Las Vegas helicopter tours

10 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours of 2022 w/ Prices

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

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 surrounding landmasses.

Grand Canyon, grand canyon helicopter tour

10 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours of 2022 w/ Prices

Undoubtedly, our helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon was the highlight of our 10-day West Coast road trip and I can’t recommend this ride enough. But if you want to fly over the Grand Canyon, you have many other options ranging in price, duration, and route. You can even depart from Grand Canyon Airport or Las Vegas, so you can find an excursion that suits your trip.

Moreover, did you know that you can take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour with a floor landing below the rim? This is an awesome option if you want to avoid the strenuous hike to the bottom or take a boat ride along the Colorado River as part of your tour.

10 Best Grand Canyon helicopter tours

To help you choose the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour for you, we have researched and compared all companies offering these tours. Considering the departure point, duration, price, and the sights you’ll see during your flight, these are the 10 best Grand Canyon helicopter tours:

  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 – 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 – The Grand Canyon helicopter ride we took
  7. GC West Helicopter Landing w/ Park Entry – Grand Canyon heli-tour from the West Rim
  8. Over the Edge Helicopter & Boat Tour – Grand Canyon air tour with cruise from the West Rim
  9. 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

In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about the top helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon. Most of these tours are offered by Papillon Helicopters, and I’ll explain later why we recommend this company for your Grand Canyon flight tour.

1. Golden Eagle Air Tour – Best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas

If you’re short on time but still want to fly 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. Your flight will depart from a private heliport and soar over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. As you approach the Grand Canyon, you’ll get spectacular aerial views of the West Rim, Eagle and Guano Points, and the Colorado River.

Golden Eagle Air Tour, helicopter rides grand canyon

1. Golden Eagle Air Tour – Best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West
  • Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours
  • Departs from: Las Vegas
  • Price from: $359

2. Grand Celebration Tour – Grand Canyon helicopter landing tour from Vegas

This adventurous Grand Canyon helicopter tour with a floor landing is one of the best Las Vegas helicopter tours. During the air tour, you’ll get stunning views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West. Then, you’ll make a 4,000-foot descent to a private plateau, where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the Colorado River, a light picnic, and champagne.

Grand Celebration Tour, best helicopter tours grand canyon

2. Grand Celebration Tour – Grand Canyon helicopter landing tour from Vegas

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West (landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon)
  • Duration: 4 to 4.5 hours
  • Departs from: Las Vegas
  • Price from: $439

3. Grand Voyager Tour – Grand Canyon air tour by airplane, helicopter, and boat from Vegas

During this tour, you’ll take an airplane from Las Vegas 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.

Once you reach the West Rim, you’ll take a Grand Canyon helicopter ride to the bottom, where you’ll board a boat and take a peaceful cruise on the Colorado River. You’ll return to the rim of the Grand Canyon by helicopter, where you’ll enjoy a meal and get some time to explore Eagle and Guano Points.

No doubt this is the most comprehensive Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas.

Grand Voyager Tour, grand canyon helicopter tour from south rim

3. Grand Voyager Tour – Grand Canyon air tour by airplane, helicopter, and boat from Vegas

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West airplane tour + landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon helicopter tour + boat cruise on the Colorado River
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Departs from: Las Vegas
  • Price from: $499

4. North Canyon Tour – Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

This Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim takes 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. Your 30-minute flight departs from the air terminal near Grand Canyon Village and includes views of the North Rim, South Rim, and the Kaibab National Forest.

If you want the best views during your Grand Canyon helicopter ride, I recommend you take any of the tours that depart from this terminal because these are the only tours that fly within the limits of the Grand Canyon National Park.

North Canyon Tour, helicopter ride to grand canyon

4. North Canyon Tour – Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon South Rim and Grand Canyon North Rim (National Park)
  • Duration: 25 to 30 minutes
  • Departs from: South Rim
  • Price from: $219

5. Imperial with EcoStar – Best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

This helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon includes a ride in an environmentally-friendly EcoStar helicopter with panoramic windows, so it’s perfect for photographers. Along with the North Rim, East Rim, and Colorado River, you’ll get breathtaking views of the South Rim’s deepest and widest crevasses.

Imperial with EcoStar, grand canyon papillon helicopter tours

5. Imperial with EcoStar – Best Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon South Rim, Grand Canyon North Rim, and Grand Canyon East Rim (National Park)
  • Duration: 40 to 50 minutes
  • Departs from: South Rim
  • Price from: $309

6. South Rim Grand Canyon airplane tour – The Grand Canyon helicopter ride we took

This cheap Grand Canyon helicopter tour is great for unique photo ops, and it’s the one we decided to take. The flight takes you from Grand Canyon Airport to the skies over the South Rim and Colorado River. You’ll also soar over the Kaibab National Forest, Zuni Corridor, and Imperial Point, so you’ll be able to snap awesome photos of the ancient formations, walls, and gorges.

