Headed to Las Vegas this summer? Make sure to add a Papillon Grand Canyon helicopter tour to your list of things to do. From aerial tours to landing adventures, there’s a Papillon tour for everyone. If there’s ever been a time to get airborne over the National Park, it’s now.
Papillion, established in 1965, is the largest provider of trips to the Grand Canyon, safely flying 600,000 people a year to the West Rim and the South Rim of the National Park. In my opinion, they’re doing something right if they’re providing tours to more than a half-million travelers annually.
So what makes Papillon so successful? Let’s start with tour selection. Travelers have a choice between air-only rides and landing packages. The most popular aerial trip is one that goes over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the West Rim. This tour is ideal if your time is limited as it lasts a total of three hours (including hotel pick up/drop of).
Many people prefer, however, to combine a flyover with feet on the ground, and this is where Papillon excels. Their most popular landing excursion is one that lands at the bottom of the Grand Canyon for a Champagne picnic. This particular adventure can be upgraded to include a Colorado River boat ride.
Other high-demand landing trips include bundling the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that lets you walk 70 feet past the edge of the rim, a Black Canyon float trip, a Gold Mine tour, horseback riding and kayaking. Take any one of these extended trips and you’re in for a one-of-a-kind canyon experience.
Papillon tours depart from two locations: Las Vegas – McCarran International Airport and Boulder City Municipal Airport. The terminal near McCarran is at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, and flights from it are limited. In most cases, you’ll depart from Boulder, which is an easy, comfortable 30-minute drive.
Each and every Papillon trip is all-inclusive. This means at the minimum they come with free hotel shuttle service (to/from). If you’ve booked a landing tour, your trip will include a guide, a meal, and all applicable park fees. I do recommend that you bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt and water.
Papillon prides itself on customer service. I’ve been able to reach them at all hours, and I’ve come to really appreciate the re-confirmation phone call they put in the day before your flight. Check-in is a walk in the park. You’ll be asked your weight, which catches some travelers by surprise. Don’t be. Seating on helicopters is assigned by weight distribution.
Volume is the name of the game at Papillon, which is why their prices are incredibly affordable. In fact, there’s not a competitor out there that can match Papillon’s rates. But there’s a catch: you have to book your trip online. Doing so will net you savings up to 35 percent, which is a major deal when you are a group of two or more people.
Papillon Helicopters is the leader in Grand Canyon helicopters tours from Las Vegas. Selection is everything, and this company offers both aerial and landing packages. Personally, I recommend the latter, and, if you have the budget, try to get a package that includes as many side-trips as possible. Papillon makes getting the flight of your dreams possible. And when they’re priced as low as this, it’s time to get serious about flying the canyon this year.