Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

Back in June 2015, I embarked on my first international solo travel experience. I did a lot of research to work out which type of experience would suit me best, but eventually settled on a Contiki Tour! I looked extensively into which specific tour I wanted to do, based on the cities I hoped to visit. Eventually, I settled on the Best of USA! If you’re unfamiliar with Contiki, basically they’re a tour company for people all over the world, aged between 18 and 35 years old. So as long as you’re within that age bracket, you can enjoy everything that Contiki has to offer!

Related: Read about my Best of USA Contiki experience here!

The aspect that stood out to me most with this tour, was the fact that New York City and Las Vegas were included in the itinerary. Visiting New York City had been a childhood dream of mine, and I wanted to return to Las Vegas since the last time I had visited, I wasn’t 21 yet! That meant I couldn’t fully enjoy what Las Vegas was all about. So I was definitely ready to head back and party Vegas style!

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

Contiki Tours offer a wide range of extras that are available for an added cost. One of those extras, was the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour. This is an incredible helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, with a champagne lunch at the bottom. As soon as I saw the tour listed on our available extras, I immediately knew I wanted to do it. The Grand Canyon is incredible, and I definitely think it’s one of those must-see-before-you-die landmarks. It’s difficult to explain just how surreal it feels to be there, so you’ll just have to book a tour for yourself!

The Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon From the Sky!

About the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour

On our second full day in Las Vegas, a few of us woke up bright and early and caught a shuttle bus to the helicopter terminal in Boulder City. I remember it being a scorching hot day (that’s Nevada during summer for ya), and I was sweating up a storm from the second we walked out of the air-conditioned terminal, onto the tarmac. That being said, once I saw our awesome, bright red helicopter, I forgot about the almost unbearable heat.

The Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour is THE best way to experience the Grand Canyon!… Click To Tweet

Our pilot was very friendly and explained the tour in great detail. We were handed noise cancellation headphones, and weren’t shy in taking selfies while wearing them. I was lucky enough to be given the front seat, right next to the pilot. This was awesome, except for the the burning sun that was hitting my legs the whole time! But hey, I can’t complain too much. I had un-restricted, panoramic views of the beautiful Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

Living it up in the front seat of our helicopter!

Once we were in the sky, we flew over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, before finally seeing the Grand Canyon in all of its glory. It’s pretty hard to describe just how impressive the Grand Canyon is. I’m sure you’ve seen tons of photos, from every angle possible. But you can’t fully imagine or appreciate just how insanely large and incredible it is, until you’ve seen it in person.

In my opinion, the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour is the best way to experience the Grand Canyon. It’s definitely worth the extra money, as you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon
Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

Photos from the sky, of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam & The Grand Canyon!

After some incredible photo opportunities of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, the helicopter began to descend and we landed 4,000 feet below the rim of the Grand Canyon! Once everyone had stepped out of the helicopter, we began snapping photos on our phones and cameras. I definitely took advantage of the incredible scenery, to steal some unbeatable selfie opportunities.

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon
Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon
Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon

This is one of my all-time favourite photos. Absolutely incredible scenery, and a once in a lifetime experience!

After everyone had finished taking photos, we all sat down to a champagne picnic lunch under shaded park benches. It was pretty incredible, eating lunch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. How many people can say they’ve eaten lunch and had a glass of champagne at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? Definitely a once in a lifetime experience, even though I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour is, in my opinion, the best way to experience the Grand Canyon. It may be a little pricey for some, but if you can manage the cost, I highly recommend booking your own tour. If seeing the Grand Canyon is on your bucket list, this is definitely the most incredible way to do so.

The pilots are super friendly, highly knowledgable and will answer any and all of your questions. I am so thankful that Contiki gave me this opportunity, as I probably would have never considered it myself.

Basic information about the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour

Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour by Papillon
Cost: starting at $314
Approximate duration: 4-4.5 hours
Departure: shuttle pick up from (most) major Las Vegas hotels

Helpful Tips & Things to Remember

  • Make sure to bring your ID – when checking in at the terminal, you’ll be asked to show ID. Make sure to bring along a valid form of ID (passport if you’re not from the USA, drivers license if you’re a US resident/citizen)
  • Book your tickets in advance – this particular tour is pretty popular, so make sure you book your tickets in advance so you don’t miss out!
  • Don’t forget to bring your camera – like I’ve mentioned many times within this article, the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour is absolutely incredible, and you will definitely regret not bringing your camera. Charge up those batteries and bring an extra memory card just incase!
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat – this is especially important if you’re visiting during summer. Nevada is a desert state, which means summer days are scorching hot. There isn’t much shade at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, so it’s important to wear plenty of sunscreen and a hat!

For more information about the Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour, click here!

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Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour: Exploring the Grand Canyon


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share my 100% honest opinion, and would never endorse a product or company that I would not use myself!

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  • This looks so incredible! The photos are amazing to say the least and the thought of a champagne picnic just tops it all off! I’d only ever really thought about hiking or paddling in the grand canyon, but this tour seems fantastic!