South Rim Grand Canyon airplane tour, grand canyon helicopter south rim

6. South Rim Grand Canyon airplane tour – The Grand Canyon helicopter ride we took

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon South Rim (National Park)
  • Duration: 40 to 45 minutes
  • Departs from: South Rim
  • Price from: $149

7. GC West helicopter landing w/ park entry – Grand Canyon heli-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, 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. Finally, you’ll board a shuttle that will take you to the top viewpoints at Grand Canyon West, including Eagle Point and Guano Point. This Grand Canyon helicopter tour also gives you time to explore these viewpoints or take a short hike.

Grand Canyon, helicopter rides grand canyon

7. GC West helicopter landing w/ park entry – Grand Canyon heli-tour from the West Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon West, (landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon), Eagle and Guano Points
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Departs from: West Rim
  • Price from: $269

8. Over the Edge helicopter & boat tour – Grand Canyon helicopter tour with cruise from the West Rim

This Grand Canyon West helicopter tour with a Colorado River boat cruise gives you the best of both worlds. First, 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.

You’ll then take a scenic pontoon boat ride along the Colorado River before continuing your Grand Canyon helicopter tour to the West Rim’s edge, where you can choose to continue to nearby sights like Eagle and Guano Points.

Over the Edge helicopter tour, grand canyon helicopter tours from las vegas

8. Over the Edge helicopter & boat tour – Grand Canyon helicopter tour with cruise from the West Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter landing tour + boat cruise on the Colorado River
  • Duration: Tour time varies
  • Departs from: West Rim
  • Price from: $274

9. Grand Celebration Sunset w/ Vegas Strip Tour – Private Grand Canyon heli-tour from Las Vegas

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

You’ll get 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 ride from Vegas 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.

Grand Celebration Tour, grand canyon flight tours

9. Grand Celebration Sunset w/ Vegas Strip Tour – Private Grand Canyon heli-tour from Las Vegas

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West Rim (landing at the Grand Canyon bottom) + private helicopter + tour of the Las Vegas Strip + meal + sunset views
  • Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours (90-minute flight)
  • Departs from: Las Vegas
  • Price from: Based on the number of passengers and date of the tour; for 2 passengers on February 14, 2022, it is $3,179 total

10. Private Imperial with EcoStar – Private Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

This last option will provide stunning views of the Colorado River and the deepest parts of the canyon. You’ll board an eco-friendly private helicopter and fly over the North and East Rims of Grand Canyon National Park. Take in the incredible aerial views of the canyon gorges, ancient rock formations, Colorado River, and nearby forests. It’s truly the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour over the North Rim.

Private Imperial with EcoStar, grand canyon air tour

10. Private Imperial with EcoStar – Private Grand Canyon helicopter tour from the South Rim

  • Highlights: Grand Canyon North Rim, Grand Canyon South Rim, and Grand Canyon East Rim (National Park) + private helicopter
  • Duration: 40 to 50 minutes
  • Departs from: South Rim
  • Price from: Based on the number of passengers and date of the tour; for 2 passengers on February 14, 2022, it is $1,699 total

Other Grand Canyon air tours

Do you want to make your experience flying over the Grand Canyon a little more adventurous? Maybe you’d like to go river rafting down the Colorado River, or maybe you’d rather tour the Grand Canyon in a hummer. If that sounds more like your style, here are a few adrenaline-boosting options from Papillon Grand Canyon Tours.

This full-day experience begins with a Grand Canyon airplane tour over the South and East Rims. After that, you’ll land in Page, Arizona, where you’ll head to Glen Canyon for a rafting adventure. Then, you’ll see the famous Horseshoe Bend up close. The final leg of the tour includes a drive through the Navajo Indian Reservation, where you will visit Antelope Canyon.

  • Highlights: South Rim, East Rim, Colorado River, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, rafting in Glen Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation
  • Duration: 12.5 hours (1-hour flight)
  • Price from: $599
 

This Grand Canyon helicopter tour with a landing below the rim is a spectacular experience. You’ll depart Las Vegas, then fly over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before descending to the floor of the West Rim. Then, float down the Colorado River in a pontoon boat before flying back up to the Skywalk glass bridge, where you’ll have VIP access.

