Las Vegas helicopter tours

10 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours of 2024

When traveling abroad, get a policy from one of the best travel insurance companies. You can get a 5% discount on Heymondo, the only insurance that pays medical bills upfront for you, HERE! 

Taking a Grand Canyon helicopter tour is an experience you will never forget. After all, observing this natural wonder from a birds-eye view is far superior to seeing it from ground level.

In fact, I first saw the Grand Canyon from one of the overlooks, and I was a bit disappointed. The ridge was full of people, so I had to battle the crowds, and it was a cloudy day, so the views weren’t that great. However, when I took a Grand Canyon air tour, it was completely different and I got to see the full magnitude of the canyon, its crevasses, and the surrounding landmasses.

Over the years, we’ve taken several helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon, but the first one, the one we took during our 10-day West Coast road trip, will be always special so I can’t recommend this ride enough. We’ve also taken this tour and this flight from Las Vegas, and now that we live in Vegas, we’re excited to see even more.

Grand Canyon from above, aerial tour grand canyon

10 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours of 2024

If you’re still not sure which is the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour for you, I’ll share my top recommendations, which range in price, duration, and route. You can even depart from Grand Canyon Airport, so I’m sure you’ll find an excursion that suits your trip.

Also, did you know that you can take a Grand Canyon helicopter landing tour below the rim? This is an ideal option if you want to avoid the strenuous hike to the bottom or if you want to add a Colorado River cruise to your tour.

10 best Grand Canyon helicopter tours

To help you choose the best helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, I’m sharing the top 10 available flights. We’ve researched and compared all the companies offering these tours, looking at things like departure point, duration, price, and the sights you’ll see during the trip. To sum up, these are the 10 Grand Canyon helicopter tours I recommend:

  1. Golden Eagle Helicopter Tour – Best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas
  2. Grand Celebration Tour – Grand Canyon helicopter landing tour from Las Vegas
  3. Grand Voyager Tour – Grand Canyon tour by airplane, helicopter, and boat from Las Vegas
  4. North Canyon Tour – Cheap Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim
  5. Imperial with EcoStar – Best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim
  6. South Rim Grand Canyon Airplane Tour – Grand Canyon airplane tour from the South Rim
  7. GC West Helicopter Landing w/ Park Entry – Grand Canyon landing heli-tour from the West Rim
  8. Over the Edge Helicopter & Boat Tour – Grand Canyon air tour with cruise from the West Rim
  9. Private Grand Celebration Sunset Tour – Private Grand Canyon heli-tour from Las Vegas
  10. Private Imperial with EcoStar – Private Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

I’ll also share everything you need to know about taking a helicopter over the Grand Canyon so you can make the most of your tour. You’ll notice that our top tours are offered by Papillon Helicopters, and I’ll explain later why we recommend this company for your Grand Canyon flight.

1. Golden Eagle Helicopter Tour, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas

If you’re short on time but still want to take a flight over the Grand Canyon, the Golden Eagle Helicopter Tour is your best bet. This is one of the best Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. The helicopter departs from a private heliport and soars over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, then approaches the Grand Canyon, where you’ll get spectacular views. We’ve taken this Grand Canyon helicopter tour and enjoyed the aerial perspective of the West Rim, Eagle and Guano Points, and the Colorado River.

Helicopter over Lake Mead, best helicopter tour grand canyon

1. Golden Eagle Helicopter Tour, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West
  • Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours
  • Departure point: Las Vegas
  • Price: $379+

2. Grand Celebration Tour, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour with landing

The Grand Celebration Tour is another adventurous excursion we’ve taken, and it stands out since it’s one of the most popular Grand Canyon helicopter landing tours. First, you’ll get stunning views of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West before making a 4,000-foot descent to a private plateau. Admire the gorgeous views of the Colorado River while enjoying a light picnic with champagne. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best Las Vegas helicopter tours, so I recommend it if you’ll be in Sin City.

Grand Canyon helicopters, grand canyon helicopter landing tour

2. Grand Celebration Tour, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour with landing

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West with landing
  • Duration: 4 to 4.5 hours
  • Departure point: Las Vegas
  • Price: $479+

3. Grand Voyager Tour, a Grand Canyon tour by helicopter, airplane, and boat

This Grand Canyon airplane tour departs from Las Vegas and flies to the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. Along the way, you’ll see the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Mojave Desert, three of the best places to visit just outside Las Vegas.

