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Is A Scenic Flight Over The Grand Canyon Worth It? Yes And No – Be My Travel Muse


Modified: September 26, 2023

by Chrystel Windham



As one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world, the Grand Canyon has long been a must-visit destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. Its vastness, sheer cliffs, and breathtaking views make it a sight to behold. While there are several ways to experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, one popular option is taking a scenic flight over the canyon.


A scenic flight offers a unique perspective of the Grand Canyon, allowing you to witness the immensity and beauty of this natural wonder from a bird’s-eye view. From the comfort of an aircraft, you can soak in panoramic vistas, observe the intricate layers of rock formations, and marvel at the striking colors that adorn the canyon walls. It’s an experience that promises to be unforgettable.


However, before deciding whether a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon is worth it, it’s essential to consider both the benefits and drawbacks of this adventure. While it can undoubtedly provide a thrilling and awe-inspiring experience, there are certain factors to take into account, such as cost, environmental impact, and personal preferences.


In this article, we will delve into the experience of a scenic flight, discussing its benefits and drawbacks. We will also explore alternative ways to experience the Grand Canyon for those who may prefer a different approach. By the end, you will have a better understanding of whether a scenic flight is the right choice for you when exploring the majestic Grand Canyon.


The Experience of a Scenic Flight

A scenic flight over the Grand Canyon offers an extraordinary adventure that takes you to new heights – quite literally. Once on board the aircraft, whether it’s a helicopter or a fixed-wing plane, you can expect a thrilling and immersive experience. The flight takes you soaring above the expansive canyon, showcasing its natural beauty and scale.


During the flight, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. From high above, you can appreciate the vastness of the canyon, the intricate details of its rock formations, and the vibrant colors that adorn its walls. This unique perspective offers a sense of awe and wonder that is difficult to replicate from any other vantage point.


Scenic flights also allow you to witness some of the most iconic landmarks within the Grand Canyon, such as the North Rim, South Rim, and the Colorado River. You’ll fly over remote areas that are inaccessible by foot, providing an exclusive glimpse into the hidden corners of the canyon.


Furthermore, the experience of a scenic flight is not just about the visual feast. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the geological history and cultural significance of the Grand Canyon. Many tours include informative narration and commentary, offering insights into the formation of the canyon and the Native American tribes that consider it sacred.


Another aspect that adds to the thrill of a scenic flight is the possibility of spotting local wildlife from above. Keep an eye out for soaring eagles, bighorn sheep, and even the occasional glimpse of a wild mustang roaming in the canyon. This adds an element of excitement to the flight and gives you a chance to see the wildlife in its natural habitat.


Overall, the experience of a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon is nothing short of spectacular. It allows you to witness the grandeur of this natural wonder from a unique perspective, providing a thrilling adventure and memories that will last a lifetime.


Benefits of Taking a Scenic Flight Over the Grand Canyon

Taking a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon offers numerous benefits that make it a compelling choice for adventurers seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here are some of the advantages of embarking on this exhilarating journey:

  1. Breathtaking Views: A scenic flight provides unparalleled views of the Grand Canyon that are simply awe-inspiring. With a bird’s-eye view, you can fully appreciate the vastness, depth, and beauty of this natural wonder from every angle.
  2. Convenience and Efficiency: A scenic flight is a convenient way to see the Grand Canyon, especially if you’re short on time or have limited mobility. It allows you to cover a significant area of the canyon in a relatively short amount of time, maximizing your sightseeing opportunities.
  3. Exclusive Access: Scenic flights provide access to remote areas of the Grand Canyon that are inaccessible by foot or vehicle. This means you can explore hidden corners and witness landscapes that few others have the opportunity to see.
  4. Informative Commentary: Many scenic flight tours offer informative narration and commentary, providing valuable insights into the geological history, Native American culture, and the significance of the Grand Canyon. This adds an educational aspect to the experience, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the area.
  5. Opportunity for Wildlife Spotting: During a scenic flight, there’s a chance to spot wildlife from above, including eagles, bighorn sheep, and other native species. This adds an element of excitement and allows you to observe these creatures in their natural habitat.
  6. A Unique Perspective: Seeing the Grand Canyon from a different perspective can be a transformative experience. A scenic flight offers a fresh viewpoint that may change your perception of the canyon, allowing you to fully grasp its immense scale and natural beauty.
  7. Memorable Adventure: Ultimately, a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon promises to be a memorable adventure that will stay with you for a lifetime. It’s an opportunity to tick off a bucket-list item and create cherished memories that you can share with friends and family.

Overall, the benefits of taking a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon are numerous. From breathtaking views to exclusive access and the chance for wildlife spotting, this adventure offers a unique and enriching experience that showcases the grandeur of this natural wonder like no other.


