When most people think about helicopter tours in Las Vegas they envision flying over the Strip. However, many travelers don’t realize they can take a helicopter from Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and even Bryce Canyon. Actually, there are over 50 tour options, which can make the decision a bit overwhelming. No worries. We’ll make it easy for you to decide by showing only the best helicopter tour options for each destination below.
Surrounded by a vast desert landscape, many travelers to Las Vegas simply don’t have the time to explore “nearby” national parks and landmarks. For example, it takes about 4½ hours to drive to either Grand, Bryce, or Antelope canyons from the Strip. Whereas, helicopter flights to the Grand Canyon’s West Rim are less than 40 minutes long. Simply put, traveling from Point A to B by helicopter is the only way to fit specific experiences into a Las Vegas itinerary.
Helicopter Tours in Las Vegas > Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity
When it comes to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, flying over the Las Vegas Strip at night is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences anyone can have by air. With the abundance of helicopter tours in Las Vegas, the Strip, and the dramatic landscapes, the city is one of the best places in the world to choose a helicopter tour.
When you select one of the helicopter tours in Las Vegas, you are likely to fly over the Strip, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Bowl of Fire, and more. Furthermore, many of the tours include hotel pickup and drop off and taking passengers to the helicopter terminals at Harry Reid International Airport.
Most importantly, reserve your tour well in advance, especially for weekends, and pick a highly experienced tour operator. There’s little doubt that Maverick and Papillon are the best helicopter operators in Las Vegas.
Papillon vs Maverick – Which One to Pick
When it comes to picking between Papillon and Maverick helicopter tours there are a few significant differences.
- All of Maverick’s tours depart from the Las Vegas Strip, just across the street from the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign.” Papillon, on the hand, has two distinct terminals, one on Las Vegas Strip just behind the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, and the other in Boulder City, about 30 minutes southeast by car.
- Maverick’s Grand Canyon flights depart Las Vegas while Papillon’s depart from Boulder City.
- Helicopter flights to the Grand Canyon will cost more through Maverick because they fly directly from the Strip. Taking off from Boulder City adds about one hour (roundtrip) by car.
- Maverick’s safety record is impeccable.
- Papillon’s known for its value while Maverick is known for its first-class service.
How to Get the Best Price
Be sure to compare prices between Maverick Helicopters, Las Vegas’ number one 5-star luxury helicopter tour operator, and Papillon Helicopters, Las Vegas’ number one value helicopter tour operator.
Also, Vegas.com, the city’s number-one wholesaler for tours, attractions, and show tickets occasionally offers helicopter flight deals. For this reason, be sure to visit Vegas.com before finalizing reservations, especially for night flights over the Vegas Strip.
Are Las Vegas Helicopter Tours Safe?
Yes, and pleasurable too! With well over 100 flights occurring daily, complications are extremely rare. Most of the flights take place on Airbus H130s (formerly EC130s), which are considered to be the safest in the world. Some flights even operate without doors for an extra thrill. Maverick Helicopters, in particular, have some of the most experienced pilots in the industry.
Picking the Best Helicopter Tours in Las Vegas
Maverick and Papillon are the two best helicopter tour operators in Las Vegas. Also, both offer a wide range of tours ranging from flying over the Strip, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, or Red Rock Canyon. Below are their most popular tours currently available sorted from cheapest to most expensive—prices are per person. Pick the one that fits your budget and your preferred destination.
Las Vegas Strip – $119 pp
By far the most popular helicopter flight in Las Vegas is the 15-minute journey over the Strip and downtown Las Vegas. Passengers fly high above all of the iconic buildings and attractions along Las Vegas Boulevard. Without a doubt, evenings are the best time to take to the air—that’s when the city comes alive and sparkles with light.
Strip Highlights Night Flight > Check Availability
Papillon offers a Strip Highlights Night Flight for $119, while Maverick offers a similar flight, Vegas Views for $139. These are the two cheapest helicopter flights in Las Vegas.
Vegas Views > Check Availability
Red Rock Canyon – $239 pp
The second most affordable destination to fly to is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about 15 miles west of Las Vegas. Visiting the canyon is one of the most popular activities for tourists, however, must see it by automobile. Few get to enjoy it like a VIP on a quick flight from the Strip.
Mavericks offers the Neon & Nature tour which includes views of the Strip, and Red Rock Canyon, and even lands on a private picnic area 2,900 feet above Sin City. Celebrate the views with a complimentary champagne toast!
Neon & Nature > Check Availability
Grand Canyon Skywalk Experience – $384 pp
For those travelers looking to explore the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, there is no cheaper alternative than Papillon’s Grand Canyon Skywalk Experience for $384. Passengers fly on a sightseeing airplane to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon where they ride a hop-on/hop-off shuttle service to explore Eagle Point, Guano Point, and Skywalk.
Grand Canyon Skywalk Experience > Check Availability
Like all other flights to the Grand Canyon, passengers fly past Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert, and the Colorado River. Papillon’s VIP at the Rim Helicopter Tour follows the identical flight path, except on a helicopter instead of a plane.
VIP at the Rim > Check Availability
Maverick’s Western Journey Tour is the comparable version of Papillon’s VIP at the Rim Helicopter Tour. Except, Maverick departs from the Strip, not Boulder City.
Western Journey > Check Availability
Golden Eagle – $429 pp
Fly non-stop from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and back—roundtrip airtime in about 70 minutes. Papillon’s Golden Eagle Air Tour provides the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to view the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas in a helicopter. Unfortunately, Maverick does not have a comparable tour to this one.