  • Highlights: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, below-the-rim landing, West Rim, Colorado River cruise, Skywalk glass bridge
  • Duration: 6.5 to 7 hours (70-minute flight)
  • Price from: $739
 

On this helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, you’ll enjoy a short flight over the North Rim, South Rim, and Dragon Corridor, one of the deepest parts of the canyon. Upon landing, you’ll board a hummer and take an open-air ride through the most photogenic areas of the park, including Duck on a Rock, Yavapai Point, and Moran Point.

  • Highlights: North and South Rims, hummer ride, Duck on a Rock, Moran Point
  • Duration: 3 hours (30-minute flight)
  • Price from: $324

Grand Canyon helicopter tour cost comparison

So, now that you know what to expect, you may be wondering what the price of a Grand Canyon helicopter tour is.

The cost of a Grand Canyon helicopter ride starts at just $150 if you go through Papillon Grand Canyon Tours, which is one reason why we recommend this company. Plus, Papillon gives you the option to upgrade your tour with a flight over the Vegas Strip, or even a private helicopter for your party.

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

TOUR

PRICE

FROM

DURATION

TRANSPORT

HIGHLIGHTS

1. Golden Eagle Air Tour

$359

Las Vegas

3.5-4 hrs

🚁

• Hoover Dam
• Lake Mead
• Grand Canyon West

2. Grand Celebration Tour

$439

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

$499

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

$219

South Rim

25-30 mins

🚁

• Grand Canyon South Rim
• Grand Canyon North Rim

5. Imperial with EcoStar

$309

South Rim

40-50 mins

🚁

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

6. South Rim Grand Canyon Airplane Tour

$149

South Rim

40-45 mins

✈️

• Grand Canyon South Rim
• Grand Canyon North Rim

7. GC West Helicopter Landing w/ Park Entry

$269

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

$274

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

$3,179*

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

$1,699*

South Rim

40-50 mins

🚁

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

BEST GRAND CANYON HELICOPTER TOURS

* Total price of the private helicopter for 2 people

 

Grand Canyon helicopter tour deals

Not only does Papillon have some of the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour prices, but it also has a Special Offers section on its website. Just select the location you’d like to depart from, and it’ll provide you with a long list of deals!

Grand Canyon, grand canyon helicopter tour south rim

My experience flying over the Grand Canyon

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!

Grand Canyon, how much is a helicopter ride over the grand canyon

My experience flying over the Grand Canyon

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 this Grand Canyon airplane tour with Papillon because it was one of the most affordable options. Different Grand Canyon air tours can depart from Las Vegas, Grand Canyon West, or the South Rim, and we wanted one that left from the South Rim (to fly within the National Park limits). We also chose to ride in an airplane because it could go higher than a helicopter, and that allowed us to explore more remote locations and see the canyon’s full scope.

Grand Canyon, helicopter grand canyon

My Grand Canyon helicopter tour review

It also gave us the opportunity to get incredible photos of the ancient stone walls, the undulating Colorado River, the gorges of the Zuni Corridor, and the rock formations at Imperial Point and the Kaibab Plateau.

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: 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 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.
  • Grand Canyon Helicopters: This is another long-standing tour operator that’s certified to fly over the entire Grand Canyon.
  • 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.

Grand Canyon helicopter tour FAQs

If you’re still not sure which Grand Canyon helicopter tour to choose, here are some common questions and concerns to consider. Of course, if you have any other questions, please leave us a comment, and we’ll be happy to help!

When you’re choosing between a Grand Canyon helicopter ride or 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.

That said, helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon are great too, especially if you want closer views of the canyon walls and gorges. Moreover, if you want to descend below the rim, remember that you can only do that with a helicopter. If you’re interested in landscape photography, an airplane tour may be best.

Grand Canyon National Park consists of the South, North, and East Rims, and is managed by the U.S. National Parks 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 from the South Rim. Below-the-rim landings aren’t allowed in this part of the park, so the natural environment is better protected here.

That said, the West Rim is also quite popular, and it’s the only place where Grand Canyon helicopter tours can land on the canyon floor. 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).

The best time to take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour is in the 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.

That said, a Grand Canyon helicopter sunset tour is also a good option since you’ll get better views later in the day, and the temperatures will have dropped.

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.

Also, be sure to properly prepare for your flight with sunglasses, sunblock, and of course, a camera.

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.

Happy flying!

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COFOUNDER & TRAVEL JUNKIE

Hi, I'm Ascen, a globetrotter based in Philadelphia, USA. I enjoy exploring new landscapes and creating in-depth travel guides for Capture the Atlas.

I have felt a special connection with nature and all the inhabitants of the planet since I was a kid. I am passionate about discovering new countries and especially their wildlife, but no matter how many places I visit, I will always belong to the remote beaches of Almería, in Southern Spain.

You can know a little more about me here.

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6 thoughts on “10 Best Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours of 2022 w/ Prices

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

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