Founded in 1985, Sundance Helicopters (Originally “Helicopter Services of Nevada”) was the first helicopter company providing tours of the Vegas Strip. In 1988, they became the first tour company to officially partner with the Hualapai Nation (whose lands extend across the Canyon’s West Rim). As a result, they were the first to descend below the Canyon’s rim, as the West Rim is the only part of the Canyon suitable for landings. Now, in addition to their luxurious terminal, they’ve added a new EC-130 helicopter to their fleet that seats six instead of seven guests, providing added comfort and better views for all passengers. You’ll even receive a personalized picnic basket plus a glass of champagne upon arrival at the Canyon floor!
Customer happiness isn’t the only metric at which Sundance aims to excel, however: they’ve also devoted themselves to their passengers’ safety. Since 1992, they’ve been an approved service provider for the US Department of Defense (DOD), a position that requires extensive monitoring of operations, maintenance, and flight safety. They’re a member of the Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS) and, in addition to numerous other initiatives and certifications, Sundance has implemented their own Maintenance Quality Assurance program that exceeds all FAA requirements. This is all to say that when you’re on a Sundance helicopter, in the hands of a Sundance pilot, even the most nervous fliers have absolutely nothing to fear.
Features and Amenities (included in most tours):
- Free stretch-limo pickup and drop-off between Las Vegas hotels (or elsewhere on the Strip) and Sundance’s own terminal with luxurious Pre-Flight Lounge
- Personalized picnic-basket lunches and free champagne (*included with landing tours)
- Optional upgraded seating to roomier EC-130 helicopter with only 6 guests
- Unlike many providers, Sundance never stops to refuel during a tour, providing you with the most airtime possible
- Pre-recorded narration available in 10 languages
Notes and Things to Improve:
- Despite Sundance’s large fleet of helicopters, their tours fill up fast, so it’s best to book your tour as far ahead of time as possible—especially if you have a particular tour package in mind
- Due to weather conditions that can affect flight safety, tours may be canceled without warning: as a result, it’s recommended that you schedule your trip near the beginning of your Vegas vacation, allowing time for a rescheduled tour
- Similarly, due to additional conditions such as no-shows in other parties, you may be switched to a different tour: note, though, that if anything, you’ll be upgraded
- Helicopters have a very strict weight capacity: to ensure safety, passengers and their luggage are weighed before departure. Guests over the weight limit (275 lbs for the A-Star helicopter; 300lbs for the EC-130) may be charged for an extra comfort seat. To avoid hassle or even cancelation, make sure you know your weight beforehand and provide correct weights when booking
- Please note that passengers over 18 must carry government ID; children younger than 2 require valid proof of age
Sample of Popular Tours
Grand Canyon Skywalk Express:
Experience almost everything the Grand Canyon has to offer in a short 3.5-hour (round-trip) adventure! After your limo ride to the luxurious Sundance terminal, enjoy a narrated helicopter tour of some of the area’s most magnificent features: the Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert, Lake Mead, the Colorado River; finally soar through the breathtaking Canyon itself. You’ll land at Eagle Point (at the top of the West Rim), home to spectacular vistas as well as the one-of-a-kind glass Skywalk—suspended 4,000 ft above the Colorado River! This tour includes expedited access to the Skywalk, meaning you get to skip the line; you’ll also receive a complimentary photo and souvenir bag. If the Skywalk isn’t for you, you can choose to spend time at Eagle Point and the Native American Village, where you can talk to members of the Hualapai Tribe. Finally, fly over the glittering Vegas Strip on your way home!
This tour begins with a flight across some of the most memorable and majestic landmarks the region has to offer while listening to choreographed narration and music: from the Hoover Dam, to the Mojave Desert, to Lake Mead, and then along the path of the powerful Colorado River into the Grand Canyon itself. Descend 3,200 ft below the Canyon’s West Rim to Hualapai lands below where, in addition to incredible sightseeing, you can enjoy a glass of champagne and your own personal picnic lunch. Finally, see the Vegas Strip like never before as you soar above its sparkling lights.
Grand Voyager Exclusive:
For the adventurer who truly wants it all, this 7.5-hour voyage lets you experience the glory of the Grand Canyon not only from the sky but also from the Colorado River below! After an unforgettable narrated tour of the region’s most spectacular sites, you’ll touch down 3,200 ft below the Canyon’s rim to embark on the next stage of your journey: a relaxing River Boat tour. Gaze upon towering cliffs that make up the Canyon’s walls while following the path of the incredible Colorado River itself. Next, fly to the top of the West Rim, where you’ll have a choice of attempting the Skywalk or taking in astounding views from Eagle point. Guano Point, your next stop, boasts some of the West Rim’s most famous panoramic views: here, you’ll get to talk to members of the Hualapai tribe, purchase Native American crafts and jewelry, and eat a BBQ meal at the very edge of the Rim. You can even choose options such as horseback riding, wagon rides, and roping at the Hualapai Ranch! Finally, after a day filled with unparalleled natural beauty, you’ll soar over the glittering manmade beauty of the Strip as dark descends.