Grand Canyon

Doing the Grand Canyon…by helicopter!

By: Jim Bamboulis

The first time I visited the Grand Canyon was 2004. I was with a friend of mine. We flew into Vegas, rented a car and went on an epic road trip along Route 66.

I know. A bit odd that we hit the road as soon as we landed, right?There’s a perfectly logical explanation.

We had been to Vegas before. Both of us weren’t big on gambling, more of the exploring type. We had never been to the GC and really wanted to see it. That’s pretty logical, no?

I’ve always been curious and enamoured with the American West. The mystical southwest in particular. The first time there was an awesome experience. To see and breathe it, imagine what it looked like 200, 100 and even 50 years earlier. Great time to reflect and enjoy the rugged, graceful scenery.

It took us 4 hours to reach the Grand Canyon.

We parked. I got out of the car, walked to the edge, sat down and didn’t say a word for an hour. I couldn’t shake the thought of how something like this was possible, much less created. Awe-struck by the sheer beauty and size.

I hadn’t been back until recently. And this time, I was going to explore this majestic sight a bit differently.

From the air. By helicopter.

A road trip is one thing but seeing it from above is something else. Might be a bit pricier but when you consider the experience and its value, it’s well worth it. That’s how I justified anyway.

There are several tour companies that offer trips by helicopter from Vegas to the GC. Do your research and pick the itinerary that is right for you.

The right one for us?

We wanted to not only fly over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Grand Canyon….but we wanted to descend into the Grand Canyon as well. And that’s what we did….with a few added memorable moments thrown in.

Just thrilling. Getting a bird’s eye view of one of the worlds most stunning natural wonders. Landing 4000 feet below the rim and being surrounded by the Canyon itself, overlooking the Colorado River, to be embraced by millions of years of natural history and evolution.

After having the chance to walk around and take it in, we were treated to a small lunch that included champagne.

In a matter of 4 1/2 hours, we got picked up at our hotel, shuttled to the airport, got our helicopter training, boarded, flew over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead en route to the Grand Canyon, had our champagne lunch at the base and flew back to Vegas.

Left me speechless again.

Is the Grand Canyon on your list of must-experience? Have questions about itineraries or tips on how to see the Grand Canyon in a different way?  Share the love and happy travels!

*These itineraries get booked up fast. If you’re thinking about doing this, try to book as far in advance before your trip as possible.
*This trip is one of the more pricier options. You’re looking at anywhere between $300-$500 per person depending on season.
*If you haven’t been in a helicopter before, bring gravol just in case.

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