If I looked back at all the amazing travel experiences I had this year, one would stand out among others: the helicopter ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon with Sundance Helicopters.
I always dreamed to see the Grand Canyon and Sundance Helicopters gave me the opportunity to tick this giant item off my bucket list.
The Grand Canyon, situated in Arizona, is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River. Its iconic landscape and sheer size make it one of the wonders of the world. It is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and it reaches over a mile in depth.
The Grand Canyon today is part of a national park and several areas of the canyon are lived in by native American tribes.
Back in May I was in Las Vegas, invited by the tourism board, to attend the Bon Appetit Vegas Uncork’d food festival. As part of the press trip, I was invited to join the Grand Canyon Picnic tour by Sundance Helicopters, a tour I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Las Vegas. While there’s no lack of entertainment in Vegas, it’s worth taking half day out of the city to see the Grand Canyon. It would be a shame not to see it!
The tour lasts approximately 3.5 hours, including pick up from your Las Vegas hotel (I stayed at Caesars Palace) to the airport (and back) in a luxurious stretched limousine. You are taken to the airport lounge for about half an hour to go through the briefing and security measures and then you’re off!
The helicopter ride takes around 40-45 minutes and along the way you fly over stunning landscapes in the states of Nevada and Arizona. The pilot guides you through all the landmarks with an in-flight commentary.
The tour begins with a ride over Las Vegas. After spending five days in the city and struggling to get a sense of its scale, I was glad to be above it and get a clear overview of the famous Strip.
The flight then takes you past the 726-ft.-high and 1,244-ft.-long Hoover Dam, the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere and a modern marvel of engineering. It is a popular touristic destination for day trips from Las Vegas.
Even though I am scared of flying in airplanes, I didn’t feel scared at all during the tour because the helicopter feels very steady and it doesn’t fly too fast. And I was too thrilled about the scenic view of the Mojave Desert to worry about anything.
On our way to the Grand Canyon we also crossed the shimmering teal blue waters and stunning sandstone shorelines of Lake Mead.
The lake was formed by the Hoover Dam and is the largest man-made lake in the United States.
Suddenly the Colorado river comes into view, its path winding through the Grand Canyon, separating the North Rim from the South Rim.
The helicopter rides inside the canyon, following the river towards the only area where we are allowed to land.
Sundance Helicopters have established a close relationship with the Hualapai Tribe and for this reason they are able to land down in the canyon. Passengers are asked to be respectful of the land. It is a unique experience to explore the landscape from the ground and take in the sights 3200 feet below the rim of the canyon.
The Las Vegas to Grand Canyon tour with Sundance Helicopters is truly an experience like no other. Is it on your bucket list yet?
Check out this video I filmed from the helicopter with a GoPro Hero4 camera!
Disclaimer: I was invited on the tour by Sundance Helicopters. All opinions are my own.