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Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

Goshen, New York
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2 posts
20 reviews
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Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

We are traveling to the Grand Canyon and Sedona in July. We have reserved a day on the Grand Canyon Railway because our children will love it. I'm aware that it isn't the best way to see the Canyon, and since we have a free day on our way to Williams, how can we best spend that time seeing the Canyon? Helicopter tour? Or just drive to the South Rim and check out the village and maybe the Desert View Drive? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
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1. Re: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

The highlights at the Grand Canyon are sunset and sunrise. I can't tell from your post whether your free day includes an overnight but I would strongly recommend a night in one of the lodges in the National Park. While the train ride may be entertaining for your kids, if it's going to mean spending two nights in Williams and none at the South Rim, and spending numerous hours traveling back and forth, I would seriously consider whether it's worth it. It sounds like you realize that the train provides no views of the Canyon (or of anything really scenic, for that matter.)

For your time in the Park, yes, drive your own vehicle to the viewpoints on Desert View Drive. Be sure to go to Desert View and climb the Watchtower. These viewpoints are also good spots for sunset.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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2. Re: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

I'm probably in the minority on this, but I would opt for the helicopter tour.

By far the greatest thing we did while we were at the GCNP

It gives you a totally different perspective of the canyon.

It would take roughly 1½ - 2 hours, including transport time to and from the rim, so in my opinion a pretty good investment, time wise

Edited: 18 March 2014, 19:22
Tucson, Arizona
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3. Re: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

I would self-drive and tour the rim by car along the east rim drive to Desert View and by shuttle along the Hermit's Rest road.

If you really want to give the children a train ride with some gorgeous views, skip the Grand Canyon Railroad in favor of the Verde Canyon Railroad. The VCRR runs out of Clarkdale, about 30 minutes from Sedona.

http://verdecanyonrr.com/

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

Agreeing with the others. You're going to use several hours going back and forth to the GCNP between Sedona and Williams. Better to spend that time and an overnight inside the park. The Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarkdale is a much more scenic train ride. Do that from Sedona.

Goshen, New York
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5. Re: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

Thank you all for your help. Will see if I can get a refund from the Grand Canyon Railway today!

6. Re: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour?

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