Travel Tour Reviews

The 5 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

A Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride Delivers An Unforgettable Experience

Being one of the world’s most well-known natural wonders, the Grand Canyon surprises even the most skeptical travelers. Just enjoying the spectacular view of the canyon from numerous observation points can take hours. A great way to explore the canyon is hiking one of the numerous trails.

However, if you really want to take in the beauty of the deepest place on Earth, you should consider opting for the Grand Canyon helicopter tour. You can choose one to your liking, as the variety is splendid. Taking place at sunset or during the daytime, departing from Las Vegas or Arizona, lasting for as little as 45 minutes or as much as 6,5 hours, the Grand Canyon helicopter tours are available for every taste and budget.

If you are in Nevada, use the opportunity to visit Grand Canyon from Las Vegas and it will become the experience of a lifetime! Here’s some great info in Your Guide To Visiting The Grand Canyon.

The 5 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

  1. Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter Tour
  2. Grand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter Tour
  3. Grand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour
  4. 45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
  5. Ultimate 3-in-1 Grand Canyon Tour

Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

 Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter TourGrand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter Tour Grand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour
editors choice
Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter TourGrand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter TourGrand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour
Departure Point:Pick up is available from select Las Vegas hotelsPickup is available from select Las Vegas hotelsTour departs from most Las Vegas hotels
Departure Times: the total tour duration is inclusive of hotel pickup and drop-off, check-in, flight time and landing.Tour departs from Las Vegas hotels approximately 2 hours prior to sunset, exact pick-up time will be provided at time of reconfirmation 6:45am, 10:45am, 1pm (seasonal April to October)
Duration:3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Tour Includes:45-minute (approx.) flight each way (helicopter based on option selected), hotel pickup and drop-off by limousine, lunch, glass of champagne, all taxes and fees45-minute (approx.) flight each way (helicopter based on option selected), picnic meal, glass of champagne, hotel pickup and drop-off by limousine, all local taxes and fees45-minute (approx.) flight each way in a state-of-the-art helicopter, hotel pickup and drop off by limousine, lunch at Guano Point, pontoon boat ride on the Colorado River, Indian cultural performance at Eagle Point, West Rim Shuttle between Eagle Point and Guano Point, Grand Canyon Skywalk (if option selected), all local taxes and fees
Editor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter ToursEditor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter ToursEditor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours Reviews

#1 Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter Tour at a Glance:


  • Departure Point: Pick up is available from select Las Vegas hotels
  • Departure Time: the total tour duration is inclusive of hotel pickup and drop-off, check-in, flight time and landing.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Includes: 45-minute (approx.) flight each way (helicopter based on option selected), hotel pickup and drop-off by limousine, lunch, glass of champagne, all taxes and fees

This Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas has a chance to become the most unforgettable experience of your whole trip. Enjoy the 45-minute helicopter flights both ways, as well as a picnic deep in the canyon (3200 feet below the rim) with a glass of champagne, and a low fly over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip on the flight back from Grand Canyon to Vegas. This half-day All-American helicopter tour is one of the best Grand Canyon tours you can find in Nevada. It often sells out in advance, so keep in mind to book ahead.

During the flight, you will enjoy the unbelievable beauty of Nevada and Arizona, passing over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Lake Las Vegas. Friendly pilot/guide will be happy to answer any questions, while you are enjoying a picnic in one of the most stunning places on Earth. If you are traveling with family or a group of friends, keep in mind, the maximum capacity of a helicopter is 6 people (excluding pilot).

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours


#2 Grand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter Tour at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Pickup is available from select Las Vegas hotels
  • Departure Time: Tour departs from Las Vegas hotels approximately 2 hours prior to sunset, exact pick-up time will be provided at time of reconfirmation
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Includes: 45-minute (approx.) flight each way (helicopter based on option selected), picnic meal, glass of champagne, hotel pickup and drop-off by limousine, all local taxes and fees

Take this charming Grand Canyon trip by helicopter and we promise, you won’t regret it. It takes around 45 minutes to fly to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, and then, you can enjoy the fabulous sunset behind the walls of the canyon, while having a picnic and drinking champagne at the world’s deepest point, surrounded by the stunning scenery.

Watch the color of the canyon walls changing during the sun descent and covering up in the marvelous shades of twilight. While flying to the canyon, you will enjoy the view of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Lake Las Vegas, with a recorded commentary in your headphones. While you watch the sunset, you can also ask any questions about the Grand Canyon and its surroundings, a friendly pilot/guide will be happy to answer them.

And on the way back, you will enjoy the fabulous view of the famous Las Vegas Strip, covered in neon lights, as the pilot will take a low-level flight over its west side. Keep in mind, the maximum capacity of a helicopter is 6 people, excluding the pilot.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours


#3  Grand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Tour departs from most Las Vegas hotels
  • Departure Time: 6:45am, 10:45am, 1pm (seasonal April to October)
  • Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Includes: 45-minute (approx.) flight each way in a state-of-the-art helicopter, hotel pickup and drop off by limousine, lunch at Guano Point, pontoon boat ride on the Colorado River, Indian cultural performance at Eagle Point, West Rim Shuttle between Eagle Point and Guano Point, Grand Canyon Skywalk (if option selected), all local taxes and fees

One of the best Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas, Grand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour offers not only a flight to the Grand Canyon and back. You will also enjoy a cruise on the Colorado River, a fascinating cultural performance at Eagle Point, and a walk on a transparent glass bridge over the edge of canyon, known as the Skywalk, if you dare to try it.

