I had never flown in a helicopter, if I had known how exhilerating it is I would have done it years ago
Kat [keida84] and I booked the Red Rock Roundup tour with Arizona Helicopter Adventures, Sedona`s original helicopter tour company, just a short tour [after all, I wasnt sure I was going to like helicopters] which cost $58 dollars each
when you book you have to answer some health questions and give your weight, but if they let an overweight old crock like me on Im sure most folks will be OK
after a safety talk we were taken over to the helicopter in a golf buggy [another first for me !] Camcorderman filming us waving to him from the comfort of the airport terminal
the helicopter looked tiny, I was a little nervous but our pilot soon put me at ease and donned my headphones [another photo opportunity] and then it was time to take flight.........it was WONDERFUL !!!! I couldnt belive how smooth it was. How close we got to the rocks ! the views were awesome and we got birds eye views of Sedona`s most famous rock formations while being given a great commentary by our pilot, I began to wish we had booked on a longer tour
all too soon it was time to go back ..... we had been up for a great deal longer that the advertised tour time
this was for me a never-to-be-forgotten tour, I really enjoyed it
PRICES [April 2006]
RED ROCK ROUNDUP [12-13 minutes]........$58
ANCIENT RUINS [20-25 minutes]....................$98
SEDONA DELUXE [30-35 minutes]..................$138
[if I go back this is the one Id do]
pilot gratuities not included, we were happy to tip well for the great service we got
Can I add, that if you don't have time for hike around Sedona, then definitely do the Helicopter ride! drive up to the airport and out to the end of the runway. The guys there do a great job, and it is a breathtaking experience. I have been to Sedona many times, and I wish I had done this sooner.
We arrived on time to the station in Clarkdale. Checked out the nice station house (gift shop and cafe). Then it was "ALL ABOARD". We had first class tickets and boarded a nicely restored Pullman car. Our car attendant greeted us with a glass of champagne and seated us in comfortable overstuffed chairs with great big windows that were spotless. As we pulled out of the station we were treated to a nice buffet with salad, sandwiches, veggies with dip and chicken wings. The tour is about 4 hours long as you wind your way up the beautiful Verda River Valley. If you are a bird watcher you will be treated to views of Bald Eagle nesting sites and depending on the time of year you will be able to see dozens of Golden and Bald Eagles. In addition you can see Egrets and Hawks. Indian ruins, interesting geophysical formations. There are interesting open cars where you can get great unimpeded view of the area as you are moving along. This is a great excursion while you are in the area and well worth your time and money.
A very content Matt after a unique sightseeing adventure. That was probably the most fun I've had flying. There's nothing like experiencing Sedona from the open air of an old WWII bi-plane. Kudos to the pilot for not getting us killed. :-)
If you don't have any fear of small planes &/or helicopters, you MUST see Sedona and the surrounding Oak Creek Canyon area by air!! Here's a shot of where you check in at the very small Sedona airport for rides.
This is just a cool thing to do. Pricey if you're on a budget, and the most expensive activity of our trip, but still within reach. $40 coach/$60 first class/ senior & child rates.
A four hour train ride to nowhere! Just a chance to check out the Arizona wilderness. Learn about the ancient history of the areas by seeing cave dwellings pointed out by a charismatic and knowledgeable narrator. See the stars from your car or from the open air platforms between cars.
I'm not doing a good enough job of describing how taken I was with this experience. I mean...hearing the thump of the train over the tracks, lying on my back on the open air platform, seeing brighter stars than I'd ever seen in my life, breathing cleaner air than I'd ever breathed, feeling perfectly safe in my spec-of-dust-in-the-universeness...and I know it's corny, but the train goes through a tunnel at some point! How cool is that? This is the romantic train travel I've always imagined. I wish it was the norm.
Anyway. They have daytime trains, starlight trains, and (woo hoo) wine tasting trains. I'd even suggest first class because it's bus style seating vs. coffee house w/ couches style seating. And there's free food (which is...you know...wings and mini muffins and cheese cubes and stuff). There is also a full bar in first class - and you get a choice of one free soda, water, or mimosa with your ticket.
I don't care if you like little planes or not-you MUST do the plane ride. I hate little planes and I swear the rocks made me do it. Before I knew it, I was belted into this tiny little plane soaring off into the sky taking non stop pictures. Every shot seemed perfect.
Here I am in an old Red Baron type model of airplane just before takeoff. This was a REALLY neat experience. This was a fantastic way to see Sedona and the surrounding areas.