Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps. There is plenty to do, plenty to see, and plenty to experience. One of those unforgettable experiences is a trip out to the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
There are a handful of helicopter tour companies available in Las Vegas that offer the trip of a lifetime to marvel at the ragged cliffs which stretch to the bottom of the canyon to meet the Colorado River. The longest standing and most experienced of these companies is Sundance Helicopters. Sundance was founded in 1985 and started out specializing in tours of the famous Las Vegas strip. In 1988 they branched out to offering trips to the canyon, and with great success, the start of the tourism boom to this wonder was born.
The new terminal was opened in May 2014 which is situated at McCarran International Airport, about 2 minutes drive off Las Vegas Boulevard. It is modern, spacious, and is set out with earthly structures which buffs the transition from the busy city to the scenic grand canyon. It also holds a VIP area as Sundance is the preferred provider for many various celebrities who frequently visit the area.
Our tour started when our limousine driver picked us up from the hotel and after collecting a few more guests, drove us to the terminal. The registration process was fast and simple, firstly we were weighed so that the balance of the helicopter was even, then we were given a name tag with our pilots name and the number of our helicopter. After a short wait of about 20 minutes, a look around the terminal and safety instructions, we were taken out on the tarmac to the choppers where we were personally given instruction on further emergency procedures.
Once the formalities were over, we took our seats in the spacious aircraft, blasted the cooling fan, and away we went up over the city, marveling at excellent views of the Las Vegas strip, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, then finally into the Grand Canyon itself. The flight there lasted about 45 minutes, and was complete with narration in our earphones, topped up by the pilot when there were extra things to be said and spotted.
Inside the canyon, we were treated to a champagne picnic surrounded by the massive canyon walls. Our pilots all sat with us and got to know us better (although left the champagne to the guests as there was a return flight to be had!)
The flight back was just as magnificent, (we changed seats in the helicopter so that everybody got a great view every time) as the sun was setting, we saw the colours erupting from the horizon which then blended with the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip as they were just cranking up for a long night ahead.
Once back on the ground, we were taken back into the terminal to look for our official photos ($30 including frame) and to have another look for last minute souvenirs before being taken back to our hotel in another limousine. Luxury!
All in all, a great trip and highly recommended. The whole team at Sundance Helicopters treated us like gold from start to finish and made our trip extremely memorable.