To Experience the Full Majesty of the Grand Canyon...
You've Got to Take a Helicopter Tour!
Helicopters offer you the perfect day trip. In less than an hour, you can be flying over the Canyon's edge, marveling at it's grandeur, touching down on the bottom for lunch, and back in your hotel room fresh for a night on the town.
To help you get started, I have reviewed the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour companies to save YOU time and money. My top three picks are listed below with Papillon Helicopters being my TOP PICK!
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Papillon Helicopters (My #1 Recommendation)
- Incredible aerial views
- Safest pilots
- Biggest cabins
- Quickest flights
- Terrific customer service
- Best prices
Papillon combines great tours with excellent pricing to deliver awesome value.
Papillon is our top pick for best way to fly the Grand Canyon. The company offers tours that fit every traveler's budget. Choose from four-hour express trips and private charters to sunset flyovers and thrilling adventure combo packages. The helicopters have been customized inside and out. Each has floor-to-ceiling windows, front-and-back skylights, and left-side pilot seating, giving you spectacular Canyon views. Oversized cockpits mean comfortable seats and leg room.
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"I wasn't sure about taking a helicopter tour. My first inclination was to hike about the canyon. I kind of had my decision handed to me because I had to be back at work two days early! Now a helicopter tour made all the sense in the world. I picked Papillon. I liked the upgrades and price, which the other South Rim companies couldn't match. There's nothing quite like flying over the canyon. I'm positive I saw all the highlights because my pilot made sure of that. The Grand Canyon is a special place. I'm so happy I did this trip. It re-enforced for me just how magnificent this incredible landscape truly is. I enjoyed my Papillon tour from start to finish. It was easily the highlight of a trip that my wife and I promised ourselves years ago."
~ Michael & Julie Broad, Chicago, Il
"I'd say that this is an excellent way to view the canyon if you cannot see it some other way. Purchase online to get a better price than what's marketed in the brochures. The helicopter was top notch, new, with oversized windows. The three star rating is for the attraction itself in my opinion, not necessarily the company, as they performed mostly as promised. I would recommend visiting in the afternoon, as in the morning you are flying directly into the sun the whole trip into the canyon. Speaking of which, the trip through the canyon is very short. I'm not sure of the precise flight time through the canyon, but would say probably 12 minutes maybe? You do land inside the canyon for a short lunch and there are photo opportunities throughout the 30-minute stop. It looked like all the helicopter tours going to the West Rim followed this same route. I think if you know what to expect ahead of time, then your expectations will be more realistic. Just realize that it is a short flight to the lunch stop and then you leave the canyon directly after lunch without any more flight time inside the canyon. The company dropped off passengers at Eldorado Canyon which extended our flight time over the desert, but they did not warn us we were gonna be doing that until we were boarding the chopper and I felt they should have told us in advance to make sure that was acceptable. We left from Boulder City as that's all that was available that day, but I know that departing from Vegas results in a more dramatic flight when you return viewing the Vegas Strip. Papillon's safety record is impeccable and their organization is very good. Overall, I'm very pleased with them."
~ Barb C., Riverside, CA
"We decided to do the South Rim via plane with a helicopter tour over the canyon and bus coach into the park (ended up costing just under $800 for two which seemed to be one of the best deals available - make sure to book online, it's cheaper). Papillon picked us up and dropped us off right at the hotel so that was the first plus! Things were run very efficiently and all of the staff were professional and patient. Unfortunately, it was breezy and the plane is relatively small so our flight TO the Canyon was a tad bumpy - obviously through no fault of Papillon. The sights from the airplane and the helicopter were incredible. On the way to the Canyon, the airplane flew over Hoover Dam and provided some fantastic photo ops. The helicopter excursion out into the center of the canyon was smooth and the sights were amazing - having the ability to look below at the Colorado River or other areas of the canyon that you are not able to see from the rim is indescribable! The bus into the National Park was comfortable and the driver, Ruby, shared information about the region with us without having to be prompted. The meal that was included was ample and really good (at least according to hubby, I still wasn't quite ready to eat). It would have been nice to get a a bit more time in the Park but I knew what we were getting when I booked and, during my research before booking, it seemed like this is one of the better ones for time spent on the ground. Thankfully, the return flight was smoother as the breeze had dropped so it was much more pleasant. Also, we were at the Canyon during the very first week of April and it was cool so make sure to layer up! As a matter of fact, there was still some snow on the ground in the woods then again the elevation at the Park is around 6,000 feet."
