We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Difference between these two helicopter tours?

Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
5 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Difference between these two helicopter tours?

Hi all,

We are looking to do a helicopter tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon with a landing.

We've found the two tours below which seem very similar:



The only thing is that there seems to be a price difference of almost $200 per person and I have no idea why this would be. Can anyone shed any light?



Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
62,333 posts
246 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Difference between these two helicopter tours?

The first thing you must understand is that helicopters that depart Las Vegas won't take you to the Grand Canyon National park. They'll only fly you to the inferior tourist trap known as grandcanyonwest. It's not the same. By about 150 miles and several thousand feet of elevation.

As for the price variation, it's related to the type and quality of aircraft employed. You'll get what you pay for, or not.

If you want to see the real Grand Canyon you'll need to drive, go by coach, or fly via fixed wing aircraft from LV to the Grand Canyon National Park at the south rim.

Read the Top Questions in this forum and in the Las Vegas forum.

Page, Arizona
Level Contributor
22 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Difference between these two helicopter tours?

The only place you can get a Canyon landing is at Grand Canyon West where both of these tours will take you. As for the price difference, Maverick is very focused on customer service whereas Papillon is focused on low price. They are essentially the same tour and they are both offered in an EC-130 aircraft, which is the newer, quieter helicopter.

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
Level Contributor
6,819 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Difference between these two helicopter tours?

Agreeing that you should go to the South Rim, and not GC West. There's a huge difference in what you'll see - and what you'll pay. It's worth the drive time to go to the SR and stay overnight in one of the lodges. It would be a shame to come all this way and miss the "real" GC. And yes, do read the Top Questions, and the NPS website:


Edited: 15 May 2014, 22:58
tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
16,973 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Difference between these two helicopter tours?

A very big "difference" of either choice is that you won't be seeing the iconic GC that you have seen in photos and videos. The GC is 270 miles long, and where you would be flying by helicopter is a few miles of the far western end of it. It will be scenic, but the difference to Grand Canyon NP South Rim is inestimable.

Evanston, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
5,091 posts
155 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Difference between these two helicopter tours?

Note too that Papillon's website says "prices STARTING AT $349," but upon further investigation, they don't go up much further from there, except for sunset tours.

But just reiterating, if you want to take a helicopter to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, it's only possible to do that at Grand Canyon West because it's a Native American Tribal Park, not a National Park, and as such, their rules are much more lax. If you can possibly make it to Grand Canyon South Rim, the National Park (and rightfully regarded as the "true" Grand Canyon), you can take a helicopter flight from there too, but they are only allowed to fly over the canyon per National Park Service and FAA regulation.

6. Re: Difference between these two helicopter tours?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 May 2015, 06:16