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a VirtualTourist member

Grand Canyon National Park

Surprise for husband

My husband has always wanted to take a helicopter over the Grand Canyon. He will be 67 and I am hoping to surprise him with a trip in May 2014. I need suggestions for places to stay, activities that do not require a lot of walking and suggestions on air tours. I am thinking a budget of $3000 for the trip from Michigan.

8 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Marina

Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon mostly leave from Las Vegas, although there are some from Page. Las Vegas is much easier to reach. So, if that's your main mission, then that's where you should go. Of course, Las Vegas is a 4-hour drive from the Grand Canyon, so it's not like you can do a helicopter tour, land, then walk along the rim in the same day. How long will you have to do this?

If you have several days, you should try to make it to the national park to spend at least one night to see the Canyon up close. I would do it after the helicopter tour because, honestly, it's more impressive on the ground than from the air, and the views from the tour may seem somewhat lame after the ground experience. It depends on the person entirely though. If you do end up with some time to stay in the park, there are several lodges to choose from, all booked at It's too early to book for May 2014, but you should book as early as possible as May is a very popular time to visit and the lodging goes quickly.

I don't think your budget will be an issue.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Thank you for your advice. I am hoping on a 3 day/4 night stay. It is cheaper to get a flight to Vegas than Flagstaff, which was my first thought. We have no desire to spend time in Vegas, but to fly in, take a tour then drive to the canyon may be an option.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Marina

I would also look at flying into Page then. You can do that through Great Lakes Airlines out of Las Vegas and, I believe, a couple of other smaller cities. There are helicopter tours there, it's much closer to the Grand Canyon than Las Vegas, and you'd be able to do and see other things, like Antelope Canyon (slot canyon often seen in pictures), Horseshoe Bend and a float trip down the Colorado River.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Europe

you can get the tour flight also at GC just outside south rim. A shutlle from inside the park goes to airport. I used it also two years ago. I had a car which I left inside the park and took the free shuttle as the bus does not make lines to enter to the park and there are often some at South Rim.if you want a lodge inside the park book well in advance, also a year if you had specific days to go there

there are some alternatives to visit the G.C. I never did but everytime I go there is a think about and maybe one day..

it's to visit G.C. from the river, something like this and the trip begins in Las Vegas but it goes out of budget

In order to save money in Las Vegas I suggest to avoid week-end, have a look at special offers there are often also in 5 stars hotel, check if the hotel makes you pay any 'resort fee' (an ugly surprise), for dinner there are few buffets all you can eat, imho one of the best is Planet Hollywood

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

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answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Thanks everyone. So far this is what I have planned. Day 1 -Fly non-stop from Detroit to Vegas, rent a car, drive to Williams. Day 2 -Grand Canyon from the ground. Day 3 - Grand Canyon from the air. ( I'll pass on the river view. I can't swim and the water scares me). Day 4- return to Vegas and fly back to Detroit. Can you drive through the Grand Canyon or do you have to take a coach tour? How long are the coach tours? What is the entrance fee to the park?

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from West Linn

I think you may want to actually do the air thing FROM Vegas before driving to williams. There are some really nice resorts outside of las vegas near the lake las vegas. [original VT link]

I was thinking that you may want to stay here first night, then go do helicopter ride, then drive that afternoon to williams. Food for thought.

You don't want to try and helicopter from the canyon itself, I would guess you would pay a premium.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Perth

Hi..we were in the Grand Canyon in March and we had an absolutely fabulous time. We were maybe very lucky but this is what happened. We are from Australia so for us this was a big adventure. We originally planned to take a bus from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon and stay in the Grand Canyon for one night take a helicopter flight the next morning and then bus out later that afternoon. What happened was that because it was March (low season maybe) the bus company FLEW us in to the Grand Canyon, we stayed at a lovely lodge (Bright Angel) ..this is on the south rim...walked some of the trails (sunset ;)) and the next morning had a 60 minute PRIVATE helicopter was amazing..later that afternoon we FLEW back to Las Vegas. All I can say is that it was one of our highlights of the trip. The bus company was Vision and the helicopter company was Papillion. I will be putting more of this on my Grand Canyon page when I get enough time. If you want any other details don't hesistate. By the way they do weigh you in and if you are a certain weight they may not allow you to fly.

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