My friend Kas and I kicked off the most spectacular Bloggers Go Girlfriends Getaway in Phoenix, Arizona by crossing an item off both our bucket lists. Thanks to Viator, we signed up for their Grand Canyon helicopter tour - a leisurely road trip through miles and miles of gorgeous Arizona scenery followed by a breathtaking birds eye view of the Grand Canyon aboard a state-of-the-art helicopter.
We were picked up bright and early Friday morning by Detours Arizona in one of their luxury vans with individual captains chairs. We had a 250 mile road trip (one way) ahead of us, so it was nice that our tour guide and driver, Robert, was both friendly and knowledgable. We learned fun facts about Arizona along the way, making the time it took to get to our first stop go by quickly.
The Red Rocks of Sedona really are as gorgeous as you think they would be. The scenery looked like it had been painted, the colors were so vibrant. One of the most interesting rock formations was Bell Rock and it begged to be photographed. Kas and I were so excited, that we, of course, had to jump for joy.
Once we made it into the town of Sedona, we took a short stroll to window shop and stretch our legs. We stopped by Sedona Sam to have our fortunes read,
found a beautiful mural alongside one of the buildings,
stopped to enjoy the view of the famous Red Rocks of Sedona set among the lush greens and purple flowered trees against the deep blue sky,
and also stole a kiss from the infamous Pink Pigs of Sedona.
As we continued along our journey through Oak Creek Canyon, we wound our way through 2000 vertical feet of red walled canyon. It’s rated as one of the most scenic drives in the USA. Although we didn’t stop, I was able to snap this lucky shot from the van.
When we finally emerged from the canyon, we were surrounded by the ponderosa pines of the Coconino National Forest. It was like we blinked and were all of a sudden not in the desert, the forest was so lush! From there we wound our way around the Mogollon rim, to the outskirts of the Route 66 town of Flagstaff on our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
While drive up to the Grand Canyon South Rim was incredible to see, Kas and I were practically leaping out of the van to take our 50 minute helicopter flight of the Grand Canyon with Maverick Tours.
Just ascending into the air was gorgeous but when the South Rim gently dropped away as the North Rim and eastern end of the canyon came into view it was one of the most spectacular sights in the world. In the distance we could see the Painted Desert. Within that was the Desert View Watchtower designed by the Hopi Indians.
From there we followed the Colorado River upstream to where it merged with the Little Colorado River. The blues and greens stood out so vividly against the reds and sands of the canyon.We continued through Marble Canyon and Point Imperial as we climbed above the North Rim. There we saw the bird’s-eye view of the Canyon. We also flew over the Dragon Corridor, the widest and deepest part of the canyon.
Crossing over the Colorado River, we flew over the South Rim and the Kaibab National Forest landing back at the Grand Canyon Airport. The thrill seeker in me was having a blast, the photographer in me was snapping a way and the mom was wishing that Whistler and Ben could have experienced this with me. If you want to make a memory your family will never forget, this is one of them.
Tip: There is NO age limit to ride in the helicopter. As a matter of fact, infants under 2 may sit on your lap and do not require a ticket purchase!
Once we finally landed and found our legs, we snapped a photo in front of the helicopter and Robert drove us up to the rim.
We had about 30-45 minutes to walk along the trail and take photographs. Immediately in front of us at the drop off point stood the Hopi House, designed by Mary Colter. This shop has been featuring authentic Native American arts and handcrafts for over 100 years now.
Although the views from the edge were certainly gorgeous,
we both agreed that nothing compared to what we just experienced. Neither of us had been to the Grand Canyon before and honestly, there is nothing like dropping in over the edge and combing the sight of it for the first time with that feeling in your stomach when you fall through the air a few feet. It really is the only way to experience it for the first time!
We may have even bent the rules just a tiny bit by crossing over the safety fences for some fun shots…
And of course, we had to jump for joy at crossing another item off our bucket list!