At the West Rim, you’ll board a Grand Canyon helicopter and descend to the bottom, where you can get a different perspective of the rim. Then, you’ll board a boat and take a peaceful cruise along the Colorado River before riding back up to the top of the rim for a meal. The Grand Voyager Tour gives you some free time to explore Eagle and Guano Points, making it the most comprehensive Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas. We’re super excited to take this tour this year!

Colorado River boat cruise, grand canyon airplane tour

3. Grand Voyager Tour, a Grand Canyon tour by helicopter, airplane, and boat

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon West, helicopter landing, Colorado River cruise
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Departure point: Las Vegas
  • Price: $539+

4. North Canyon Tour, a cheap Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

If you’re looking for a Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim, consider the North Canyon Tour. It’ll take you over fascinating rock formations like the Tower of Ra, Vishnu Schist, and the Dragon Corridor, the deepest and widest part of the South Rim. The flight departs from the air terminal near Grand Canyon Village and includes views of the North Rim, South Rim, and the Kaibab National Forest.

This is one of the few Grand Canyon helicopter tours of the North Rim, so I recommend it. You’ll get the best views with this excursion since it’s one of the only tours that fly within the limits of Grand Canyon National Park. You can learn more in our guide to visiting the Grand Canyon.

Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, helicopter tours grand canyon

4. North Canyon Tour, a cheap Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon South Rim and North Rim (National Park)
  • Duration: 25 to 30 minutes
  • Departure point: South Rim
  • Price: $229+

5. Imperial with EcoStar, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

On the Imperial with EcoStar, you’ll fly over the Grand Canyon in an environmentally friendly EcoStar helicopter with panoramic windows, so it’s perfect for photographers. It’s one of the best helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon South Rim since it includes breathtaking views of the rim’s deepest and widest crevasses. You’ll also see the North Rim, East Rim, and Colorado River, so it’s well worth it.

Helicopter landing Grand Canyon, grand canyon helicopter tour from south rim

5. Imperial with EcoStar, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon South Rim, North Rim, and East Rim (National Park)
  • Duration: 40 to 50 minutes
  • Departure point: South Rim
  • Price: $339+

6. South Rim Airplane Tour, one of our favorite Grand Canyon flights by airplane

If you’re looking for a cheap Grand Canyon helicopter tour, I highly recommend the first one we took, the South Rim Airplane Tour. It’s great for unique photo ops over the South Rim and Colorado River. The excursion departs from Grand Canyon Airport and also soars over the Kaibab National Forest, Zuni Corridor, and Imperial Point. During the flight, you can snap awesome photos of the ancient formations, walls, and gorges, making this one of the best Grand Canyon South Rim helicopter tours for tighter budgets.

Grand Canyon airplane flight, aerial tour grand canyon

6. South Rim Airplane Tour, one of our favorite Grand Canyon flights by airplane

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon South Rim
  • Duration: 40 to 45 minutes
  • Departure point: South Rim
  • Price: $169+

7. West Rim Helicopter Landing, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the West Rim

This Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tour is a great choice if you want to capture gorgeous photos from the air and the ground. You’ll board a helicopter from the West Rim Airport before soaring over one of the most popular parts of the canyon. Then, you’ll land at the bottom of the canyon floor, along the beautiful Colorado River. There, you’ll have time to explore the area and snap incredible pictures of the scenery before flying up to the edge of the West Rim.

The final leg of the West Rim Helicopter Landing tour includes a shuttle ride to the top Grand Canyon West outlooks, like Eagle and Guano Points. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best Grand Canyon helicopter landing tours, and you’ll even have time to explore the viewpoints or take a short hike.

Helicopter landing South Rim, best grand canyon helicopter tours

7. West Rim Helicopter Landing, the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the West Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon West, helicopter landing, Eagle Point, and Guano Point
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Departure point: West Rim
  • Price: $294+

8. Over the Edge Helicopter & Boat Tour, a Grand Canyon helicopter tour and cruise

The Over the Edge Helicopter & Boat Tour is another helicopter tour over Grand Canyon West, and a great option if you want to take an air tour and a boat cruise. You’ll take off from Grand Canyon West and fly over the canyon gorge before landing on the canyon floor (the only area of the Grand Canyon where this is possible). Then, continue on foot, taking in the beautiful surroundings.

The next part of the tour includes a scenic pontoon boat ride along the Colorado River. Lastly, you’ll end this Grand Canyon air tour with a helicopter ride to the West Rim’s edge, where you can choose to continue to nearby sights like Eagle and Guano Points.

