We have recently come back from a fabulous road trip to California and Vegas. Whilst we were there we were treated to a present from family members - a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon which was booked through Viator.com and Sundance Helicopters.
We were picked up by a stretch limo from our hotel for the short drive to the airport. The limo was air conditioned and we were given water as well. We needed this as even early in the day the temperature was in the 90s.
When we arrived we were greeted at the helicopter base at McCarran airport and our details were taken. Weigh distribution is important on a helicopter and before boarding you are weighed. Now don't worry about this! No one can see your weight except the person taking your details and it doesn't show up anywhere, so even you can't see what it says. It is just part of the process.
The helicopter base had a little shop and toilets and was lovely and air conditioned. Then we waited for our helicopter pilot Pete.
Pete greeted us and was very welcoming. We put our items in the back on the helicopter, climbed up, strapped ourselves in, put our headphones on, and then we were off!
I have to admit at this point, I am a nervous flier and I have never flown in a helicopter before so the butterflies in my stomach had started. Before we went I took a travel sickness tablet. I am pleased to say though that the journey was smooth as anything. After we rose into the air and climbed to the select height, it almost felt that we were not moving, it was a little surreal, like being on a theme park ride.
We flew out of Las Vegas over the houses and hotels, and before too long the scenery changed. We were over the Moave desert with the Hoover Dam below us. The headphones were perfect at keeping the sound out whilst giving us a running commentary of our surroundings via the audio system.
A marvel of modern engineering the Hoover Dam is over 726 feet high and 1244 feet long. It was built in 1935 to provide a reliable source of water to those in California and today it provides water for communities in Nevada, California, San Diego and Los Angeles, supporting an estimated 18 million people.
We also flew over Lake Mead, which is the largest reservoir in the United States when full and is formed by the Hoover Dam. The scenery was amazing as you can see below.
After approximately 45 minutes we arrived at the Grand Canyon.
After time to take a few photos of the breathtaking canyon, we had a picnic lunch. It wasn't a luxury lunch but the sandwiches and pasta salad were tasty, we also had some fruit and crisps and a choice of a variety of soft drinks.
Of course the glass of sparkling wine was very welcoming. We ate our lunch in a shaded canopy in the canyon which gave us some relief from the sun.
On our trip back we flew over the Hoover Dam again and the Las Vegas strip.
We enjoyed seeing the hotels from the air and the bustle of the strip from the relative quiet of the helicopter. In fact in my opinion this was even better than the Grand Canyon.
Before long we were back at the airport and taken back to our hotel in the limo. Our only complaint was that we seemed to wait a long time here before we were chauffeured back but in reality it wasn't longer than about 30 minutes.
Our stop in the Grand Canyon was short, but we had time for photos and a picnic lunch with a glass of bubbly. If you drove to the Grand Canyon you would definitely see much more of it however it would take you an all day round trip from Vegas by car. Our trip, from being picked up at our hotel to being dropped back off was approximately 4 hours, which is so much quicker than driving.
We enjoyed the trip, the scenery was breathtaking and although it was expensive it was worth it - I mean how often do you get the chance to go to the Grand Canyon?
Tell me what do you think of my photos? Have you been to the Grand Canyon?