The Grand Canyon has always been on my bucket list of places to visit as I imagine it is for many of you. Last year I was fortunate enough to visit and step foot on the canyon floor.
In September 2016 one of my best friends and I headed to Las Vegas, the land of gambling, decadence and I imagine in a lot of cases regret. Now personally I’m not one for drinking or partying and must quite literally be the only person to have ever visited Vegas and not gambled in the one of the many casinos. Not even a slot machine 😂 but we both felt it was a place that we wanted to explore and see at least once in our lifetimes, but I digress.
We’re here to talk about touring the Grand Canyon, so lets get on with it. Given that we were so close, it seemed a shame not to do some kind of tour. We were only in Vegas for two and a half days so a multi-day more involved tour was out of the question, our options boiled down to a bus tour or a helicopter tour. We went for the helicopter because lets face it who doesn’t want to pretend they’re in a James Bond film at least once in their lifetime? ***Cue awkward cringy photos***
We chose the Grand Celebration with Vegas Strip Tour by Papillon as it offered the best value for money and included everything that we wanted to experience.
We were picked up by a limousine from our hotel where we met a lovely Australian family who would later share our helicopter. The drive into the terminal was short to say the least and took around 10 minutes. Upon arrival we were weighed (ohhh the horror) 😱 and then left to relax in the terminal whilst our helicopter was prepared.
We took this opportunity to ‘upgrade’ to the front seats – it cost us an extra $50 but I’m only five foot tall so in my opinion it was money well spent. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been to the cinema only to end up sat behind the tallest giant of a man you have ever seen – I didn’t really want to risk paying £300+ for a ‘restricted view’ if you know what I mean… You can only upgrade if the weight distribution of the helicopter can be balanced out within your party so it is worth noting that this opinion may not be available to you for this reason.
Onto the flight… After I’d gotten over the excitement of being in a helicopter (a first for me) we had a flyover of the hoover dam – not a major attraction to be honest but a nice little add on especially having only recently watched San Andreas. There’s something kind of satisfying about visiting movie sets in person and seeing them with your own two eyes, taking in the sights, scents and environments for yourself and not being manipulated into being told what to think and how to feel.
Then came the good stuff, onto the Canyon itself. Our flight path took us over the Skywalk and it looked ridiculously tiny and so so so busy. I only wish I had a photo to show you. I definitely think we made the right call going with a heli tour. After a little while longer in the air we landed on the Canyon floor and were treat to a champagne picnic under a traditional shelter which was actually way nicer that I expected it to be.
At this point I thought it would be a good idea to share the experience with my nearest and dearest and tried to FaceTime home 😐🙈. Fail. Note to self there is no signal or Wi-Fi anywhere near the Grand Canyon. I had to settle for taking to photos and videos to share later – like a normal person. Not my finest moment if I’m honest but watch this space I’m sure I’ll do something stupider at some point.
Standing in the Grand Canyon was almost like meeting a celebrity or someone that you really look up to in a weird way. (I once walked past Harry Styles at Uni only to learn later that one of my friends had literally pounced on him in Sheffield city centre). You get that same feeling in the pit of your stomach, kind of like you can’t quite believe what you are looking at. It was way too much to take in, in the short time that we had but I’m so glad that we.
After our sunset fly over of the Vegas Strip we landed and were given the opportunity to buy some professional photos before being transferred back to our hotel.
The tour was a great addition to a lovely trip and one that I won’t forget in a hurry. I would recommend it to anyone who is short on time but I can’t help but feel that I only scratched the surface. This trip (however brief) has given me a thirst to return and to explore a little more and visit the lesser untouched parts of the Grand Canyon.
Who else has been the Grand Canyon? Any recommendations for my next trips? Comment below!