Gunter R., Munich, Germany
"We did the West Rim helicopter flight. It blew away everything else we did in Vegas (and we did a lot!). The tour is tailor-made for sightseeing. Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and then the Canyon. Wow! What a line up. The descent to the bottom was riveting. We deplaned and were amazed how deep we'd flown. We must have looked like ants down there. The flight up was just as incredible. We definitely got the VIP treatment."
Becky P. & Joy F., New York
"Thank you for this site! I'm from Australia and figuring out who's who is a royal pain in the you-know-what. I spent weeks researching the Internet for helicopter tours. The majority of sites were garbage. Then I found yours. No mumbo-jumbo. Just the Top 3 and end of story. I ended up going with Papillon's tour that lands at the bottom of the West Rim. Phenomenal! I was picked up on time from my hotel taken right to my gate. I'm usually in everybody's business but this time I left the proverbial driving to Papillon and it worked. My hat's off to our pilot. I had the option to listen to the taped narration but his was much better. My girl friend's a bit of a Nervous Nellie on flights. Not this time. Her face was pressed against the glass from the start. Lots of oohs and ahhs. Expect our friends to hit this site. It worked so well for me that I'm sure it will work for them."
Bruce C., Canberra, Australia
"I travel a lot and I'm tired of all the fees that get added on after your home looking at your credit card statements. I can't say this is the case for Papillon. I was told that my tour was all-inclusive and that what I paid for it online was the final price. No haggling at check-in, and especially no late-night phone calls telling me I needed to upgrade. It's true. I got a great deal and didn't wind up paying a dime more. I'm a fan when a company honors its commitments, and that's just what Papillon did. I'm so used to Internet deals being flaky. However, I got the real deal and wasn't treated like a second-class citizen (like at Priceline!). I consider myself a customer for life and Papillon will be providing air tours for guests at my upcoming wedding. Now that's a real stamp of approval :-)"
Renee Q., Lincoln, NE
"Every now and then, we really celebrate and want to do something out of the ordinary. This 45 min. flight over the Canyon was among the best decisions we have ever made. The helicopter was immaculate and looked well maintained. The passenger lounge where we waited for our flight was comfortable and let us watch helicopters as they arrived and departed. A well-organized crew helped us get loaded and safely belted in the copter before we took off. The pilot was friendly and appeared to be knowledgeable about Canyon facts and lore. We wore headsets to minimize the noise, which also provided pre-recorded information and facts and music to boost the experience. I am not usually comfortable on shaky or unsteady objects and had some concerns that I would be frightened. The knowledge and confidence shown by all Papillon employees did a great deal to make me feel secure and I was NOT scared. It was a very exciting and moving experience to see the Grand Canyon from this point of view. My husband and I took lots of photos through the large windows of the heli. What a wonderful memory this was."
Ross & Jordan W, Denver, CO
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Grand Canyon Helicopters (My #2 Recommendation)
Grand Canyon Helicopters is our runner up pick. This company operates a first rate fleet of Eco Star copters, noted as being the quietest to ever fly the Canyon. Customers report that GCH's tour pilots know their stuff and are loaded with knowledge and anecdotes that come only with years of flying this national treasure. In-flight narrations are broadcast through super comfortable two-way headsets in up to seven languages. Transporation and tour package upgrades can be done same day. Reserve and purchase your helicopter tour online and save a bundle...
Maverick Helicopters (My #3 Recommendation)
The folks at Maverick Helicopters are very entreprenurial. If it can be reached by helicopter, Maverick's going to do it. This adventurous company operates a fleet of new, state-of-the-art ECO-star flightseeing helicopters. Each copter features wraparound glass for panoramic views and front facing, theater-style theater-style seats, which are made out of soft leather! The ECO-star is known among aviation buffs as being exceptionally stable and quiet. Book Maverick's tours online and save big. Read more...