Recently I was cleaning up some old files and came across a video from a few years ago when I was on tour with a group that did the helicopter/boat adventure at the Grand Canyon West. This is one of two helicopter tours they sell as options.
You have the heli-boat tour sold by Sundance and Grand Canyon/Pappion and you have a Heli tour with Maverick Helicopter to the bottom of the canyon without the boat ride. Maverick instead offers an opportunity to walk along the river overlook at the bottom of the canyon.
For the Heli-Boat tour, you first board the helicopter at the airport, you soar over West Rim then into the canyon. This is a controlled airspace, all flights are on the same pattern and watched over by a control center. Landing 4,000 feet below the rim on the banks of the once mighty Colorado River. From here, you board a pontoon boat and enjoy a ride on the river between the tall and narrow canyon walls. The river guide gives you a little history of what you are looking at as well as the history of the river.
Drifting down the river, you just get this great sense of awe and wonder looking up at these sheer rock walls. Then you are back on dry land and find your way to the helicopter pad. Board the next flight out of the canyon. Here’s where the video comes in.
Sorry for the quality, it was one of my first smartphones and this was not a planned event for me. You do get the feeling of how it felt to fly up and out amongst the cliff walls and to see the canyon under and before you gives you a sense of its enormous size. The canyon is always an amazing sight to see no matter where you are. To see it from the bottom then move up along its walls, you just suspend time and gaze at its wonder, and can understand its majestic power. Natures beauty on display.
Enjoy the video and please leave me your comments or questions below.