The Grand Canyon truly is one of the wonders of the world. It’s been around for over 40 million years as the mighty Colorado River cut its way deep into the rock, leaving it as it is today. Over two hundred miles long, and up to eighteen miles wide at some points, the canyon is also over a mile deep. The canyon is of major importance to geologists from all over the world, as millions of years of erosion has resulted in one of the most complete records of geological evolution on the planet.
If you’re planning on visiting, or maybe even taking a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, you may wish to know that in the height of summer the temperatures at the Grand Canyon north rim can reach well over 100 degrees in the summer. The Grand Canyon south rim can be even hotter due to the higher elevation. This is stark contrast to the winter months where the temperature can drop to sub-zero.
One of the best ways to visit the area is to get a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. There are plenty of different Grand Canyon helicopter tours to choose from, all slightly different but all taking in this wonderful scenery from the air, from the ground, and from actually inside the canyon itself. In fact, many Grand Canyon helicopter tours will take you deep inside the canyon for a boat trip on the Colorado River. This is an experience not to be missed!
From inside the canyon, you’ll be amazed at the different color rocks. Many major geological exposures you’ll see near the bottom of the canyon are nearly two billion years old, and at the top there will be rocks only 230 million years old. If you ask your guide you’ll be informed exactly how the Colorado established it’s route through Arizona, and how ice ages helps to increase the rate of erosion in the rocks by increasing the amount of water flow through the area. You’ll also find out how the uplift of the Colorado plateau steepened the gradient of the river, causing it to flow faster and therefore erode the rocks quicker.
Taking a helicopter ride over the canyon, you’ll easily see how the river has carved its way into the rock. Only from above can the big picture of how the canyon formed be seen. Then, when you are flown into the canyon itself for a boat ride, you can appreciate the power of the river as it thunders it’s way through the canyon on it’s way to the Gulf of California.
If all the sights and views are exhausting, then you will have time on your Grand Canyon helicopter tour to rest and relax. Usually you will have up to three and a half hours to fully explore the area. This gives to you time to have meal from the restaurant at Guano Point – a popular vantage point for tourists on the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. You can even try the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which is another name for the Grand Canyon glass walkway. This remarkable feat of engineering allows you to literally step out over the canyon and look down at the river over a mile below. You can also visit the Grand Canyon Village, and visit Eagle Point, which offers yet another view of the canyon you simply won’t want to miss.
As you leave the canyon at the end of your Grand Canyon helicopter tour, you’ll be treated to yet another view of the canyon from the skies. As you soar over the canyon, you’ll probably notice it looks a lot different from when you flew in. As the sun moves across the sky it casts different shadows, and it highlights various different colors in the rocks below. People who see the canyon regularly say they can tell the time by the rocks. It certainly does give the impression that the canyon can look completely different depending on the time of the day.
All Grand Canyon helicopter tours provide an unforgettable day, and a truly exceptional and informative day out. You’ll have lots of fun seeing the sights and at the same time you’ll learn a lot about the geology that makes up this area of America, and how the Native Americans and Spanish settlers first colonized the area. You’ll also learn about how important the canyon is to understanding the planet we live on, and how it evolved over billions of years to what it is today.
The helicopter flight from the canyon back to Las Vegas is about forty-five minutes, and once your tour is over, you’ll be taken back to your hotel in a luxury limousine to finish off the day in style.