You’ll begin with complimentary hotel pickup from Las Vegas hotels. Once you reach the heliport, 5 Star will offer you light refreshments before a brief safety lesson. Then, you’re off on a 70-minute flight out to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. Along the way you’ll enjoy astonishing, picture-perfect views of sights like the Hoover Dam, Black Canyon, Fortification Hill, and the Colorado River. Once you arrive at the Canyon, you’ll descend for some closer views, and then follow along the course of the river for some extended sights of the ancient rock formations and their wild beauty. The return trip goes past many of the same sights, although it follows a slightly different route to provide some variety. You do not stop anywhere in or around the canyon.
Hoover Dam: One of the major highlights in the area and of tour trip, the Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel that has stood the test of time. It’s an impressive sight – one made more impressive from above!
Black Canyon: This is the canyon of the Colorado River where you’ll actually find the Hoover Dam. Although less impressive than the Grand Canyon, it has a wild grandeur all its own and is worth some photos of the iconic rock formations.
Lake Mead: A large man-made lake that’s formed by the Hoover Dam, it’s today part of a large recreation area that’s filled with copious local wildlife. If you’re interested, come back here later for fishing, swimming, camping, and much more.
Fortification Hill: You’ll see this just adjacent to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It’s a flat, plateau-like structure that is actually an extinct volcano. It’s an iconic landmark en route, and is easily recognizable.
Grand Canyon West Rim: One of the most popular sections of the Grand Canyon, this non-National Park segment is operated by the Hualapai Native American tribe. You won’t be exploring the park, but you will get great views of the canyon and the Colorado River.
Is It the Tour for You?
The Grand Canyon West Rim Air-Only Tour is a nice budget-friendly option that still offers the experience of a luxury helicopter tour and all the amazing aerial views you could want. While there is no canyon landing and you don’t spend any time on the ground at Grand Canyon West itself, you do get to see all the major landmarks en route and the pilot’s narration is informative and entertaining. The entire excursion takes about 4 hours from start to finish, so it’s also a nice option if you want to do something else the same day. This may be a better option for those looking for affordable options from 5 Star than the standard West Rim Tour, which includes a brief stop at the airport, but costs a decent amount more for that small difference.