Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride! Hell Yeah!

Trip Start May 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, July 5, 2008

We finally reached the Grand Canyon and our first major park! After and overnight stop in Clay Springs AZ, we arrived at the Grand Canyon state park just in time for sunset on Thurs, 3 July. We didn't originally intend to be there over the independence holiday weekend, but we decided to call to make reservations and the only spot they had was the nights of the 3rd & 4th - otherwise we'd have to wait a week! We got very lucky since we found out later that they were closing the main south rim road (where almost all of the popular lookout points are) on the 6th July until November so we were fortunate to get a chance to see some of those famous views!!

We saw some helicopter tours advertised and decided that would be a great way to get the best views of the canyon. All the look out points were quite busy with visitors..... German, dutch, french, English.... very few actual Americans. Again we were lucky one of the helicopter companies had seats available on an hour long flight on the 4th.  It is definitely the best way to see it, you really get to appreciate the size from the air. The plateau the canyon is on is between 6500 and 8000ft above sea level, the Colorado river is slowly making its way to sea level, and currently the river is 2400ft above sea level, meaning the canyon is more than a mile deep!!  You only catch glimpses of the river from the rim and its too far away to spot the rafters. Between the north and south rim the distance varies from 1 mile to 18 miles across. There are no bridges across and the drive around is about 200 miles. There is a small foot bridge at the bottom but it takes 2 days to hike down and up again.

Our helicopter ride took us into the canyon below the rim level, the drop as you pass the edge of the canyon is spectacular, one minute you are skimming the trees then the ground just drops away as you swoop down the canyon. If you ever go, DO the helicopter tour!  Brent took 146 photos, most of which he has uploaded.......

The bad thing about the canyon was trailer park hell that we stayed in..... you can rough it in certain places in the canyon but there is only 1 park that takes RV's, its run by a private company so everybody is packed together and its expensive, $32 a night...... and the showers and toilets were a car drive away..... The Eagle has both of these but we try not to use them as Toby has to make sure there is enough water in the tanks and then has to drain the waste tanks when we leave, which is never very pretty.  Brent always seems to be busy doing other things when this needs to be done. So 2 nights was our max here and although the helicopter ride was awesome we were quite glad to be on our way.  The canyon is spectacular and well worth the visit.

We took off for Tuba city, the entrance to Monument Valley and the Painted Desert . On the way there the trailer of the vehicle in front of us broke free from the truck in a shower of sparks and it left the road and buried its self in the sand, we were very lucky that it did not roll over or go into incoming traffic....... 

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