5 min read

Sky-High Thrills: 5 Reasons Grand Canyon Balloons Rule

Imagine floating above the Grand Canyon, where eagles dare and the world stretches out like a living canvas. Ready for an epic tale? Here are 5 reasons to rise to the occasion!

Tobi Miles
May 17, 2019

How was the Grand Canyon Formed?

No one really knows for sure how the Grand Canyon as we know it today was formed!

Although there are some popular theories, mainly the deep erosion happened over millions of years from a consistent battering of water, Ice and wind.

Approximately 20 million years ago the Colorado River began to carve into the Grand Canyon at its eastern end, otherwise known as Marble Canyon!

As millions of years passed by continental drift and slight variations in the earths orbit caused variations in the seasons and climate.

Around 12,000 years ago, the Native Americans who lived in and around the Grand Canyon thought of it as a place of wonder formed by the gods.

grand canyon tours

These days, over 6 million people a year flock to the  Grand Canyon National Park like a pilgrimage all to experience its wonder!

But rather than your traditional tour which is so 1975, I experiencing something truly wonderful which confirmed to me the best way to see the grand Canyon is from the air!

Here are my 5 reasons to take a hot air balloon or Helicopter ride over the Canyon!

5. Excitement

The two major cities closest to the Canyon are Phoenix and Las Vegas. Flagstaff, Arizona is only 1.5 hrs from the South Rim which is a small city  although does have an international airport. So thats where we flew into!

JenniferH | Wikimedia Commons

Upon taking our hot air balloon ride up we felt a a tremendous sense of excitement and euphoria grip us like no other!

It was captivating to feel yourself lifting up and the whole world just falling away beneath our feet as we lifting up in our little wicker basket!

4. Perspective

From the ground it is impossible to appreciate the shear size and grandness of the great Grand Canyon.

A simple ground tour allows you to take a walk around the regular tourists routes with a guide.

To give you some numbers, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).

When you lift of on that hot air balloon the lift and feeling is magical and wonderful!

You can actually see this gaping hole formed from dusty rocks like a gateway to mad maxes hideout!

Puts your whole life into perspective on one of these trips!

3. Peaceful

On the ground due to the immense popularity of the Canyon with over 6 million visitors per year it can be quite busy rushed and even stressful!

With various tour groups up and down the area, rushing in between their various time slots.

From the air its a different story, I felt a tremendous sense of calm enveloping me as I lifted up over the canyon.

The air is peaceful and fresh and the little people below look like ants all fighting over the best spot for a picture!

The peacefulness of the Canyon will engulf you into a sense of calm.

Recently, I had taken up meditation before my trip in 2018 and that really helped to calm me as we lifted higher and higher.

As everything gets visually smaller, you realize any problems or issues you have in your life are just small and irrelevant.

2. The Wildlife and Waterfalls

The Colorado River isn't the only fresh water you’ll see pumping around the Canyon!

There are extravagant waterfalls cascading hundreds of feet high!

JohnMC12 | Wikimedia Commons

Some of the most stunning are Havasu Falls on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and Ribbon Falls on the North Rim’s Kaibab Trail.

The Wildlife around the Canyon is also in abundance, with everything from majestic horned owls to mule deer and Coyotes howling with a magnificent echo!

1. Bucket List Memory

Everyone has a bucket list, and if you don’t grab a pen and paper fast!

A Hot air balloon ride is on a lot of peoples lists! Especially one over the grand canyon its definitely a memorable experience to tell the grand kids about, one day!

Just let those burners blaze!

How to Book Hot Air balloon Ride at the Grand Canyon?

A variety of tour operators organize balloon rides over the canyon.

If you would like professional help booking a bucket list experience contact us at mail(at) or use the contact form HERE

Real Review:

According to Fran, from Arizona.

“LOVE, LOVE the experience!! The best hot air balloon ride I have ever been on, it was my first time.

Very glad I did it to enjoy the magnificent Sedona's red rock vistas. It was a very calming experience.

The crew was awesome, friendly, informative and humorous. Fozzy (sp?) was our pilot and he gave us great tour about Sedona's mountains, canyons and surroundings. The tour ended with a nice picnic (mimosas, OJ, sodas, fresh fruits and muffins).

The whole tour was probably lasted for four hours total from start to finish (pick up to drop off). Quite pricey, but totally worth it. Checked off one my bucket list. Only con have to get up very early, still totally worth it!"

Too Much Planning!?

  • Do you find planning a trip time consuming & even stressful?
  • Would you like a tailored Bucket List vacation?
  • Would you like experience designed to make EVERYONE Happy?

If you answered YES, to these questions then you should contact a Travel expert to take care of everything for you!

Taking an organised tour or tailored vacation is great as they will organize flights, hotels, car rental, activities &  Insurance!

To find out more check out: Which are the Best travel Tours?

Fancy a Romantic Hot Air Balloon ride over Vegas?

Bright lights? Big City? There is no better way to experience the Las Vegas strip then by air!!!

As we lifted of the glowing below was enticing and magical! Definitely an experience i will never forget!

