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 map

Image: Mygrandcanyonpark.com

Back to Top


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.

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. 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.


Back to Top


Grand Canyon West helicopter tour price

The cost of a helicopter tour to Grand Canyon West Rim depends on many factors such as the place from where you take off, duration in the air, additional adventure activities, etc. 

The most basic non-stop helicopter tour from Las Vegas to West Rim and back costs $329 per person.

A West Rim helicopter tour with landing in the middle of the Canyon is priced at $429 per person.

If you have time on your hands, you can opt for the bus tour + helicopter landing experience, priced reasonably at $390 per person.

The helicopter landing and Grand Canyon Skywalk experience combo comes at the cost of $429 per person.


Back to Top


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.

We list some of the most highly-rated West Rim tours below – 

1. Non-stop 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 $30 per person.

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas
Tour timings: 7.30 am to 6 pm
Duration in the air: 150+ minutes
Narration: By the Pilot
Tour Operator: 5 Star Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours
Cost of the tour: $329 / person

See available dates & read reviews

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

2. Coach Tour from Vegas to Grand Canyon West, with helicopter landing

Image: Graylinelasvegas.com

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: 15 minutes
Narration: By the pilot
Tour Operator: GrayLine Las Vegas
Cost of the tour: $390 / person

See available dates & read reviews

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

3. Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tour with landing

This four-hour tour of Grand Canyon starts with a quick drive to Henderson Executive Airport just south of Las Vegas.

During the 40-minute helicopter flight, you fly over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Fortification Hill, till you hit the mighty Colorado River’s path and reach the Grand Canyon West Rim.

The helicopter descends between the Canyon’s walls and lands on a private bluff above the Colorado River, where you enjoy a Champagne toast with a light snack.

After memories get created, you board your chopper for the flight back over the Canyon towards Las Vegas. 

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas
Tour timings: 8 am, 9 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm
Duration in the air: 100 minutes
Narration: Recorded Commentary
Tour Operator: Maverick Helicopters
Cost of the tour: $429 / person

See available dates & read reviews

4. Heli Tour With Below the Rim Landing and Skywalk

Your Grand Canyon bound chopper takes off from Henderson Executive Airport just south of Las Vegas. 

Once you land at West Rim, you head for Eagle Point, home to the Skywalk glass-bottom walkway.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk tour is part of this ticket. 

You can then visit Highpoint Hike for breathtaking panoramic views of the Grand Canyon, and the Hualapai Ranch for some cowboy entertainment.

You can upgrade the tour with a ‘below the rim landing’ for an even greater appreciation of this magnificent natural wonder.

Image: Maverickhelicopter.com

Your seven-hour tour comes to an end when you get dropped back to your hotel. 

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas

Tour timings: 8 am, 9 am and 11 am
Duration in the air: 120+ minutes
Narration: By the Pilot
Tour Operator: Maverick Helicopters
Cost of the tour: $429 / person

See available dates & read reviews

5. 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. 

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, 7.30 am and 8 am
Duration in the air: 90+ minutes
Narration: By the Pilot
Tour Operator: 5 Star Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours
Cost of the tour: $469 / person

See available dates & read reviews

6. Grand Canyon 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 and a half hours
Duration in the air: 90 minutes
Narration: By the Pilot
Tour Operator: Maverick Helicopter Tours
Cost of the tour: $529 / person

See available dates & read reviews

If you want something shorter, check out the Grand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Sunset Helicopter Tour offered by Sundance Helicopters.

7. Three-in-one Grand Canyon tour – airplane, helicopter, shuttle

You will spend the first part of this 7-hour long tour on a fixed-wing aircraft. 

On your way to the Grand Canyon, the flight passes over attractions such as the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Fortification Hill, etc.

Once your airplane lands at the Grand Canyon airport, you transfer to a chopper for a ride below the Canyon rim and land on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River. 

Next on the list is a visit to Eagle Point, to walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass walkway 1219 meters (4,000 feet) above the Canyon’s floor. 

In the third leg of this tour, you take a shuttle to Guano Point to see the Grand Canyon up close.

Departure: Pick up from your hotel in Las Vegas
Tour timings: 9 am
Duration in the air: 120+ minutes
Narration: By the Pilot
Tour Operator: 5 Star Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours
Cost of the tour: $489 / person

See available dates & read reviews

If you don’t want to limit yourself to helicopter tours, check out all Grand Canyon tours.


Back to Top


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.

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. 


Back to Top


What to do at Grand Canyon West Rim

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

1. 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

2. 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. 

3. 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.

4. 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

^Back to Top