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GC helicopter flight - is it worth the money?

Blackpool, United...
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363 posts
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GC helicopter flight - is it worth the money?

We are travelling from the UK and visiting GC South Rim in the last week of July. We will have 2/3 days there (in an RV) and fancy the idea of doing a helicopter flight down to the floor, possibly with boat trip added on. I've worked out (from all the really helpful stuff in this forum) that you can only do that from GC West, and have been looking at the package which does a flight from Tusayan to GCW, helicopter down then pontoon float trip. We did a flight over the canyon 8 years ago so don't want to repeat that, and I've always wanted to ride in a helicopter - but is this trip worth the expense? Would we be better just doing a flight down without the boat? or is it worth it at all? I know it will be very hot, especially on the canyon floor. All comments on good and bad bits gratefully received!

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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1. Re: GC helicopter flight - is it worth the money?

I've taken this trip several times. Personally I think it's fun. But many people feel that Grand Canyon West is not as pretty as the South Rim - it is a narrower and shallower part of the gorge and is more of a true desert landscape vs high desert with pine forest. It is also not within the borders of GC National Park, but part of Hualapai INdian Tribal Lands. The complex at GC West is not as large as the South Rim, and there are only two main viewpoints at GC West. As you have correctly assumed it is going to be blazing hot on the canyon floor at that time of year also so go early in the morning if you do decide to go for it. Prices for this trip can vary widely, so it's worth it to shop for a good deal.

Another option if you want to chopper down to the bottom is to go to Havasupai. Havasu Canyon is the site of those beautiful waterfalls that you may have seen pictures of. The Havasupai Heli Hike trip helicopters you to the bottom of Havasu Canyon and you basically get to spend the afternoon hanging out at the falls, swimming, etc. You can choose to walk the 2 miles from the helipad to the falls area, or get a guided horseback escort. That is a more expensive trip than the one to Grand Canyon West, but you may want to consider it too. Papillon is the exclusive operator of that tour.

Drop me a line if you want at kbot2006@yahoo.com

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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2. Re: GC helicopter flight - is it worth the money?

Years ago on our first trip to GCNP we spent couple of days at the south rim and did a helicopter flight that just flew us over the canyon. It was a good compliment to our explorations on the ground from the west rim to the east.

Landing near the river in GC West would not be a priority for me. I've been there by raft and I can tell you that being there is less dramatic than it sounds. The beauty of GC is further upstream and you can fly over it without going down to land in it.

Blackpool, United...
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3. Re: GC helicopter flight - is it worth the money?

Thanks, both of you - still can't decide what to do! Two differing viewpoints with valid observations....Since any helicopter trip will be expensive, is there anything else you would recommend that we do in the general GC area? Its for my birthday, and I really want to do something special. After GC we are heading for Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly - anything there which would enhance the experience? Thanks in anticipation.

West Palm Beach...
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4. Re: GC helicopter flight - is it worth the money?

We saw Monument Valley last year and loved it. Awesome. The beauty of it is what makes it special. We also visited the Canyon De Chelly and that was beautiful too! We didn't need anything else except the beauty of the land to make it worthwhile. I did a helicopter across the GC during a South Rim trip last year. It was worth the cost for me. It is short, but gives you a different perspective. The helicopter ride and hike that Kbot was talking about seems interesting. I would definitely want to visit the Rims, South and/or North if I only had a short time to visit, rather than a short float trip or a helicopter ride to the bottom.

5. Re: GC helicopter flight - is it worth the money?

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