4-in-1 Helicopter Tour from Las Vegas
During winter, going down a river is the last thing on people's minds. However, as we transition into spring and temperatures start to go up, travelers start giving helicopter packages that include a "water" segment a good hard look.
And the one that I find gets the most attention is the 3-1 tour out of Las Vegas. I have no idea how this trip came to be called the 3-1 but it picked up that nomenclature somewhere on the Internet and it's stuck.
The 4-in-1 that gets the lion's share of attention combines a helicopter ride to the bottom of the West Rim with a boat ride down the famous Colorado River and unrestricted access to the Grand Canyon Skywalk (a/k/a the Glass Bridge!).
The entire trip takes a bit more than 6 hours (that includes hotel pick up and drop, which is part of the package) and considering what you see and do that's a whole lot of adventure by anyone's standards including mine and I've flown every trip under the sun.
One of the parts I like the most is the descent. It begins when you crest the Grand Wash Cliffs and make the slow, thrilling drop (3,500 feet) to the base. To me, time seems to have paused, and it's at that moment that you feel like you're going through a prehistoric landscape.
I can't really do the scene justice but suffice to say it's spectacular and will have everyone in the chopper snapping pictures with their phones and digital SLRs and making hyperbolic comments that are only matched when you trot out on the Skywalk (more on that in a minute).
Bottom of the Canyon
The landing is phenomenal because it just doesn't seem like its normal because you're down there at the bottom of the gut of the frickin' Grand Canyon and that's something that few people can claim to have done (its a fact that only 5 percent or less actually go below the rim; even less actually get to the bottom!).
The adventure continues when you get on one of the pontoon boats and do a Colorado cruise. The boats are all owned and managed by the Hualapai Indian tribe. The river pilots, too, are Hualapai, which I think is exceptional because these guys are truly in touch with the land and have a spiritual connection with the Canyon and freely talk about it with you.
The flight back to the top is extraordinary and then you land at Grand Canyon West Airport and head for the Skywalk. Yes, I know the Skywalk gets mixed press but I for one absolutely love it and when I'm with friends and family it's something we always do and there are no regrets. Besides, this package comes with VIP tickets so use them because they let you cut to the front!
Top of the Canyon
One thing few will tell you about this trip is that you get up to 2.5 hours at the top. I say put that time to good use and explore. The Tribe runs a number of shuttle buses and I recommend you get on one and get out to Guano Point because from there you'll see the Colorado River and the bottom and quite possibly the place where you landed on the bottom.
Frankly, the 4-in-1 is one of the best Las Vegas helicopter tours you can get your hands on. Problem is it's very VERY LIMITED. If you decide that this is the tour for you I advise that you book it immediately. As in one to two weeks in advance. No joke. From past experience, this tour sells out like crazy during summer and it's definitely a situation where travelers who plan ahead win.
To wrap up on helicopter tours that include "water," remember to check out this Las Vegas rafting trip. It, too, lands at the bottom then tops that off with a float ride that starts at the base of Hoover Dam. For those of you out at the South Rim (Tusayan, AZ), there are two options. The first involves taking a bus to Page, AZ, and then doing the 15-mile float. The second uses an airplane to get to the Page and from there you do a Jeep to Antelope Canyon before coming aboard the raft for the float. Read this article for details about South Rim 1-day float tours.
I hope this SPOTLIGHT article about the Las Vegas 4-in-1 helicopter tour to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon proved helpful. It's a wonderful trip and one that I wholeheartedly endorse. Oh, and while you're booking it, remember to take the front seat option. It's a win-win because if they are offered to you at check in you can decline them or take them. The point here is that you get the option in the first place so why not go for it, right?
Have a grand day,
P.S. I rate the top 3 Grand Canyon helicopter tour companies that fly out of Las Vegas, NV. Click here to see who's my #1 choice. .