The Grand Canyon - 12th April 2016 - Stephen Beecroft

After getting over the surprise of a trip to Las Vegas I started to research the photographic opportunities that would be available. Every top 10 list of things to do whilst in Vegas all mentioned a sight seeing tour to the Grand Canyon. Now by road this would be 4 hours in each direction so pretty much a full day. We were not going to be there that long so we weren’t sure if we wanted to use up 8 hours sitting on a coach. So as this was a once in a lifetime trip we decided to book a helicopter tour. 30 minutes there 30 minutes landing in the Canyon and 30 minutes back seemed fantastic. We decided to go first thing in the morning because I knew the light wouldn’t be as harsh and I thought there might still be some colour left over from sunrise.

Arriving at the hotel at 9pm after a 6 hour flight from New York to get picked up at 5am at the time didn’t seem like the best idea. Finding our lift to the heliport without issue we had a chance to see from the bus an amazing sunrise coming up over Las Vegas. I was slightly annoyed I wasn’t out with the camera at that point. I need not have worried with the sights we were going to see.

After a quick safety briefing we were on the helicopter. We had allocated seats assigned by weight to balance the flight. I was fortunate enough to get a window seat that probably was on the best side, the opposite to the pilot. Having never been in a helicopter before I was unsure of what to expect when it took off but thankfully the conditions were really calm and we had a really talented pilot. It was that smooth I wasn’t even sure it had left the ground. It wasn’t long before we were flying over the iconic man-made structure that is the Hoover Dam.

Sitting down at picnic table at 8am with a glass of champagne in the Grand Canyon has to be one of the most surreal moments in my life. I wanted to photograph everything but I resisted the temptation and simply tried to capture a couple of different angles and used the rest of the time just to soak in how beautiful and atmospheric the place was. Thanks to Neil for getting this photo of us. Probably the photo that will make it printed and onto my wall.

The 30 minutes allocated for landing all too quickly went over and it was time to get back onboard. The return leg went back a different route so we were able to see some different fantastic views of Boulder City. Again just as smooth as when we arrived at the Canyon. I would highly recommend this flight to anybody visiting Las Vegas as it definitely was an experience to last a lifetime.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride

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