Golden Eagle > Check Availability
Grand Celebration – $499
Papillon’s Grand Celebration Tour enhances its Golden Eagle Tour by adding a 3,200-foot descent below the rim of the Grand Canyon. Upon landing, passengers are treated to a light picnic, including champagne!
Grand Celebration > Check Availability
Maverick’s Wind Dancer Tour is comparable to Papillon’s Grand Celebration tour except that it departs directly from the Strip while Papillon departs from Boulder City. Also, Maverick descends 3,500 feet below the rim while serving snacks and champagne. Finally, the Grand Celebration and Wind Dancer excursions are the two most popular helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon available—be sure to make reservations weeks or months ahead of time.
Wind Dancer > Check Availability
Grand Voyager Rim to River – $579 pp
It’s possible to take a helicopter to the Grand Canyon and go on a boat cruise down the Colorado River. Wow! Papillon’s Grand Voyager Rim to River Tour is known to be the most comprehensive excursion to the West Rim available.
From Boulder City, passenger board a sightseeing plane and land at Grand Canyon West Airport. From there, passengers board a helicopter and descend into the Grand Canyon. Then, guests transition from the helicopter to a boat for a cruise down the Colorado River.
After the boat cruise, passengers fly back up to the rim of the canyon and board a shuttle bus to visit Eagle Point, Guano Point, and Skywalk.
*May ’23 – Update
Per George at Papillon: The Grand Voyager Rim to River (with/without VIP Skywalk) will be operating without the pontoon boat portion until further notice, while The Hualapai make repairs to their boat docks.
Guests will be allowed to explore the base of the canyon for 20 minutes instead. This tour will be called The Canyon Experience w/VIP Skywalk & Helicopter (GBW4HKV). There is no difference in tour pricing.
Grand Voyager Rim to River > Check Availability
Below-the-Rim With Las Vegas Strip – $629 pp
Papillon’s Grand Celebration and Maverick’s Wind Dancer tours (listed above) have set aside two specific tours for going below the rim and returning to view the Strip at sunset when it’s all lit up! Papillon’s is the Grand Celebration With Las Vegas Strip and Maverick’s is the Wind Dancer Sunset Tour.
Grand Celebration With Las Vegas Strip > Check Availability
Both tours include champagne and snacks below the rim, cost the same amount, and both depart the Grand Canyon right around sunset. Of course, the highlight is flying above the Strip at the most magical time of day with the sun setting and the neon lights glowing. Finally, if you’re looking to propose marriage or celebrate an anniversary or birthday then the Wind Dancer Sunset Tour is the perfect excursion to pick.
Wind Dancer Sunset > Check Availability
Bryce or Antelope Canyon Tours – $699
Take a sightseeing plane to Bryce Canyon National Park or Antelope Canyon to tour the parks and natural attractions. Papillon’s Bryce Canyon Day Tour includes a one-way flight and a 3½ hour-guided tour of the park. Afterward, the return to Las Vegas is completed in a motorcoach.
Bryce Canyon Day Tour > Check Availability
Papillon’s Antelope Canyon Expedition visits Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon by sightseeing plane. Moreover, the flight path includes flying over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Vermilion Cliffs, and Glen Canyon.
Antelope Canyon Expedition > Check Availability
Indian Territory – $739
Maverick’s Indian Territory Tour includes two landings, one below the rim and the other at Grand Canyon West Airport. First, passengers are flown from the Strip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to enjoy snacks and champagne.
Next, passengers are transferred from 3,500 below the rim to Grand Canyon West in a matter of minutes. Then, guests are chauffeured to see the best West Rim viewpoints and Skywalk. Finally, on the way back to Las Vegas passengers are flown over the Strip and Allegiant Stadium.
Indian Territory > Check Availability
Grand Canyon Deluxe With Helicopter – $829
There’s only one helicopter tour from Las Vegas that takes passengers within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park—Papillon’s Grand Canyon Deluxe With Helicopter Tour.
First, passengers are flown in a sightseeing plane from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park Airport. Next, passengers take a helicopter tour of both the North and South Rims. Afterward, board a custom Hummer to take a guided tour of the park and its most scenic viewpoints. In short, this is the ultimate tour of Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon Deluxe With Helicopter > Check Availability
Compare the 11 tours listed above using the cheat sheet below. It will help you determine which tour makes the most sense for you.
MODES OF TRANSPORT
FLIGHT DURATION (HOURS)
THE STRIP, DOWNTOWN LV
RED ROCK CANYON, PICNIC, CHAMPAGNE
HOOVER DAM, WEST GCW AIRPORT, WEST RIM, SKYWALK
4. GOLDEN EAGLE
HOOVER DAM, WEST RIM
WEST RIM, BELOW-THE-RIM, CHAMPAGNE, PICNIC
WEST RIM, BELOW-THE-RIM, CHAMPAGNE, PICNIC, GCW AIRPORT, BOAT CRUISE, SKYWALK,
WEST RIM, BELOW-THE-RIM, CHAMPAGNE, PICNIC, STRIP AT SUNSET
8. BRYCE CANYON
BRYCE CANYON, PARK TOUR
ANTELOPE CANYON, HORSESHOE BEND
10. INDIAN TERRITORY
WEST RIM, BELOW-THE-RIM, CHAMPAGNE, PICNIC, GCW AIRPORT, SKYWALK, LV STRIP
GRAND CANYON NP, NORTH & SOUTH RIMS, HUMMER
BEST GRAND CANYON HELICOPTER TOURS FROM LAS VEGAS
Hopefully, the tips and tours listed above will help you in picking from one of the many helicopter tours in Las Vegas. With an abundance of tour options, skilled pilots, and a wide range of prices there’s a unique and fun Las Vegas helicopter flight waiting for you.
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