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I going to visit the United States and its famous geographic places, such as the Grand Canyon. I heard that there are some helicopter tours are available during visiting the Grand Canyon. Is this true?

How much does it cost and what firms are noted for their services?

Do I need any documents to take this tour? Any info is appreciated.

Grand Canyon image

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Removed mountain tag because it's a canyon, not mountains; removed extreme-tourism tag because, well, it's not extreme. –  Dori Jun 27 '11 at 23:24
    
I don't know whether any tours with gliders or microlights are offered for the Grand Canyon, but if they are it might be worth checking them out as they can be cheaper and/or offer longer flights than by helicopter. –  Ankur Banerjee Jun 27 '11 at 23:26
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@AnkurBanerjee: The idea of a glider or microlight in the canyon doesn't sound one bit safe to me! –  Loren Pechtel Feb 13 '12 at 18:42
    
@LorenPechtel why not? –  RoflcoptrException Apr 2 '12 at 8:19

5 Answers 5

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I did a long distance drive about ten years ago via the I-40, and decided to check out the Canyon so long as I was passing by.

I switched to State Route 64, which took me directly to Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN), near the South Rim. There are 2 or 3 companies there selling helicopter flights over the canyon.

There are no special documents or anything required—you pay the money, they'll put you on board.

Here are a couple of operators I found with a quick search:

It looks like flying out of GCN is cheaper than from Las Vegas, probably because you're already at the Grand Canyon (that is, they don't need to fly you there and back again).

My experience: it's a great way to see the Canyon in a short amount of time. The views were incredible, and I was able to get a real feel for just how immense it is.

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Note that while the view from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is great, you'll spend the large portion of the flight flying to and not over the Grand Canyon. If you have the chance, take the flights from GCN. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 10 '11 at 22:15
    
Flown with scenic.com in the past (though not their heli tours). Good experience (but was a long time ago, no guarantees of current performance). –  jwenting Feb 13 '12 at 6:59

Yes, there are many different helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon. Most are out of Las Vegas. You can estimate the cost to be $300 USD or more per person.

Here's a sample of the view when flying to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas:

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As a bonus, you also get to see the Hoover Dam and the Strip from a different angle.

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Note that there are efforts to reduce the number of flights every year, as the noise pollution from the aircraft is a serious problem. (When you are IN the canyon, and the copters dip in the noise echos off both walls and gets really really annoying.) This means the prices go up routinely due to limited supply. While this estimate might be accurate today, this answer is unlikely to age well. –  cabbey Jun 28 '11 at 21:30
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@cabbey good thing answers are wikis that are editable and not stale pieces of content that can't be changed! –  Michael Pryor Jun 28 '11 at 21:36
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If you're volunteering to constantly check on prices and update them... then yeah. Personally, I think Dori's answer with links to a couple service providers is more maintainable. (hence why she got a +1 from me.) :) –  cabbey Jun 29 '11 at 4:39
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+1 For including price. If it changes, anybody with enough rep can tip in and update it. –  Alfred Myers Jul 16 '11 at 22:26

There are many helicopter and other air tour operators in the area:

I could go on but I think this will do for now.

AMENDED

I would suggest talking about a tour like this when you get a to a hotel in LV. Reason being is that tour operators may be offering discounts to your hotel's guests but you won't know until you talk to a concierge. Online booking is always there but discounts may not be. :)

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Wikitravel's Grand Canyon page mentions two companies:

Airplane and helicopter tours are offered by providers outside of the south rim in Tusayan at the Grand Canyon Airport, and also from Las Vegas. Scenic flights are no longer allowed to fly below the rim within the national park. However, some helicopter flights land on the Havasupai and Hualapai Indian Reservations within Grand Canyon (outside of the park boundaries).

  • Maverick Aviation Group, ☎ +1 888-261-4414. This Las Vegas-based sightseeing and charter services company offers an array of tours to both the West and South Rims of the Grand Canyon through Maverick Helicopters, Maverick Airlines, and Mustang Helicopters.

  • Serenity Helicopters, ☎ +1 888-589-7701. A variety of Las Vegas - Grand Canyon helicopter tours and private charters.

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I had a quick look at the "Grand Canyon Tour" website mentioned above, and it says the tour is going to the West Rim. I'm pretty sure the scenery is similar, but the usual Grand Canyon pictures you see in books and in posters are taken from the South Rim, near Grand Canyon Village - and that is ~150miles away from Las Vegas.

Just saying this because eventually they will drive you near the Grand Canyon in a bus and the then you get a 15 min flight from the Grand Canyon Airstrip. From your question i eventually get the idea that you are looking for a full helicopter round-trip from Las Vegas, and that would be quite expensive - you should expect approx. ~$10 per person and per flight-minute for a 6-seat Helicopter; but eventually you could get a slightly better rate at longer distances.

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