We took the Sunset Hot Air Balloon Ride which took over the mountains as the sun swept below them majestically.

We were skeptical about the experience at first, but it really does put everything into perspective and surprisingly it actually brought me and my husband closer together!

You will experience views of Red Rock Canyon, Mount Potosi, the Las Vegas Strip as well as various other points of interest and even some local Vegas wildlife.

The Company running this is fully certified for over 20 years and an FAA commercial hot air balloon pilot.

Afterwards, we settled down for a Champagne toast and a chat with the professional balloon Pilot!

Check out this Bucket list adventure by following the link HERE

Helicopter/Plane Rides over the Grand Canyon?

Helicopter or plane rides are also a great way to see the Canyon from the air and highly recommend!

These can be exhilarating and fun trips, especially if flying in from Vegas!

Below we have compiled together our top five helicopter and plane rides over the canyon, based on customer reviews, uniqueness and quality!

Top 5 Helicopter/Plane Tours over the Grand Canyon?

1. Grand Canyon Skywalk Express Helicopter Tour

Best Grand Canyon trip from Vegas -  Sells out fast due high demand!

Departing the extravagant Las Vegas Strip, you will take a direct helicopter flight to the Prestigious Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Throughout the flight, you will experience breath taking birds eye view of the  Grand Canyon, Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Las Vegas Strip and the Hoover Dam!

We found this a great way to tick of all these amazing spots in one trip and capture some amazing “instagrammable” aerial photographs to make friends jealous back home!

After that whirlwind of excitement you will land and behold a true engineering marvel, the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

IodaRatta | Wikimedia Commons

The Skywalk suspends more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River, extends out more than 70 feet away from the edge of the West Rim.

It features a glass bottom walking surface it sure is exhilarating!

SKIP THE LINE admission to the Skywalk, VIP ground transport and a Skywalk souvenir photo are included on this adventure.

We had some time to relax and chill at the Canyon before heading back to Vegas for Champagne!

To check availability & prices for this tour, follow the link HERE

Note: This trip sells out fast during peak travel season so book in advance always.

2. Grand Canyon All American Helicopter Landing Tour

Most Popular Grand Canyon Tour

This is the most popular tour we found, it gives a unique perspective to a grand canyon.

As you descend 3500 feet below the rim of the Grand Canyon its a breath taking experience indeed!

The helicopter flight will take you over the popular sights of:

  • Hoover Dam
  • Lake Mead
  • Fortification Hill, an extinct volcano.

Along with many other awe-inspiring views.  After descending 3,500 feet inside the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai Indian Reservation,

you will enjoy a cool beverage, a light snack and a champagne toast 300 feet above the mighty Colorado River.

  • With champagne and refreshments included!
  • Limousine Pickup/drop off from your hotel!

To check availability & prices for this tour, follow the link HERE

Note: Convenient departure from McCarran gives you longer flight time than most other helicopter tours

3. Grand Canyon South Rim by Plane with Jeep Tour

If your more into Planes than choppers then this is the our for you!

It is also the most cost effective if your on a tight budget. You'll be collected from your hotel in Las Vegas and taken to Boulder Terminal for check-in.

Once onboard the air-conditioned passenger aircraft, you'll fly from Boulder Terminal to the south Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Spectacular views of Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam in Nevada can be seen as you fly over the Colorado River and into Arizona!

The plane has fantastic oversized windows to gaze out of for panoramic views, with a knowledgeable tour narration.

Grand Canyon Plane tour

You'll be flown back to Boulder Terminal and then driven back to your hotel in Las Vegas hotel after the Grand Canyon tour.

A nice feature is the “commemorative flight certificate” (which is available upon request), which is a great little memory and a proud achievement to put on the wall.

To check availability & prices for this tour, follow the link HERE

4.Grand Canyon West Rim Helicopter Tour


This 4 hour tour is packed full of experiences.

From the Stunning sights of red rock formations at the Bowl of Fire to an exhilarating flight over Downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip!

While enroute to the Canyon you’ll also see great views of Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and Fortification Hill.

Who is this tour for?

For those who wish to get great value & those short on time in Vegas.

As this helicopter tour stays in the air for extended canyon views.

To check availability & prices for this tour, follow the link HERE

5. Skywalk, Helicopter and Boat at the Grand Canyon

Most Unique Grand Canyon tour.

This very unique tour features two forms of transport to give you every perspective of the famous Canyon.

This half day tour includes a cruise down the mighty Colorado River on a Pontoon Boat and a West Rim Canyon tour by helicopter!

Grand Canyon helicopter & boat tour

Experience the incredible aerial views of the Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead.

Limousine Hotel Pickup and drop-off are standard.

To check availability & prices for this tour, follow the link HERE

Fancy Exciting a loved one?

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If your interesting in attending a Hot Air Balloon festival check out the world biggest at Albuquerque, New Mexico.

20 Golden Reasons why you should attend Albuquerque Balloon fiesta.

Albuquerque Balloon Festival 2020

For a list of All US Balloon Festivals, check out: Hot Air Balloon Festivals USA (2020 Calendar/Map)

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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