The flight from Las Vegas to West Rim includes commentary on major sights and landmarks along the way, such as the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River. When flying back, you’ll see the renowned Las Vegas Strip, and then, the limousine will bring you back to your hotel.

Keep in mind that maximum helicopter capacity is 6 people, excluding pilot. Also, the boat ride can be canceled, due to the high water level of the Colorado River. In this case, you will be offered additional time at the base of the canyon or a partial refund.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours


#4  45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona

Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon

45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Tusayan, Arizona at the Grand Canyon Airport
  • Departure Time: Flights are available between 8am and 4:30pm depending on the season.
  • Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)
  • Includes: 45-minute helicopter flight, all taxes and fees

This 45-minute flight over one of the most spectacular natural wonders will suit your budget, even if taking a helicopter ride from Vegas to Grand Canyon is too expensive for you. This Grand Canyon tour company offers one of the cheapest Grand Canyon helicopter tours available on the market. Enjoy the flight over the magnificent Kaibab National Forest, the Colorado River, the Painted Desert, the Desert View Watchtower (the National Historic Landmark), the Point Imperial, and the Marble Canyon. By the way, the Kaibab National Forest, which occupies the area of over 6500 km2, is home to some of the world’s largest ponderosa pines. Worth seeing, aren’t they?

This helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon departs from South Rim and heads towards the Dragon Corridor, the widest and deepest section of the canyon, offering, what is, probably, the most captivating view in the area. During the 45-minute flight, you will enjoy luxury service with wraparound windows, which offer truly breathtaking views of the surroundings.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours


#5 Ultimate 3-in-1 Grand Canyon Tour

Ultimate 3-in-1 Grand Canyon Tour

Ultimate 3-in-1 Grand Canyon Tour at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Tour departs from Las Vegas hotels
  • Departure Time: Varies
  • Duration: 6 hours (approx.)
  • Includes: Professional guide, round-trip flight by fixed-wing plane, helicopter tour, skywalk ticket (if option selected), West Rim shuttle, meal, hotel pickup and drop-off from select Las Vegas hotels, all taxes and fees

One of the best Grand Canyon tours and one of the cheapest Las Vegas to Grand Canyon tours, this 3-in-1 ultimate combo is about to become your once-in-a-lifetime experience. It includes a comfortable helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon West Rim and back, as well as visits to Eagle Point and Hualapai Village. You will be offered a meal at Guano Point, while enjoying the breathtaking views of the canyon. And, if you are looking for a truly unique experience, opt for the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a walk over the edge of the canyon on a transparent glass bridge, with a magnificent 360-degree view of the surroundings.

While flying on a comfortable fixed-wing airplane, you will enjoy the view of Boulder City, Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead underneath. Then, take a state-of-the-art helicopter, for an astonishing flight of 4000 feet down, to the Grand Canyon floor. From this point, you can really take in the phenomenal views of the canyon, with its sharp astounding walls, and listen to the professional pilot’s narration of these fascinating rock formations.

Afterwards, you’ll head to Eagle Point, for an unbelievable picture opportunity, and to Hualapai Village, where you will learn about the culture and history of the local Indian tribes.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours


Your Guide to Visiting the Grand Canyon

Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours - Guide Image

Airports & Entry

Most visitors of the Grand Canyon arrive in one of the two major airports in the area – Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) or Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX). Both airports are located within half-a-day drive from the Grand Canyon South Rim, where most tours of the canyon begin.

Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN) is situated just outside the South Rim entrance, but it is mostly used by companies, which provide Grand Canyon helicopter and air tours, as well as by private aircraft companies.

If you come to Las Vegas airport, you can then take one of the great Las Vegas tours to the Grand Canyon, so you may consider this the best option for your trip. To get from the McCarran International Airport to the city, you can take a public bus, a shuttle bus, a taxi, or even a limousine. It is Las Vegas, after all!

Shuttle bus will cost you $7.5 to get to any hotel on the Strip, and $9 to get downtown. Many hotels also offer shuttle service for their guests, so don’t forget to check, when booking an accommodation. The public buses cost $2 – $3 to get to the city and head in four different directions, so you can choose the one you need.

Taxi will cost you approximately $18 – $35, plus tips, depending on the destination. And for a limo service, be prepared to pay between $100 and $200.

Planning Tips

You should promptly consider your clothing for a trip to the Grand Canyon. It should be comfortable and suitable for various activities, such as hiking, bicycling, mule riding, and anything else you are eager to try. Don’t forget comfortable hiking boots!

