By Air, Grand Canyon
From above, everything seems small, flat, near and easy to access.
Down there, everything is far away, rocky, dusty, and hard to cross.
Maybe the helicopter would be the perfect solution to shorten the distances, allowing you to land here and there, in all those several points were the views make you regret for not being down there.
It’s impossible to feel the imposing size of the Grand Canyon, and the strength of nature carving it, without a flight over the place.
You may take a short flight from Las Vegas but I preferred a different solution: since the prices in Las Vegas hotels raise a lot in weekends, I took an overnight flight on Friday, and with two nights sleeping in the Grand Canyon I had the chance to see it under storm and sunny weather, and furthermore, to fly over Lake Powel and rainbow Bridge, and a land tour in Monument Valley. The trip was expensive (about $500, including lunch and two nights sleep), but with the savings in Vegas hotel it really justified the price.
In Portuguese we have a phrase "De volta da festa" which, literally translated is "back from the party", that we use in all the occasions where, after a strong enthusiasm doing something, the goal is achieved, and, afterwards, we have to clean, or dismount, or pay, or...anything annoying, where everybody finds, immediately, how tired we are! I don't know if, in English, you have something alike.
If not, the explanation above seems good enough to understand the title.
Well, the "Grand Canyon Party" was over, and, in our way back to Las Vegas, our Portuguese phrase applied perfectly to all the group. Down there, the rain in the eve changed colors, the Colorado River looked different, and... Shut up, man! We are "de volta da festa".
Having never been in a helicopter before I was apprehensive about this, especially when on our first afternoon when we had the flight prebooked it was cancelled due to a thunder/lightning storm.
However I still went ahead the next day, and am so pleased I did, WHAT a view, only by being above the Canyon do you partially grasp its size.
Something you could never do from the rim hikes.
The airport is only a few minutes out of the town of TUSAYAN where we stayed. This town is located to the south of the National park.
On arrival at the book in you are weighed, for purposes of deciding best location in aircraft, and then walked out to the helicopter.
The flight lasted about 45 minutes at $150 and you fly in a big loop, crossing the canyon to the east of the GC village and returning to the south rim to the west of the village.
The flight gives you a great view of the canyon and colorado river, and also how flat the plains are to the south.
A brillaint trip......... Do it !!