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Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tours – prices, timings, what to do

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A helicopter tour is a great way to explore the Grand Canyon West Rim.

It is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience, during which you soar over the skies to see the deepest and widest part of the Canyon, built by the Colorado River in Arizona.

Besides the helicopter ride over one of the seven natural wonders of the World, visitors also enjoy many activities at the West Rim. 

In this article, we share everything you must know before booking your Grand Canyon helicopter tour over the West Rim.

Grand Canyon West Rim Helicopter Tour

This four-hour tour of Grand Canyon West Rim starts with a hotel pickup and a drive to the heliport in Boulder City.

After the 30 minutes drive from Las Vegas to Boulder City, you will board a chopper for a 70-minute flight to the Grand Canyon. 

As part of this tour, you will fly 30 miles (48 kilometers) over the Grand Canyon – the longest available flight above and below the rim.

Once you have explored the majestic and yet rugged beauty of the Grand Canyon, you fly back to Boulder City.

Tip: If you opt for the Early Bird departure, you can save US$50 per person.

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas. Alternatively, you can also head directly to the meeting point.

5596 Haven St, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA. Get directions

Note: Flights depart from Las Vegas, Nevada

Tour timings:

Early bird departure: 7 am and 8 am

Extended Grand Canyon Flight: 9 am to 6.15 am

Duration in the air: 4 hours with 1 hour 30 minutes of airtime

Tour Operator: 5 Star Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

Cost of the tour:

Early bird departure: US$499 per person

Extended Grand Canyon Flight: US$549 per person

If you are short on time, check out this 3-hour tour of Grand Canyon onboard the luxurious A-Star helicopter.

Coach Tour from Vegas, with helicopter landing

You hop aboard a comfortable, air-conditioned bus with restrooms, reclining seats, and large windows for a two and a half-hour drive from Las Vegas to the West Rim. 

The standard package includes just a bus tour to the Grand Canyon, but you can upgrade to include a helicopter landing.

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas

Tour timings: Starts early morning, lasts 12 hours

Duration in the air: 8 hours with 15 minutes of airtime

Tour Operator: GrayLine Las Vegas

Cost of the tour:

Tour, Helicopter, and Skywalk: US$528 per person

Tour, and Helicopter Landing: US$494 per person

If you prefer something cheaper, check out this coach trip + helicopter landing tour.

Grand Canyon West helicopter and boat tour

This 11-hour sightseeing adventure includes a helicopter flight and Colorado river float.

You take off from the Boulder City airport in a helicopter and explore 

Grand Canyon West Rim from above, after which you fly back. 

For the second leg of the tour, you drive down from Boulder City to the Colorado River launch area at the Hoover Dam’s base. 

You board a comfortable raft and meander along the river through the Black Canyon. 

Black Canyon boat tour
Boat tour through the Black Canyon. Image: 5starhelicoptertours.com

On the way, you stop at a secluded beach for a dip and enjoy a picnic box lunch.

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas

Tour timings: 7 am and 8 am

Duration in the air: 11 hours with flight time of 1 hour 10 minutes

Tour Operator: 5 Star Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

Cost of the tour: US$699 per person

West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter Tour

You take off at 4 pm in a state-of-the-art Eco-Star helicopter.

After a flight over the Grand Canyon West, the pilot lands the chopper on a private bluff for Champagne toast and a light snack.

After enjoying the Grand Canyon’s sunset views and the Colorado River, you board the helicopter for the return flight. 

As you fly towards Las Vegas, the pilot swoops down towards the glittering Las Vegas strip to see it in all its glory. 

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas

Tour timings: 4 pm

Duration in the air: 4 and a half hours with flight time of 45 minutes

Tour Operator: Maverick Helicopter Tours

Cost of the tour: US$674 per person

Don’t limit yourself to helicopter tours, check out all Grand Canyon tours.


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Grand Canyon West Rim map

Why Grand Canyon West Rim

While planning a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon, it is customary to wonder ‘Grand Canyon South Rim or West Rim’?

With only two million visitors a year, Grand Canyon West is a lot quieter than the South Rim, which gets upwards of five million tourists.

The Grand Canyon West Rim is not as developed as the South Rim, but it is the better option if you love adventure activities.

If you opt for the West Rim, you can walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Grand Canyon Skywalk
Walking on the Grand Canyon Skywalk is West Rim’s most popular activity. Image: Grandcanyonwest.com

Some of the other adventure activities at the West Rim are:

You also get to see stunning views from Eagle Point and Guano Point.

Grand Canyon West is closer to Las Vegas – just two and a half hours drive, making it popular with tourists holidaying in the Sin City.

South Rim is twice the distance from Vegas. 

Direct helicopters tours are available only for West Rim because South Rim is beyond the range of choppers. 

When do visitors opt for West Rim?

