In Las Vegas and looking for big-time thrills? Try this on for size: A 10-minute, 4,000-foot helicopter descent that drops into the canyon and carves its sheer cliffs before gently landing next to the Colorado River.
Sound awesome? It is.
Luckily, you’ll be in Las Vegas because it’s the only place where you can take this miraculous tour. Trips start at $ 280 per person and leave year round including all major holidays. The three major Las Vegas-based helicopter tour operators – Papillon, Maverick, and Sundance – offer it. Check out Papillon’s website for the lowest price. I’ve used it multiple times to book trips and can vouch that it’s safe and secure.
Helicopters make the 120-mile flight from Vegas to Grand Canyon West in 45 minutes. As you go along, you’ll see Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Grand Cliffs Wash, and the Skywalk before start your descent.
The Grand Canyon, a World Heritage Site, is 277 miles long, averages 4,000 feet in depth, and comprises 1.2 million acres of land. It’s considered by experts to be one of the finest examples of arid-land erosion around the world. It’s also famous for its geologic importance: You’ll see sections of the Earth’s crust that range from 200 million to 2 billion years old.
Keep alert for unique plane and animal life. The canyon hosts several major ecosystems and up to seven life zones – basically a landscape that would require you to drive from Mexico to Canada! Inside its protected borders, the Canyon claims more than 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 8 amphibian, 17 fish, and 1,500 plant species.
Helicopters gently land on private dirt “pads” at the bottom. Here, you’ll deplane and enjoy a Champagne toast. Light snacks are provided. You’ll have 30 minutes to explore. I suggest you hunt for fossils (the Canyon was once under a great ancient sea) or hike a stretch to find petroglyphs. You can also upgrade your package to include a pontoon boat ride down the Colorado River.
Flights are done aboard EcoStar 130 helicopters. These “birds” are specifically made for sightseeing, featuring comfortable stadium-style seating, climate-controlled cabins, and 180-degree wraparound windshields that deliver unobstructed views. Each chopper is equipped with two-way digital communication systems that let you communicate with your pilot-guide and fellow passengers. Pre-recorded taped narrations are available in multiple languages for foreign guests.
The only place in the Grand Canyon where you can take a helicopter tour to the bottom is at the West Rim. These chopper tours all originate exclusively out of Vegas. There are no helicopter flights from the West Rim to the South Rim and vice versa. The descent is the main highlight of a trip that includes Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and Grand Canyon West. Prices start under $ 300 per person and include hotel pick up and drop, Champagne, and light snack. This adventure lasts just four hours, making it an excellent day trip for thrill seeking Las Vegas visitors.
Cheap helicopter tours? Travel expert keith Kravitz posts Grand Canyon helicopter tour coupons on his site that will save you money
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