We had planned to do a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon helicopter tour long before our trip to Las Vegas so had spent a lot of time researching options for Grand Canyon helicopter trips from Las Vegas prior to booking with Serenity Helicopters.
If you’re thinking of a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon helicopter trip or are looking for Serenity Helicopters reviews in Las Vegas, hopefully this Serenity Helicopters review post about our experience will help you decide. And if you just want to cut the long story short – the answer is yes, we highly recommend Serenity Helicopters and definitely recommend you booking a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon tour with them!
We booked this trip online via Tripadvisor before we travelled to Vegas, but you can also book direct on the Serenity Helicopters website.
The Serenity Helicopters booking process was easy and we got several email confirmations and reminders, although we did have a bit of confusion relating to the time of our flight with one of the emails contradicting another. This was easily resolved with a quick phone call to Serenity, although there were complications calling them when in the US as Vodafone had an international call bar set up on our mobile.
Bear in mind you might need to call (or be called by) the company while you’re in Vegas, so make sure before you travel that your phone has no blocks or spending limits set up that prevent you using it whilst in the US.
When the day arrived for our Las Vegas to Grand Canyon trip we were collected from our hotel by Serenity’s driver in their big, luxurious people mover.
We were instantly impressed with the driver who was on time, easy to find and as friendly and helpful as can be.
We had to drive to another nearby hotel to pick up another couple who were on our same flight and, on the journey, the driver was full of advice and local knowledge about visiting Vegas. Everything from tips on local restaurants, shows to see, places to avoid, local history and even gambling advice!
This was a very welcome bonus that we weren’t expecting and was like having our own personal tour guide which really helped make the most of our stay in Vegas. If you do book this tour, we recommend doing so early on in your stay in Vegas so you can get maximum benefit from the advice and recommendations.
What I mentioned above about making sure your phone works properly became really apparent when our driver stopped off to collect the other guests from their hotel…
For some reason they weren’t at the meeting point and the driver was unable to contact them by phone. He tried repeatedly but couldn’t get hold of them – our theory being that their phone wasn’t working in the US (I even tried their number on my UK mobile but couldn’t connect).
Despite spending about 45-minutes searching around the hotel and trying to make contact with them, the other guests never appeared so we had to abandon the search and head off to the airport without them. A shame for them, but all the more space in the helicopter (which seats a max of six guests) for us.
We’d definitely recommend you call Serenity several days ahead of time to make sure they’ve got your correct details, you’ve confirmed the pickup time in person (not just by email) and that they can contact you if they need to for any reason – because if there is a problem you’ll be happier knowing it’s resolved well ahead of time and not creating a panic at the time you’re due to be picked up.
The journey to Serenity Helicopter’s base took about 35-minutes (they’re based at Boulder City airport on the outskirts of the city and not at the main McCarran Airport in Las Vegas).
Serenity’s staff at the airport were friendly and helpful, giving us a safety briefing and letting us know what to expect on the trip.
The main reason we booked this tour with Serenity was that they’re a relatively small business and they clearly have a very personal, friendly approach.
There are lots of other companies operating helicopter tours from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon – some of which are much larger with large fleets of helicopters.
We felt a large company might not have the same attention to detail or take the same kind of care as a smaller one and this definitely proved to be the case. We were very well taken care of and certainly never felt like just a number to them.
We were shown out to the helicopter and greeted by the pilot, known as ‘Mad Dog’ Mike Davis. I must admit my idea of an ideal pilot is a serious, straight-laced, uniform-wearing character and not someone who goes by the name of ‘Mad Dog”!
And you definitely couldn’t call Mad Dog Mike ‘serious and straight-laced’ that’s for sure. But he was a friendly, entertaining character who is obviously a very experienced and competent pilot who was full of knowledge about the canyon and gave us an interesting and entertaining running commentary over the headphones about the detail and history of what we were looking at below.
The first sight on the flight was Lake Mead – a huge man-made lake created by the construction of the famous Hoover Dam, providing water and electricity to Las Vegas (which, incidentally, is at historic low levels thanks to the continual expansion of Vegas and simultaneous declining rainfall in the region).
We flew over the dam with plenty of opportunities to take photos and learn about the history of its construction from Mad Dog over the mic.
From there we flew for around half-an-hour across desert plains, mountains and wilderness towards the Grand Canyon.
Mad Dog’s commentary over the headset was accompanied by music from an iPod in the helicopter, with the music apparently being perfectly selected and timed to match the views of the terrain outside, with dramatic music coming on just as dramatic views were revealed below.
Eventually we reached a ridge-line which we flew low towards, up and over to reveal the amazing sight of the Grand Canyon below us, glowing in the setting sun.
The helicopter took a dramatic turn, leaving our stomachs in our mouths as we swooped in to the canyon, flying low alongside the enormous cliff faces and following the river as it snakes its way through this amazing natural wonder of the world.
We wanted to take as many photos as possible, but were also conscious that if you just view all this through the lens of a camera you’ll never get the full experience of seeing – and remembering it – through your own eyes.
After a while flying around and through the canyon, above and below the rim, we reached the landing spot. This is of course just a small part of the world’s largest canyon which, according to Mad Dog, it’d take 2.5-hours to fly from one end to the other. Luckily it’s a very scenic part, totally isolated and unbelievably peaceful and quiet.
There were plenty of other helicopters from other companies flying around and landing – but none anywhere near us. This spot is specifically for Serenity Helicopters and is a perfect viewpoint down the river, with tables set up for lunches and dinners in the most spectacular setting imaginable.
We couldn’t get over how unbelievably quiet it was – particularly in contrast to the crazy sights and sounds of Vegas that we’d left behind. The sun was setting behind the canyon rim giving the whole place an orange glow, a full moon rising in the clear sky behind us, no sounds to be heard other than a curious goat sniffing around the helicopter.
We had booked Serenity Helicopters’ sunset dinner tour – and Mad Dog got a large case from the back of the helicopter with the meal and drinks and started setting up the table.
We were just expecting some kind of microwaved ready-meal but in fact it was a delicious dinner that had been hand-cooked by a local restaurant. Steaming hot despite being transported all that way – and accompanied by Champagne and the most unreal views.
If there was one small downside to this trip it was that it didn’t last long enough. We could happily have spent hours here, exploring a bit further and enjoying and photographing the views after our dinner.
But we had to get back – it was getting dark and the bottom of the Grand Canyon isn’t somewhere you want to spend too long at at night!
The flight back was another amazing experience with the sun setting ahead of us giving a completely different view of the surroundings.
We landed safely and all agreed that, even though this had taken up a big chunk of our holiday budget, it was worth the money ten times over.
To be able to get such an amazing view of – and to actually get right down inside of – the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is probably a once in a lifetime experience for people like us from the UK and it’s definitely an experience we’ll remember forever.
All that remained was to get a lift back to our hotel – right to the front door again – and with yet more tips and advice from the driver for things to do during the rest of our Las Vegas stay.
All in all this was an amazing day thanks to a brilliant company and we’d highly recommend Serenity Helicopters to anyone considering a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon helicopter tour. Being a smaller company it definitely feels like they go the extra mile to take extra care of their customers and we can’t recommend them highly enough!