A trip to Las Vegas can be made complete by adding a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. A recent trip to Las Vegas included a trip with Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters.
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters offers several different tour packages, but unsure of my comfort level, I chose the shorter of the tours, the Golden Eagle Air with Vegas Strip tour.
We were transported from our hotel on the strip to the airport in Las Vegas where we boarded an EcoStar EC 130 helicopter. Little did I know, my husband slipped a little extra to the pilot and this bought us front row seats. The helicopter was built with windows that provided a 180 degree view as we flew through the canyon. Our front row seat enhanced that view, providing an even greater viewing area. There was plenty of room for the six passengers and the pilot.
Our flight lasted a little over two hours and all the while we wore headphones in order to communicate with the pilot and other passengers. Our pilot was very professional and provided an enormous amount of local information as we traveled through the Grand Canyon. With great skill, he maneuvered the helicopter along the floor of the canyon in order to allow us to explore the floor of the canyon from our seats. Greater than any amusement ride, the thrill of flying toward the canyon walls and lifting straight up would keep your heart pumping and your eyes wide open.
We traveled the canyon to lake Mead where we witnessed one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States. Hoover Dam from this vantage point was quite a sight. We traveled around the area, enjoying sites such as eagle Point and Guano. The culmination of our helicopter ride was a pleasant flight over Las Vegas just as the lights began to twinkle. Watching this beautiful city come to life from this vantage point was very rewarding and memorable.
At first glance, the helicopter tours seem on the pricey side, but at approximately $300 per person, you will not regret the money spent. On a scale of 1 – 10, this tour definitely ranked a 10 and is something we will do again.
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters is the company we chose to fly with, but it is not the only company in the area that offers tours. However, as with anything else, look into the company you choose. I would ask the following questions:
1. How long have they been in business?
2. What are the pilots’ qualifications?
3. What is their safety record?
Remember too, that cheapest may or may not be the best way to go in a situation such as this.