Looking for a unique way to explore one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders? I’ve written a complete guide to the best Grand Canyon helicopter tours for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
It’s not exactly a secret that the Grand Canyon is magical from the ground, so imagine how wonderful it is exploring from above?
I’ll give you a clue: It’s pretty darn special.
In fact, 6 million tourists make their way to see this geographical anomaly every year without fail. But, while many flock here for the stunning hikes and slot canyon tours, those who know this desert oasis’ true beauty choose to see it from the sky.
A helicopter tour is one of the best ways to see the Grand Canyon and appreciate its scale.
Nothing will leave you quite as awe-struck as a helicopter flight over Grand Canyon – buckle up as I take you through some of my favourite options.
Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours
Grand Canyon: Helicopter Ride and Optional Hummer Tour
Let’s kick off with the bougiest of rides – this helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon flies over the South Rim, where the gorge reaches its deepest. I took this tour on my most recent visit to the Grand Canyon and it really delivered on its promise.
Zoom over the lush Kaibab National Forest, with its towering ponderosa and pinyon pine trees, and gawk at the widest part of the South Rim.
Whilst heading to the North Rim, you’ll get scenic views of the Colorado River as it cuts through the red-rock mountains. Look out for the 1,868-metre Tower of Ra and the Vishnu Schist with its exposed basement rocks.
After flying past the Dragon Corridor, the tour continues with an optional guided hummer ride at sunset.
If you continue (and you totally should), an expert guide will lead you to three or four of the park’s most idyllic viewpoints – depending on time – where you’ll see breathtaking vistas of the red and orange kaleidoscopic sunset.
Las Vegas: Grand Canyon West Rim Tour With Hoover Dam Stop
In Vegas for a few days? Treat yourself to a luxe tour.
Marvel at the least visited part of the gorge with this Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas. With just over a million people visiting the West Rim annually, this Grand Canyon hidden gem is slowly gaining traction.
The West Rim has a lot going for it. Apart from the incredible horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge with a glass walkway, aptly named the Skywalk, you’ll also find a gateway into the world of the Hualapai Tribe.
The tour begins in Las Vegas, where you’ll get picked up via private transfer. You’ll stop by the iconic Hoover Dam, where you can take snaps that’ll make all the San Andreas fans jealous.
Once you reach the West Rim, you’ll explore the tribal village and Hualapai Market before taking to the skies. Ensure you grab a bite at the Skywalk cafe before soaring over Eagle Point and Guano Point.
Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour With Champagne
Another Vegas option, but this time with booze. Oh yeah!
This scenic helicopter ride ends with a tasty glass of champagne at the bottom of the canyon while overlooking the Colorado River. ‘Nuff said.
After pick up from your Las Vegas hotel, you’ll enjoy a thrilling ride over an extinct volcano, Fortification Hill, Hoover Dam, and the artificial Lake Mead. Spend 30 minutes on the canyon floor, sipping bubbly champagne and treating yourself to delicious snacks.
Once you’ve quaffed plenty of champagne, you’ll continue the tour to the stunning Black Canyon before heading back to Las Vegas.
Grand Canyon Dancer Helicopter Tour From Tusayan, Arizona
If you don’t have much time in the Grand Canyon or are simply at the tail-end of your ultimate California road trip, this 25-minute helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon is for you.
Fly over the 6,500 km² Kaibab National Forest and the picturesque Dragon Corridor in a state-of-the-art ECO-Star helicopter. The chopper features leather seats and expansive wraparound windows, giving you uninterrupted canyon views.
Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour from Las Vegas with VIP Skywalk and Pontoon Boat Ride
Remember those quirks and features I mentioned? This Las Vegas to Grand Canyon helicopter tour includes VIP admission to the daring Skywalk and a boat ride along the Colorado River.
If seeing the gorge from the skies doesn’t quite cut it for you, this tour combines the bird’s eye view experience with a thrilling river excursion. Your tour begins with a helicopter flight from Las Vegas over the Hoover Dam and the lush Grapevine Mesa Joshua Trees.
