francisco via Yosemite National Park and Las Vegas.

Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my resources page to help you plan your trip.

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