Also, keep in mind, the days can be very hot in the Grand Canyon, so consider clothes made of natural fabrics. And don’t forget something warm for the night, as it can get pretty cold after sunset.

Restaurants & Eating Out

According to travelers’ feedbacks, food at the Grand Canyon can be rather overpriced. However, if you are staying in South Rim and need a place to have lunch or dinner, consider Arizona Room, El Tovar Hotel Dining Room, or Bright Angel Restaurant, which all offer tasty food at relatively reasonable prices. Keep in mind, that Arizona Room is only open from 4.30 p.m. until 10 p.m., while the latter two provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner opportunities. There is a grocery deli at Market Plaza and some cafeterias situated in the Yavapai and Maswik Lodges. Also, some dining selections can be found just outside the park, in the Tusayan community.

If you prefer to stay in North Rim, the options available are Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room, Cafe on the Rim, and Jacob Lake Inn. All of these eating facilities are open daily and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the contrary, Coffee Saloon will be a great choice for breakfast, as it is open from 5.30 a.m. until 10.30 a.m., and serves only coffee, bagels, and pastries.

Nightlife & Entertainment

The Grand Canyon is mostly about sports and daytime activities, rather than nighttime entertainment. Evenings in the Grand Canyon are all about sunset and watching the beauty of the surroundings in unusual twilight colors.

The variety of daytime activities is outstanding: helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon, hiking, whitewater rafting, ranger programs, motor coach tours, mule rides, watching the meteoric showers (only available in June), bicycling, and numerous educational courses – you are sure to  find something, according to your taste and budget.

However, if you are staying put for the night, and would like to go somewhere in the evening, have a few cocktails and listen to good music, there are a few facilities, which will most probably come to your liking. At South Rim, those are Bright Angel Bar, Maswik Pizza Pub, and El Tovar Lounge. At North Rim, try Rough Rider Saloon, Jacob Lake Inn, or Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room.

Getting Around

The National Park Service provides an extended amount of shuttles, which run between major viewpoints and trailheads of the Grand Canyon. They are free and, generally, operate all day long, until the sun sets. The schedule is most frequent from May to September. In addition, during the summer, you can get from Tusayan to the park by shuttle service.

We recommend using the shuttles, even if you come by car, because some locations have very limited parking area. Keep in mind, that from March through November, the West Rim Drive is not accessible for private vehicles, excluding the handicap vehicles, whose owners must request a variance at the entry gate. During this time, we recommend the shuttle service. Buses are frequent, but be prepared for long lines, especially when the high season hits.

Accommodations

If you are coming to the Grand Canyon, you, probably, choose between lodgings and camping. The first option provides more comfort, while the latter is cheaper and feels more like real tourism. Well, isn’t it?

At South Rim, you may consider these accommodations: Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Kachina Lodge, Maswik Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, and Yavapai Lodge. All of them are open year-round, but be wise and book in advance, if you are planning to come during the high season.

At North Rim, you might like Grand Canyon Lodge, Jacob Lake Inn, or Phantom Ranch. And yes, booking ahead is also recommended.

As for camping, campgrounds are available at both South and North Rims. Advanced reservation is highly advised, especially at South Rim and during the summer months. At South Rim, you will find Desert View Campground, Mather Campground, and Trailer Village. The cost varies from $10 to $12,5 per person per night. The latter two are open year-round, while the first one only operates from May through October.

At North Rim, there are two major campgrounds: Jacob Lake Campground and North Rim Campground, both of which are only open during the warm season. The price varies from $12 to $20 per night. Outside of the park, there is a number of undeveloped campsites at Kaibab National Forest. But be aware of closures and camp fire restrictions, due to extreme drought conditions in the area.

If you want to camp in the wild, you are required to get a backcountry permit from the Backcountry Country Office (BCO) at Grand Canyon National Park. Keep in mind, there are limited water supplies in the canyon. And, of course, you are strongly asked not to leave any trace. Permits are limited and become available on the 1st day of the month, four months prior to the start month. This means, if you would like to get a backcountry permit for May, it becomes available on January 1. However, you need to come in person, as permits are not currently available by phone or online.

Weather

The Grand Canyon is the land of extremes. It can get very hot, and it can get very cold. At North Rim, the summer temperatures vary between 11-16oC, while the river temperature can get as high as 49oC.

At South Rim, the summer temperature can vary between 10-26oC, so you should prepare for anything, when packing your suitcase or backpack. And keep in mind, the Grand Canyon has extreme drought conditions, so consider your health state, before deciding to have an active Grand Canyon trip.

 

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R. L. Moore "El Tigre"

Richard M. aka El Tigre is an avid adventure traveler with extensive trekking experience throughout Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1998 he weathered category 5 Hurricane Mitch on the northern coast of Honduras. He has mountain-biked, hiked and 4x4 toured extensively in Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico. In the summer of 2004 he lived among the Kuna Indians of the San Blas islands in Panama. Today, he manages a real estate investments company based in San Jose, Costa Rica and organizes adventure travel excursions to Costa Rica. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys sport touring and dual-sport riding. Richard lives in Arizona.

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