I'm visiting the US at the beginning on August for 3 weeks, at the end of the trip we are staying in Las Vegas for 3 nights (me and the wife as on our honeymoon).
We want to do a helicopter ride (will it be too hot in august to do this) and if not do people know any rides which take you to the new bridge which lets you walk over the canyon.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Welcome to the RTA forum!
I believe there are several tour operators that offer helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon. I haven't used any of them or heard any reviews to give you any specific recommendations, however.
When you refer to a bridge, I assume you are talking about the Grand Canyon Skywalk? The Skywalk isn't a bridge, but rather a semi-circle glass walkway that goes out a few feet over the edge. That is located at Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai Indiana Reservation and costs $75 per person, between Reservation and Attraction admission fees.
I suspect someone would offer tours/trips out to Grand Canyon West with the opening of this attraction, however, I don't know of any specifics to offer a recommendation.
Thanks Midwest Michael
Yeah it was the Skywalk I was referring too, I didn't know it was $75 per person (ouch).
Do you know if it will be too hot for a helicopter ride, is it best to pre-book these or just book at the hotel when you get there.
GC Density Altitude
The Canyon South Rim is about 7,000 feet MSL and summer time temps are often warm -- this makes density altitude a serious consideration for pilots. However, the Grand Canyon tour companies use high performance aircraft that operate safely there year-around.
It is interesting to note that a fixed-wing air tour of the Grand Canyon (20-25 mins?) costs about the same as the walk on the new Grand Canyon West glass walkway -- I took the air tour a couple years back from the South Rim airport for... $75. Helicopter rides are more, of course.
It is also important once again to point out that the Grand Canyon National Park (South or North Rim) are different places than Grand Canyon West -- which is over near Las Vegas at the western extreme of the Canyon proper -- close to Lake Mead. The views are much different there.
If you want a recommendation from a Canyon veteran and local -- the air tour would be my far and away first choice. No way would I pay $75 to walk a few feet from the rim-edge at Grand Canyon West. $5? Maybe. $75? No way. There are free views (not counting entrance fees to GCNP, of course) from too many other GREAT places. Just my opinion. I do not believe it is necessary to pre-book.
Last edited by Robert Schaller; 05-09-2007 at 09:50 AM.
Reason: Pre-book info added.
Where are You Staying?
The El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon looked like a good place.
I also recommend some of the Route 66 motels in Williams, about 60 miles south, like the Grand Motel. This is a taste of the old 66. Plus, you're close enough to walk to the downtown fun spots.
I think there is free admission to the Grand Canyon on one day, but don't exactly remember which one.
The two canyons
Just a reminder again, that El Tivar is part of the Grand Canyon National Park, and not part of GC West. Same is basically true for Williams, which is about an hour south of the National Park, but not very close to the "West Rim."
I've never heard of a free day at the Grand Canyon National Park (it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but I've never heard of it), admission is only $20 which is good for everyone inside your car and is valid for a week. You you can get the National Parks pass for $80.
As far as views go, I haven't taken any flights or done the skywalk, but I think its hard to beat the views from Inside the canyon. Even if you only walk down a couple miles, you get a whole different perspective on the size of the canyon.
Fee is $25
Just a quick correction, the entrance fee is now $25 per vehicle.
I'd have to agree about the "view from within." I've hiked the Canyon on different trails, several times -- and each time I see it in a "different light" (there are several ways to interpret that statement). It is one of the most magnificent places on the Earth, for certain. Bob