Colorado River cruise, grand canyon tours helicopter

8. Over the Edge Helicopter & Boat Tour, a Grand Canyon helicopter tour and cruise

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon West, helicopter landing, Colorado River cruise
  • Duration: Tour time varies
  • Departure point: West Rim
  • Price: $299+

9. Private Grand Celebration Sunset Tour, a private Grand Canyon heli-tour from Las Vegas

This private Grand Canyon helicopter tour makes for the perfect romantic date night. The Private Grand Celebration Sunset Tour begins with a Las Vegas hotel pick-up by limo, which will transport you to the heliport. There, you’ll take a private EcoStar helicopter over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the West Rim. During this Grand Canyon flight, you’ll see Eagle Point, the Skywalk glass bridge, and the geological formations of the West Rim before landing on the canyon floor.

Take some time to explore the scenic surroundings, then enjoy a champagne picnic near the bank of the Colorado River. Finally, end your Grand Canyon helicopter tour with a sunset flight over the glowing desert and the Vegas Strip. No doubt, this is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas as a couple.

Couples private helicopter tour, best helicopter tour grand canyon

9. Private Grand Celebration Sunset Tour, a private Grand Canyon heli-tour from Las Vegas

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon West, helicopter landing, private Vegas Strip heli-tour at sunset with picnic
  • Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours
  • Departure point: Las Vegas
  • Price: $1,589.50+

10. Private Imperial with EcoStar, a private Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

This last option is a private helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon’s deepest areas. Take an eco-friendly helicopter over the Colorado River, the North Rim, and the East Rim, admiring the incredible aerial views of the ancient rock formations, gorges, and nearby forests. The Private Imperial with EcoStar is the most beautiful helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon North Rim, so don’t miss it.

Grand Canyon helicopter, grand canyon helicopter flight

10. Private Imperial with EcoStar, a private Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

  • Highlights: Private helicopter over Grand Canyon North Rim, South Rim, and East Rim (National Park)
  • Duration: 40 to 50 minutes
  • Departure point: South Rim
  • Price: $974.50+

Grand Canyon helicopter tour price comparison

Now that you know what to expect, you may still be unsure about the price of a Grand Canyon helicopter tour.

If you book through Papillon Grand Canyon Tours, you can find options for as low as $169. We love flying with Papillon because they offer the best rates and give you the option to upgrade your Grand Canyon air tour with a flight over the Las Vegas Strip if you depart from Sin City. You can even request a private helicopter for your group.

Seeing this natural wonder from the air is a one-of-a-kind experience, so it’s well worth it. To help you decide and plan your trip, here is a comparison chart with the Grand Canyon helicopter tour prices per person.

TOUR

PRICE

FROM

DURATION

TRANSPORT

HIGHLIGHTS

1. Golden Eagle Air Tour

$379+

Las Vegas

3.5-4 hrs

🚁

• Hoover Dam
• Lake Mead
• Grand Canyon West

2. Grand Celebration Tour

$479+

Las Vegas

4-4.5 hrs

🚁

• Hoover Dam
• Lake Mead
• Grand Canyon West
• Landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

3. Grand Voyager Tour

$539+

Las Vegas

7 hrs

✈️🚁🛥️

• Hoover Dam
• Lake Mead
• Grand Canyon West
• Landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
• Colorado River boat cruise

4. North Canyon Tour

$229+

South Rim

25-30 mins

🚁

• Grand Canyon South Rim
• Grand Canyon North Rim

5. Imperial with EcoStar

$339+

South Rim

40-50 mins

🚁

• Grand Canyon South Rim
• Grand Canyon North Rim
• Grand Canyon East Rim

6. South Rim Grand Canyon Airplane Tour

$169+

South Rim

40-45 mins

✈️

• Grand Canyon South Rim
• Grand Canyon North Rim

7. GC West Helicopter Landing w/ Park Entry

$294+

West Rim

15 mins

🚁

• Grand Canyon West Rim
• Landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
• Eagle and Guano Points

8. Over the Edge Helicopter & Boat Tour

$299+

West Rim

Tour time varies

🚁🛥️

• Grand Canyon West Rim
• Landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
• Boat cruise on the Colorado River

9. Private Grand Celebration Sunset w/ Vegas Strip Tour

$1,589.50*

Las Vegas

3.5-4 hrs

🚁

• Hoover Dam
• Lake Mead
• Grand Canyon West
• Landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
• Meal
• Vegas Strip at sunset
• Private helicopter

10. Private Imperial with EcoStar

$974.50*

South Rim

40-50 mins

🚁

• Grand Canyon North Rim
• Grand Canyon South Rim
• Grand Canyon East Rim
• Private helicopter

BEST GRAND CANYON HELICOPTER TOURS

*Price for private helicopter for 2 people

Grand Canyon Helicopter tour deals

I’d also like to point out that in addition to its low-cost Grand Canyon helicopter tours, Papillon has exclusive offers and promotions. Just go to the Special Offers section on the website, select your departure location, and you’ll find a list of great deals.

