Grand Canyon Helicopters

If you're visiting Sedona, AZ, the Grand Canyon is the ultimate daytrip that tops itself if you add a helicopter tour to the itinerary ~ Barry W., Rochester, NY

The Best (& cheapest) Way
to Take a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
From Sedona, AZ.

Sedona is a great place from which to do a Grand Canyon South Rim helicopter tour. Many people are under the impression that their flight must originate from Sedona. Indeed, this option is available, but it's expensive. The cheaper alternative is to rent a car, drive yourself to Grand Canyon National Park Airport and start your air tour there.

There are a number of South Rim helicopter tours available. I've flown all of them. Because all tours must fly the same route, you'd think there would be no difference in price and quality. Not true. There are major differences. To help you navigate among the best the South Rim has to offer, I've put together my Top 5 air tours. Take a gander. I'm confident you'll find one that will make your Sedona vacation extraordinary.

These South Rim tour prices CHECKED & VERIFIED


Canyon Spirit Tour(most popular!)

Up to 50 minutes air time! Fly rim to rim and back. See Point Imperial, Marble Canyon and Desert Watchtower. Cross through the Dragoon Corridor - the widest, deepest part of the National Park. All flights use the ECO-Star 130, the safest, most deluxe helicopter in the air today.

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North Canyon Tour

Most affordable South Rim helicopter on the market. Comes with 30 minutes air time. Goes from South Rim to the North Rim and back. Most likely you'll be on an A-Star helicopter, which is smaller than the ECO-Star and is sometimes configured with a rear-facing benchseat. Great option for budget travelers.

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50-Minute Deluxe

Another extended air time tour (50 minutes). Exclusively uses the ECO-Star 130. Starts by following Colorado River upstream to the Park's eastern boundary before circling back via the North Rim. You'll also see the Painted Desert and the Navajo Reservation.

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30-Minute Deluxe

Same as the North Canyon tour but done in a brand-new ECO-Star 130. Excellent rim-to-rim trip with some fantastic views of Phantom Ranch, the Colorado River, Kaibab Plateau, Temple of Ra and much more. Many describe this as seeing an IMAX movie in the sky.

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South Rim Plane

If the helicopter flight you want is sold out, consider this airplane tour. Flies out of Grand Canyon airport and follows the same flight plan as the extended tours (e.g. Canyon Sprit Tour, Grand Kingdom). Planes hold up to 19 passengers, are fully modified for sightseeing and are flown by two FAA-certified pilots.

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Getting There

The drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon National Park is straight forward. Take Highway 89Alt to I-40. Take I-40 west to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim. It works out to be a 119-mile drive that will take you a two hours (without stops). Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GPS: 3557'08?N 11208'49?W) is on the left hand side of Highway 64 - you can't miss it. Just in case, use this Google Map.

Air Tour Operators

There are three (3) companies that offer South Rim helicopter tours: Papillon Helicopters, Maverick Helicopters and Grand Canyon Helicopters. Although all fly the same routes, they are definitely different. In a nutshell, go Maverick if you want luxury. Papillon is a favorite with budget travelers. Grand Canyon Helicopters is between the two (they have a limited number of aircraft & are often sold out).


Grand Canyon air tours are extremely popular especially during summer months. Reservations are strongly encouraged, particularly if trying to book a group of three or more as helicopters are limited to six passengers. If your group is larger than six, it will be split between two aircraft that will leave at the same time.


It's not secret. The best deals are on the Internet. Bear in mind, to get the web special discount, you must complete the entire booking online. Failure to do so will often result in you paying full retail. Are online tours any different than tours booked over the phone? Absolutely not. You're getting the same premium trip but at a discount, which can add up to big savings if you're booking two or more people.

Book A South Rim Helicopter Ride

Travel On!