    • It’s definitely a great option for people who want a less ‘active’ way of seeing the Grand Canyon. Not that I’m not an active person, I simply jumped at the opportunity to see the Canyon in such an awesome way!
      Thanks for your comment 😀

  • Oh Man! This looks so much fun! I was in Grand Canyon many moons ago but now regret not taking the helicopter ride. Beautiful photos too.

    • It was a lot of fun! Super hot though, haha.
      Maybe one day you can go back and take the helicopter ride 😀

  • Those views are just gorgeous! I’ve never done a Contiki tour but I’ve heard really good things!

    • Contiki Tours are a great way to see a new place, and meet new people! And you get to do awesome things like this! I never would have thought of doing a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon if it wasn’t for Contiki! 😀

  • Jean

    This looks anazing! I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon from above. Or maybe just in general I’m desperate to see it.

    • I hope you get to see the Grand Canyon one day! It’s amazing, no matter how you experience it! 😀

  • Think this is definitely something I’d factor in to my budget if I am ever over that way! Looks like you had a fab time. Just out of interest, what else was included alongside he champagne?

  • Jamie

    Can you believe I was lucky enough to grow up just an hour and a half from the Grand Canyon?! I always took it for granted. Maybe a helicopter ride would make me appreciate it again?! And champagne at the bottom?! Yes please!! Sounds like you had a great time on this trip. It truly sounds spectacular!!!

    • You are lucky! Sometimes it’s easy to overlook things that we’ve grown up so close to. I was the same about my hometown after moving to the middle of nowhere! haha
      If you happen to visit one day, definitey consider the helicopter ride! Thanks for reading, Jamie! 🙂

  • This looks amazing, Rhiannon! And actually, given that it was a 3-4 hour trip, I didn’t think it was too horrendously overpriced! I would love to explore the Grand Canyon and some of the national parks around that area one day. Love your pictures; they definitely inspire me to visit!

  • This looks so beautiful. I am definitely adding this to my things to do while visiting the Grand Canyon. Your pictures are so pretty 🙂

    • Such a cool way to experience the Grand Canyon! Definitely worth the money, in my opinion 🙂
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Kelly

    I have heard great things about Contiki and this tour looks stunning. I live in the US and have never been to the Grand Canyon. This encourages me to get thete and see it through the window of a helicopter. Thanks!!

    • Contiki is awesome, especially if you want to meet new people in a safe and everything-done-for-you way! I hope you do visit, it’s awesome, especially from the sky! 🙂 Thanks for reading 😀

  • This is awesome!! Despite living so close I’ve actually never been to the Grand Canyon, believe it or not. Helicopter views are some of my favorite views so I’d definitely go this route if I were to visit! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Oh wow, you definitely should go! They’re amazing, aren’t they? I’ve done two helicopter rides, this one and one over New York City! Soooo worth the cost 🙂 Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • That is really cool! I visited the hoover dam briefly and spent a couple days at the Grand Canyon this past October. It was so amazing and I can’t wait to go again, but seeing it from the air must be really incredible! I loved your pics from the helicopter, wow, what a different and impressive angle!

    • The Hoover Dam is very impressive, isn’t it! Seeing it from the sky is definitely something you should consider. Such an awesome experience. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • That is an awesome way to see the Grand Canyon! I’ve only seen it from an airplane, but this is a much better view. Helicopter rides super freak me out, but I convinced myself to do one in Hawaii over the volcanoes and ended up enjoying it, so I’d def give this a go!

  • Kat

    I’ve always wanted to go on a helicopter ride and the Grand Canyon looks like the perfect place to do one! I’ll definitely consider this company when I go there. 🙂

  • Wow such an amazing experience! I didn’t do this the time I visited Grand Canyon in 2014. I’m a bit scared of helicopter rides but maybe next time I try it. I also want to go back to Las Vegas, I was 20 when I visited.

    • Helicopters can be pretty scary if you’ve never been in one, but the view is worth it! Oh that’s disappointing! I hope you get to go back one day soon! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Ivana 🙂

  • Rosie Fluskey

    Wow, what an epic way to tick off your bucket list! It sounds incredible. I think being a helicopter, below the rim of the canyon would freak me out a little. I’d be worried about the champagne too, what if you need a wee on the way back lol.

    • It definitely was an amazing experience! Haha, well the flight isn’t too long, so it won’t matter too much if you drink a bit too much and have to wee! 😛
      Thanks for reading, Rosie!

  • The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list for a while and it seems like you had lots of fun! Very motivational post, Rhiannon!

    • I hope you get to visit one day soon! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • I travelled around America with Trek America and although I did the helicopter ride, we didn’t land in the Canyon so that’s awesome! Instead I hiked in and nearly died hiking back up hahaha

    • Oh wow that would have killed me for sure! haha. Super impressive that you managed to hike back up to the top! Thanks for reading, Eppie 🙂