Papillon Helicopters, grand canyon helicopter tour price

Other Grand Canyon helicopter tour companies

As you can imagine, flying over the Grand Canyon is quite an experience, so it’s not surprising that there are several helicopter tour companies in the area:

  • Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters: Papillon has been in business for over 50 years and is the largest Grand Canyon helicopter tour company.  We found them to have a variety of tour options from Las Vegas, the South Rim, and Grand Canyon West for every budget. You can read our full Papillon Helicopters review for more info.
  • Maverick: Maverick is another well-known company that, like Papillon, uses EcoStar helicopters for tours over the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.
  • Sundance: Sundance has been in business since 1985 and offers Grand Canyon helicopter tours out of Las Vegas.
  • Vegas Tours: This company also operates out of Las Vegas and provides scenic flying tours of the West and South Rims.

After flying over the Grand Canyon many times, I can tell you that we’ve had the best experiences with Papillon. This company always does a great job, offering us beautiful views, safe trips, and friendly assistance.

My experience taking a Grand Canyon helicopter ride

If I had to choose one word to describe my experience flying over the Grand Canyon, it would be “magical.”

The view from the ground-level outlooks didn’t live up to my expectations at all, and I couldn’t capture the true size and majesty of the canyon. Indeed, it all depends on the time of day and the lighting conditions, but I would still 100% recommend taking a Grand Canyon helicopter tour to see this place from above. Not only will you see what a marvel the Grand Canyon is, but you won’t have to deal with all the crowds on the ground!

Aerial view of the Grand Canyon, the grand canyon helicopter tour

My experience taking a Grand Canyon helicopter ride

Before booking with Papillon, I read plenty of Grand Canyon helicopter tour reviews to make the best choice for my schedule, budget, and preferences. I also made sure to buy the best travel insurance for the USA for any unexpected situations.

We ended up taking the South Rim Airplane Tour because it was one of the most affordable options. Plus, we wanted a tour that left from the South Rim (to fly within the National Park limits), as well as an airplane so we could go higher and explore more remote locations. The tour was the perfect choice for us, and we could appreciate the canyon’s full scope.

Over the years, we ended up taking that trip again, as well as the Golden Eagle Helicopter Tour and the Grand Celebration Tour. If you want to take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas, I recommend the latter excursion since it does a below-the-rim landing. In addition, it’s a complete aerial tour of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, and it’s one of my favorite tours from Las Vegas.

Grand Canyon aerial view, grand canyon papillon helicopter tours

My Grand Canyon helicopter tour review

As someone who has flown over the Grand Canyon quite a bit, I have some tips to ensure you have the best trip possible:

  • First, it’s better to book your flight for early in the morning or just before sunset so you can get the best views.
  • Second, check the weather forecast since the tour operator may cancel your trip if the conditions aren’t right.
  • Lastly, limit what you eat about two hours before the tour. My mum learned this the hard way when she got sick during our ride. If you’re prone to dizziness, take some medication beforehand.

That said, the view from a Grand Canyon helicopter is unmatched, and as long as you follow my advice, you should be fine. Even though we’ve taken several Grand Canyon helicopter tours, we’re always amazed by the incredible landmasses, the ancient stone walls, the undulating Colorado River, and the stunning gorges and plateaus.

Grand Canyon helicopter tour FAQs

If you’re still not sure which Grand Canyon helicopter tour to choose, or you have some concerns, here are the answers to some common questions. Of course, feel free to leave us a comment if you have any other questions. We’ll be happy to help!

When you’re choosing between a Grand Canyon helicopter ride or an airplane tour, consider that airplanes can fly further and higher. So, a Grand Canyon airplane tour will be better if you want to focus on the depth and vastness of the canyon, or if you’re interested in landscape photography.

That said, Grand Canyon helicopter tours are awesome, especially if you want closer views of the canyon walls and gorges. Also, if you want to descend below the rim, remember that you can only do that with a helicopter.

Grand Canyon National Park consists of the South, North, and East Rims, and is managed by the U.S. National Park Service. However, the West Rim is maintained by the Hualapai Tribe, and so, it is a private tourist attraction.