Drawbacks of Taking a Scenic Flight Over the Grand Canyon

While a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon offers many advantages, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision. Here are some factors to take into account:

  1. Cost: Scenic flights can be expensive, especially if you opt for a longer duration or a more luxurious experience. The cost of the flight may not be feasible for everyone, particularly budget-conscious travelers.
  2. Environmental Impact: Scenic flights contribute to air pollution and noise in the already delicate and serene environment of the Grand Canyon. Some argue that this can have a negative impact on the ecosystem and disrupt the natural habits of wildlife.
  3. Short Duration: While a scenic flight offers an incredible experience, the duration of the flight is limited. The time spent in the air may feel fleeting, leaving you longing for more. It can be challenging to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and grandeur of the Grand Canyon within the confines of a short flight.
  4. Limited Flexibility: Scenic flights operate on a set schedule, and you may be sharing the aircraft with other passengers. This can restrict your ability to choose the exact time or route for your flight, potentially limiting your desired level of flexibility and personalization.
  5. Unease for Sensitive Flyers: For individuals who are prone to motion sickness or have a fear of heights, a scenic flight may cause discomfort or anxiety. The turbulence often associated with flying, particularly in helicopters, can exacerbate these feelings and detract from the overall enjoyment of the experience.
  6. Less Intimate Connection: While a scenic flight provides a captivating overview of the Grand Canyon, it may lack the intimate connection that comes from exploring the area on foot or engaging in other activities. The distance between you and the ground can make it challenging to truly feel the energy and spirit of the canyon.

It’s important to weigh these drawbacks against the benefits when considering a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. Each person’s preferences, budget, and concerns will differ, so it’s essential to assess whether the potential drawbacks outweigh the advantages for a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.


Alternative Ways to Experience the Grand Canyon

While a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon offers a unique and thrilling adventure, it may not be the ideal choice for everyone. Thankfully, there are alternative ways to experience the grandeur of this natural wonder that may better suit your preferences and interests. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Hiking and Backpacking: One of the most immersive ways to experience the Grand Canyon is by embarking on a hiking or backpacking adventure. There are numerous trails available, ranging from beginner-friendly paths to challenging multi-day treks. This allows you to explore the canyon firsthand, feel its rugged terrain under your feet, and discover hidden gems along the way.
  2. Rim-to-Rim Experience: For a more comprehensive exploration of the Grand Canyon, consider the challenging Rim-to-Rim hike. This involves hiking from one rim of the canyon to the other, offering a unique perspective of the vastness and diversity of the landscape.
  3. River Rafting: A thrilling and memorable way to experience the Grand Canyon is through a river rafting expedition. Cruising along the Colorado River, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the canyon’s towering walls up close, navigate exhilarating rapids, and camp under the starry skies. It’s a journey that combines adrenaline-pumping adventure with a deep connection to the natural environment.
  4. Mule Ride: For a unique and historical experience, consider a mule ride into the Grand Canyon. This allows you to traverse some of the trails in a traditional and authentic manner, accompanied by experienced guides. It’s a slower-paced alternative that provides a deeper connection to the canyon’s history and heritage.
  5. Grand Canyon Village Exploration: Spend time exploring the Grand Canyon Village, located on the South Rim. Wander along the rim trail, visit the historic buildings, museums, and art galleries, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural and natural history of the area. You can also enjoy stunning sunset views and participate in ranger-led programs to deepen your understanding of the canyon.
  6. Photography and Stargazing: The Grand Canyon offers incredible opportunities for photographers and stargazers alike. Set up your camera to capture the ever-changing light and shadows that dance across the canyon’s walls, or join a guided stargazing program to observe the brilliance of the night sky in this designated International Dark Sky Park.

These alternative ways to experience the Grand Canyon offer a more immersive, active, and personal connection to this natural wonder. Whether you prefer hiking, rafting, exploring the village, or capturing its beauty through photography, there are options to suit every inclination and interest.


Ultimately, the choice of how to experience the Grand Canyon depends on your preferences, budget, and level of adventure-seeking. Consider the options carefully, and select the approach that resonates most with you for a truly unforgettable adventure in this majestic landscape.



The Grand Canyon offers a spectacular and awe-inspiring natural landscape that captivates the hearts of millions of visitors every year. Whether you choose to take a scenic flight over the canyon or prefer alternative ways to experience its grandeur, there is no denying the beauty and magnificence that awaits.


A scenic flight over the Grand Canyon provides a unique perspective, allowing you to witness the vastness, intricate details, and vibrant colors of the canyon from a bird’s-eye view. It offers convenience, exclusive access to remote areas, and the opportunity to learn about the geological and cultural significance of this natural wonder.


However, it’s crucial to consider the potential drawbacks of a scenic flight, such as the cost, environmental impact, and limited duration. Alternative ways to experience the Grand Canyon, such as hiking, rafting, village exploration, or photography, may provide a more immersive and personal connection to this remarkable destination.


Ultimately, the choice between taking a scenic flight or opting for alternative experiences depends on your preferences, budget, and desired level of adventure. Consider weighing the benefits and drawbacks, as well as your own interests, to make an informed decision.


Whichever path you choose, whether soaring above the canyon or exploring its depths on foot, the Grand Canyon promises to leave an indelible mark on your soul. It’s a place where the sheer magnificence of nature never fails to inspire and evoke a sense of awe. Embrace the adventure, embrace the grandeur, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this unparalleled natural wonder.