  1. They are based out of Las Vegas
  2. They don’t have much time
  3. Don’t want to spend all their time traveling to the attraction
  4. Want to see the Skywalk
  5. Want to indulge in adventure activities

If you aren’t just interested in helicopter tours over Grand Canyon West, check out all Grand Canyon West Rim tours

Grand Canyon South – what you will miss

The South Rim is more developed than West Rim and has many visitor facilities such as hotels, restaurants, cultural experiences, etc. 

Families with small kids prefer South Rim over the West Rim for its many amenities and activities.

Kids with Rangers at Grand Canyon South Rim
Kids with Rangers at Grand Canyon South Rim. Image: Mygrandcanyonpark.com

The South Rim has more than 20 unique viewpoints, offering stunning visuals of the natural wonder, millions of years in the making. 

Some of the most iconic viewpoints are Mather Point, Yaki Point, Desert View, etc. 

At the South Rim, you can explore the Grand Canyon Village, go on a hike along Bright Angel Trail (and many others) or take a mule ride into the Canyon. 

Some people who have been to both the attractions suggest that South Rim is better than West Rim for first-time Grand Canyon visitors. 

If South Rim excites you, check out all the tours of Grand Canyon South

If you prefer a heli tour over the natural wonder, find out everything about Grand Canyon South Rim helicopter tours.

Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tours

More than 80% of all Grand Canyon helicopter tours get booked by visitors in Las Vegas.

There are three types of helicopter tours one can book for Grand Canyon West – 

Non-stop helicopter tours: These don’t land in the Grand Canyon. The helicopters take off from Las Vegas, and after you have spent time exploring the natural wonder from the air, you fly back to the city.

Tours with landing: These helicopter tours include a Rim landing or a landing on the Grand Canyon floor. They are usually accompanied by a glass of champagne or a picnic.

Helicopter tours with activities: Besides airtime above the Grand Canyon West, these tours also include other adventure activities.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is the biggest attraction of West Rim. 

It is a 3 meter (10 feet) wide, horseshoe-shaped glass bridge at Eagle Point and extends 21 meters (70 feet) over the Grand Canyon rim.

Visitors can see the 213 meters (700 feet) drop to the Canyon floor below their feet. 

Skywalk is also referred to as the Glass Skybridge, Glass Walkway, Glass Balcony, Seethrough Bridge, etc.

Grand Canyon Skywalk's aerial view
Aerial view of Grand Canyon Skywalk. Image: Wikipedia

Even though Canyon West’s Skywalk is strong enough to hold seventy fully loaded 747 passenger jets, only 120 visitors are allowed at a time to ensure safety. 

Since the Grand Canyon Skywalk opened to the public in March 2007, the West Rim’s popularity has increased.

So much so that more than a million visitors line up to walk the glass bridge annually. 

Grand Canyon Skywalk tickets

Grand Canyon West is on the Hualapai Indian tribal lands and is NOT a part of the Grand Canyon National Park. 

Entry to Grand Canyon West requires an entrance fee, but you don’t need to worry because it is included in all the tours.

However, to go up on the glass bridge, you need Skywalk tickets. 

If you prefer to combine your helicopter tour over the West Rim with a Skywalk visit, we recommend:

If you aren’t keen on a helicopter tour, you can check out the other Grand Canyon Skywalk tickets and tours

Last minute Skywalk tickets

If you don’t purchase the Skywalk tickets in advance (which we don’t recommend!), you can get them from the Visitor Center. 

During the peak months, the line to buy the Skywalk tickets is long, and the waiting time can even go up to 30 minutes. 

The Skywalk is many miles from the Visitor Center, and the only way to get there is by their Shuttle Bus. 

The shuttle bus line is also long, but you don’t have to wait for more than 15 minutes because of the high frequency. 

What to do at Grand Canyon West Rim

Besides the Skywalk, there are many other things to do at West Rim. 

Helicopter flights

You can book a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon West and explore the natural wonder from above.

These helicopter tours come in various flavors – with a below the rim landing, a glass of champagne, a boxed lunch, a picnic next to the Colorado river, etc. Jump to helicopter tours section

Stunning viewpoints

Eagle Point and Guano Point are two of the most stunning spots to see the Grand Canyon.

Besides the mesmerizing views at Eagle Point, you also enjoy the Native American Village walking tour with replicas of authentic dwellings from various American Indian Tribes. 

Besides offering beautiful views of Grand Canyon West and the Colorado River, Guano Point is also home to the remnants of a historic tram used in a Guano mine. 

Hualapai Ranch

The ranch offers western-style entertainment such as roping, quick draw tricks, and wagon rides. 

If you prefer to spend a night at the Grand Canyon, check out this helicopter tour + Hualapai Ranch cabin combo.

Whitewater river rafting

The mighty Colorado River at Grand Canyon West is perfect for whitewater rafting. 

The tour departs and returns from Peach Springs, Arizona, home of the 

Hualapai Native Americans who act as guides. 

If you are an adrenalin junkie, you will love this Grand Canyon White Water Rafting Trip from Las Vegas

If you want to be picked up from Sedona, Flagstaff, or Grand Canyon National Park, check out this rafting tour

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FAQs about Helicopter tours

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