March 26, 2023

The 7 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours | Travel | US News

Note: Some tour providers on this list may have limited or ceased operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.

With its layered crimson rocks and winding Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold – especially from the air. To enjoy a unique perspective of the canyon and surrounding landmarks like the Hoover Dam, consider booking a helicopter tour. Many tours that depart from Las Vegas offer round-trip hotel transportation, making for a fun and convenient outing away from the Strip. To help you select the right Grand Canyon helicopter tour for you, U.S. News consulted both expert and traveler opinion.

Maverick Helicopters – Wind Dancer

Departing from the Las Vegas Strip, this four-hour tour takes you over Lake Mead, Fortification Hill, the Hoover Dam and more before stopping to land 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon. Once you land, you’ll be served beverages (including sparkling wine) and light snacks. On the way back to the city, you’ll take in epic views of the canyon’s rock formations before descending past the glittering lights of the Strip. The trip, which includes Vegas hotel pickup and drop-off, costs approximately $470 to $550 per person depending on your departure time. According to reviewers, the flight is exhilarating and well worth the money. Many called it the highlight of their Vegas vacation. Flights depart several times daily. Maverick Helicopters offers other sightseeing flights, including a Vegas Nights Tour and a flight to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

GC Helicopters – King of Canyons Sunset

Expect to spend about four hours away once you’re picked up from your hotel in a limousine for this tour. Once in the air, enjoy views of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon before stopping at the canyon floor for a picnic with sparkling wine. From there, you’ll take in more views of the canyon, the desert landscape and the Strip set against the brilliant colors of sunset. Reviewers give this tour high marks, calling the scenery stunning, amazing and breathtaking. Pricing starts at $519 per person. Tour departure times vary based on month. Flights are available daily. Grand Canyon Helicopters flies several other helicopter tours of both the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters – Highlights Over Grand Canyon Air Tour

During this 70-minute airplane tour, you’ll fly over the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River and Grand Canyon West, among other sights. Along with the views, you’ll also enjoy audio commentary and round-trip transportation between most Las Vegas hotels. Many reviewers label this trip as a bucket-list opportunity and laud the incredible flight experience. On the flip side, a handful of reviewers complain about poor customer service. Tours, which depart at 8 or 8:30 a.m. daily, start at $200 per person and last four hours from start to finish. An additional 3:30 p.m. flight is available select days. Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters also offers several other tours of the Grand Canyon via both helicopter and airplane.

5 Star – Grand Canyon Eagle Point Rim Landing

This 4 1/2-hour journey includes hotel pickup and drop-off, live commentary from an expert pilot and stellar views of the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and more. Plus, you’ll have 30 minutes to explore the scenery at Eagle Point Rim where you can add on access to the Grand Canyon Skywalk for an additional fee. Reviewers enjoy the tour, with many citing the fun and informative pilots as a highlight of the trip. Tickets cost approximately $430 per person. Tours depart multiple times daily. In addition to Grand Canyon tours, the company offers helicopter tours of Las Vegas proper.

Maverick Helicopters – Canyon Spirit

Departing from the South Rim, the approximately 45-minute Grand Canyon Spirit Tour flies over the Kaibab National Forest, the Colorado River, the North Rim and the Dragon Corridor, the widest and deepest part of the canyon. Along the way, passengers will soar above Marble Canyon and Point Imperial, among other landmarks. Reviewers rave about Maverick’s professional, informative pilots and say the views of the canyon are outstanding. Prices start at $299 per person, including fees and the fuel surcharge. Flights depart from Grand Canyon National Park Airport in Tusayan, Arizona, multiple times daily. Note that the company does not provide transportation to or from the airport. Maverick also offers canyon tours that depart from Las Vegas, as well as private flights.

5 Star – Grand Canyon and Valley of Fire Helicopter Champagne Landing Tour

This tour combines a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon with a landing at Valley of Fire State Park. The outing, which includes round-trip transportation from most Las Vegas hotels, lasts approximately four hours. During the 85-minute flight, you’ll enjoy views of the Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert and the Grand Canyon before landing at the state park for a Champagne toast and time to take pictures of the red Aztec sandstone outcrops. Along the way you’ll enjoy live narration from your expert pilot – a particular highlight for reviewers, who appreciate the pilot’s explanation of the park’s various geological features. Flights, which start at $499 per person, are available daily at 3 p.m. For an aerial view of the Strip, consider one of 5 Star’s Las Vegas flightseeing tours.

Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters – Grand Celebration Tour

Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the Colorado River before landing on a private plateau to explore the canyon floor on this approximately 4 1/2-hour tour. In addition to music and multilingual narration throughout the 70-minute flight, you’ll also enjoy aerial views of Grand Canyon West lookouts like Guano Point and Eagle Point. Plus, after landing in the canyon, you’ll have 30 minutes to explore and enjoy a light picnic with sparkling wine before heading back to Las Vegas. Many passengers say the experience of sipping sparkling wine amidst the canyon’s towering rock formations is unforgettable. Others applaud the professional, friendly pilot and recommend paying the extra $50 for a front seat in the helicopter. Tours, which depart multiple times daily, start at $429 per person. Prices include complimentary round-trip transportation from most hotels in downtown Las Vegas and the Strip. Papillon offers a variety of Grand Canyon and Las Vegas flights, including some that include time to explore the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

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