Location: Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
Date: July 2012
Activity: Sundance Helicopter Tour of the Grand Canyon
Worth It? Totally!
Ever since Trent and I began traveling, we’ve had a very good balance between a planned adventure and a seeing-where-the-day-takes-us kind of adventure.
Photo of my fam taken in St. Thomas USVI
Today was a well-planned and well-executed adventure. Like I mentioned in my last post, part of my family and I are visiting Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we decided to do a car trip through the southwestern United States. We have never been very keen on driving since we live in Texas where it takes 10 hours, at the very least, just to get out of the state, but this year, we decided to embrace the beauty of the road trip. At this point of our travel, we are all tucked into the JW Marriott, Las Vegas, for a little rest and relaxation after doing two crazy weeks buzzing through Southern and Central California. We are here with four of our six children (the two oldest had to return home to get back to school practices and activities), but our four youngest, Clay, Lexi, Leah and Bella, are still with us and ready for the day’s adventure.
This morning, we jumped up at 5:00am to ready ourselves for a morning helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon. We had toyed with the idea of driving over to the Grand Canyon, but realized that for our group it would most likely result in a lengthy drive a night in a hotel, some hiking with 4 children under 10, and the loading and unloading of our Excursion.
We decided a helicopter sounded like a much better alternative despite the expense.
|Lexi & me on board our helicopter all ready to go!|
One of my reasons to start this blog is to let all my family and friends and friends of friends know how we decided on different trips or excursions and whether or not it was worth it. I hope I can be helpful in my research or just by my experience on which expenses are worth it. You will find our adventures range from the free to the very expensive and I have no problem admitting any mistakes we made along the way no matter the cost. So here goes…our helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon.
|Our four youngest: Clay 10, Bella 5, Leah 7 & Lexi 7|
The day of our excursion to the Grand Canyon, our family drove over to the Luxor hotel to be picked up by a limo and taken over to Sundance helicopters. We aren’t sure why we couldn’t have just driven ourselves since it was only about a 5 minute drive, but the helicopter company insisted we be picked up. Nonetheless the kids loved the limo ride, and Bella was pleased as punch since this was her first limo ride ever!
We were checked in at the helicopter hangar by 6:15am and had our ID’s checked, weights taken (this isn’t as bad as it seems since the weight is taken with purse and all and only comes up on the screen of the attendant behind the desk), and credit card charged. We took the All American 7am tour, which was a special on their website. This included a 45-minute ride over to the Grand Canyon enjoying amazing views of Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, and the Colorado River all on board a luxury million dollar helicopter. Sound like a promotional flyer? Well, I did just take that straight from their website. 🙂
Inside the helicopter. It sat seven (which included the pilot).
So it fit our six just fine with four in the back and two of us in the front.
Once we arrived at the Grand Canyon, we landed the helicopter inside one of the bottom floors where our pilot set up a picnic breakfast as we took pictures and watched out for rattlesnakes. I actually think this is what the pilot tells all of us tourists to keep us in a very small roaming space. Don’t get me wrong – I know there are rattle snakes out there, but they really didn’t want us to do any roaming. We walked to a ridge, took a few pictures of our family, took pictures for other families that had come on other helicopters, and then reconvened under a camouflaged covering to picnic in the shade.
Breakfast was a speedy 30 minutes filled with fun adventure stories from our pilot, and we were shuttled back onto our heli to fly the 45 minutes back to Vegas. We ended the trip with an awesome flyby of the Las Vegas strip having gotten a great barring of the land. We returned to the hangar at 9am with a whole day left for us to continue exploring Las Vegas.
With their life jackets tied at the waist,
these cuties were ready for the flight back.
|I took this picture of the Hoover Dam from our helicopter.|
One of the massive walls of the Grand Canyon
taken from a lower plateau where we picnicked.
More information on Sundance Helicopter Tours can be found on their website: sundancehelicopters.com