Best Grand Canyon Winter Flight Sightseeing Tours

Best Grand Canyon Winter Flight Sightseeing Tours

The Grand Canyon during winter is an incredible sight to behold. But even more so if you are flying over it in a helicopter or airplane.

Winter tours leave daily except for Christmas from Las Vegas and the South Rim, which is next to the town of Tusayan and the Grand Canyon National Park Airport in Arizona.

If you are in Las Vegas, chances are you’ll probably visit the West Rim, especially if you want a helicopter ride because that’s as far as these flight go. If you want to do the South Rim from Vegas, I strongly recommend taking the airplane (I’ll get to that in a minute).

Vegas flights depart from The Strip or Boulder City, which requires a 30-minute shuttle ride. These flights go over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam prior to entering Grand Canyon airspace.

From Vegas

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Vegas helicopters either fly over the canyon or land on the bottom or on the top. Bottom flights come with a Champagne picnic and top flights include tickets to the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk.

The Skywalk has now become Vegas’ most popular outdoor attraction. It’s basically a glass bridge that lets travelers walk some 70 feet over the edge until they are standing 4,000 over the bottom.

You can pick between basic and deluxe heli rides from Vegas. My personal preference is deluxe because they come with free limousine service to and from your hotel and use the superior EcoStar 130 helicopter.

At South Rim, helicopters are not allowed to land at the bottom. As such, you can pick between 30-minute and 50-minute flights. Frankly, I recommend you consider the later because the price difference is negligible and you nearly double your airtime.

Airplane Tours

Airplane tours function pretty much like heli rides, except they fly at a higher altitude, hold more people and cost less.

In Vegas, you can book air-only or tours that land at the top. Planes fly direct to the West Rim and the South Rim and can be upgraded to include helicopter rides (bottom flight only available at West Rim).

I do want to point out that most who want to visit the South Rim from Las Vegas take the 60-minute direct flight over. This particular flight can be extended to include a helicopter ride and a bus tour inside the National Park.

At South Rim, you’re only option is the 45-minute flight. It flies the same flight plan as the 50-minute helicopter. I typically recommend this plane trip to large groups or travelers on a tight budget.

Because it’s winter, consider dressing accordingly. It’s always a good idea to wear long pants and a jacket. A hat, sunglasses and sun block will also come in handy. If you are headed to the South Rim, consider picking up some ice cleats – you probably won’t need them but in case you do they will be very helpful as you navigate the walkways to various lookouts like Mather Point.


Indeed, if you are truly interested in capturing the beauty of the Grand Canyon during winter, you’ve got to take an air tour. Just remember that flights are limited and do sell out. In order to get your tickets, please book in advance and online.

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