Once you reach the West Rim, you’ll land and hop aboard the pontoon boat for a fast-paced tour traversing the Colorado River. End your trip with skip-the-line tickets and VIP access to the Skywalk, where you must take photos of the sandstone walls.
From South Rim: Grand Canyon Spirit Helicopter Tour
If you’re staying in the South Rim area, this is probably my top recommendation. This helicopter ride in the Grand Canyon blesses you with views of the kaleidoscopic Painted Desert.
Catch your ride at Grand Canyon Airport at Tusayan, then make your way over the Kaibab National Forest towards the South Rim. Gradually see the South Rim descend, and while you climb up the North Rim, you’ll see the incredible Marble Canyon and Point Imperial (the highest point on both rims, FYI).
Focus your eyes on the horizon, as this is where you’ll catch stunning views of the Painted Desert and the Hopi Indian-designed Desert View Watchtower.
Las Vegas Guided Kayak Tour & Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
Although I think seeing the Grand Canyon from the sky is the best way to see it, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in some other excursions, like kayaking. This Grand Canyon helicopter tour From Vegas begins at Willow Beach.
Hop on to your kayak at Willow Beach Marina and begin your tour navigating the Colorado River. Keep your eyes peeled for aquatic and desert birdlife near the river, and explore the picturesque Emerald Cove before hopping on your flight.
Fly over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the scenic Mojave Desert before reaching the West Rim, where you’ll continue flying above and under the rim for 48 km.
Grand Canyon Helicopter Air Tour (Non-Landing)
If you’ve seen enough of the park, thanks to your carefully crafted Grand Canyon itinerary, this non-landing helicopter tour is perfect for you. Upon arrival on the West Rim, you’ll get a safety briefing and hop on to the chopper.
Enjoy around 75 minutes of flying over Hoover Dam, the volcanic Black Mountains, and the Grapevine Mesa before crossing the Grand Wash Cliffs into Grand Canyon West. Below you’ll catch glimpses of the world-famous Skywalk Bridge and Colorado River – truly some mouth-agape sights.
Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Tour & Helicopter Landing Experience
This is one of the best Grand Canyon helicopter tours from Las Vegas – the tour takes off with four hours of activities at the Hualapai Reservation.
Once in the air, catch sights of Hoover Dam, the 900-year-old Joshua Tree Forest National Park, Eagle Point and Guano Point.
Who knew that all that oohing and aahing works up quite the appetite? Land to grab lunch and an opportunity to walk along the glass bridge at the Skywalk.
Explore the Native American village and get some authentic handmade Indian jewellery and crafts as souvenirs before returning to Las Vegas.
Grand Canyon West Rim Cabin and Helicopter Tour From Las Vegas
This Vegas Grand Canyon helicopter tour combines a thrilling ride over the gorge with an overnight stay at a Western-style cabin on the West Rim. Go on – treat yo’self!
Get picked up from your Las Vegas hotel to the heliport. From there, the helicopter flies over Hoover Dam, extinct volcanoes, and the stunning Mojave Desert.
Once you reach the West Rim, the pilot provides you with interesting facts about the history and culture of the region – and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have an abundance of questions for them. Afterwards, you’ll head to the Grand Canyon West Hualapai Ranch Cabin for a delicious dinner and a relaxing night’s rest.
The next day is all about exploring the West Rim. After breakfast, get on the hop-on-hop-off shuttle that takes you from the Hualapai Ranch to Eagle Point – home to the world-famous Grand Canyon West Skywalk.
Explore the Native American Village before heading to Guano Point and then back to the Hualapai Ranch for a fascinating gunfight. Fingers crossed that you may even get to hop on a wagon ride.
Practical Tips for Booking a Helicopter Tour of the Grand Canyon
- If you’re nervous about flying, book a shorter tour to ease you into things – you can also speak to the pilot, who will be able to put your mind at ease.
- If you can, pay the extra money for the seat upfront, and get the best views. Bring your travel camera to take snaps at the many viewpoints and stops along the tour.
- Have cash on hand, as most of the Grand Canyon helicopter tours do not include admission to the Skywalk.