In general, you’ll get the best views with a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon South Rim. Since below-the-rim landings aren’t allowed in this part of the park, the natural environment is better protected here.

On the other hand, the West Rim is quite popular, and this is the only place where you can take a Grand Canyon helicopter landing tour to explore the canyon floor. Moreover, if you’re interested in other attractions like boat rides, they’re available at Grand Canyon West. Finally, the West Rim is also closer to Las Vegas (2.5 hours versus 4 hours to the South Rim), so take that into account.

The best time for a Grand Canyon helicopter tour is early morning when the desert and the canyon’s rock formations have an intense reddish glow. There will also be less turbulence in the morning, and it won’t be as hot or hazy outside.

As an alternative, you can take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour at sunset. You’ll get some very nice views, and the temperatures will be cooler than they are during the day.

The price of a Grand Canyon helicopter tour can be as low as $169 per person. However, the cost depends on factors like the duration of the flight, the aircraft, and any extra activities you do during the tour, so some excursions exceed $1,000.

Flying over the Grand Canyon is a memorable and worthwhile experience, so if you have a limited budget, I suggest an airplane tour. This is a cheaper option, but the views are just as beautiful. You can see how we organized our budget to travel along the West Coast in 10 days to see how we managed to do a Grand Canyon airplane tour without splashing out.

Yes! If you’re going to be traveling in the summer, I recommend booking your Grand Canyon helicopter ride at least one month in advance. We traveled in August and had to carefully plan our itinerary to get to the Grand Canyon on the particular day that had an available spot.

It’s a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants, as well as comfortable closed-toe shoes. Also, you’ll want to protect yourself from the strong desert sun with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Of course, don’t forget to bring your camera!

Yes! There is nothing quite like soaring over such a massive natural structure. Flying over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter with panoramic windows helps you see all the crevasses, gorges, and walls of the canyon. Plus, the views are much better than they are from the ground, where people are often crowding the outlooks.

I hope you feel better prepared to find the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour for your budget, preferences, and travel dates. If you have any other questions, leave them below, and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Enjoy your Grand Canyon flight!

Share with your friends










Submit

CHIEF ADVENTURER, TRAVEL GURU, AND MASTER PLANNER AT CAPTURE THE ATLAS
Hey there, I'm Ascen, your personal trip planner on a mission to help you craft the most incredible adventure of your life. While I'm based in Las Vegas, you won't find me there often. As a full-time traveler, I'm always on the go, exploring new destinations and capturing the world through my lens. From the enchanting shores of Almeria, Spain, where I grew up, to the far reaches of the globe, I'm here to provide you with detailed travel guides and practical tips to make your trip planning a breeze. Find out more about me here.
Don't miss out...

8 replies on “10 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours of 2024

  1. Chris Meyer says:

    Thank you for the info. We will be speeding thru the NPs in Utah late June. Then from Zion to Grand Cnyn n Vegas. I’m trying to work out logistics of seeing Gr Cnyn. Considering driving to Vegas then taking the helo from there to the canyon

  2. unggit tjitradjaja says:

    Hello!
    Thank you for posting and sharing your experience.
    On the Helicopter and/or Airplane tour, is the ‘Seat Assignment’ a concern?
    My family (wife, 3 kids and I) had the Heli [tour] experience at the Canadian Rocky Mountain.
    One kid sat in the front with the Pilot. The rest sat in the back BUT, we’re face-2-face:
    2 facing front, 2 facing back.
    The ones facing back did NOT get to see what the ‘frontal’ passengers did, bad experience.
    This time, it’ll be just my wife and I. We prefer Heli tour. What is your suggestion.
    Thank you in advanced.
    Unggit & Piyanut – Buffalo, NY

    • Ascen says:

      Hi Unggit,

      At the airplane tours, everyone gets the same stunning views. On the helicopter tour, you can pay to have a front seat next to the pilot. We paid for that in our last helicopter tour to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas last month and it was worthy!

      But I think you will enjoy the tour even if you don’t get that seat since no one in the helicopter is facing back. Are you taking the tour from the Grand Canyon South Rim terminal or from Las Vegas? I can recommend you which is the one I have like the most so far!

      Ascen

  3. Kurt S. says:

    Best experience in my life. I took the helicopter tour from Grand Canyon South Rim. Next time I will do the landing tour from West Rim.

  4. Sylviana says:

    Thank you very much for recommend those tours. I spent only one day in Las Vegas and decided to take the Grand Celebration tour thanks to your post. It was amazing. I am so glad I found you blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.