Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam Tour Flight

16 September 2010

We were both pretty excited in the shuttle on the way to the airstrip; we knew this canyon was going to be big, but how big? Were we going to be blown away by this natural wonder of the world, or would the international hype around the Grand Canyon have already over blown our expectations?

Stars & Stripes Air Tours - Grand Canyon.JPG We were taking our air tour with the Stars & Stripes Air Tour company and unfortunately our initial impressions were not good. They charged an additional $10 ‘fuel surcharge’ per person when we arrived, why couldn’t this just be included in the tour fee we paid online?  They then started introductions by trying to sell us a DVD of our trip before we’d even embarked, and then they wanted to sell us photos and to top things off they wouldn’t let us use our own cameras outside in front of the plane. For $15 you could buy a print of you in front of the plane which they took with a little snap shot digital camera, I asked but they wouldn’t take a photo of Renee and I with my camera; we declined one with theirs. I’m travelling, I don’t want any damn printed photos to carry around and get crinkled; we live in a digital world! So for the sake of making a few extra bucks the Star & Stripes Air Tour company deliberately decreased our tour experience. If you’re looking at taking a flight over the Grand Canyon, which I recommend, then try a different company.

The flight lasted a little over an hour and from it we saw the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon in all its sizeable glory. I would say it met my expectations. I only wish the flight itself had of been a little more exciting, some stunts perhaps, lower flying or even better flying below ground level in the canyon itself; we were always pretty high up.

Hoover Dam
Constructed between 1931 and 1936. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. – Wikipedia

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Hoover Dam-1.JPGHoover Dam-2.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

Terrain on the way to the canyon

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] From the Air - Grand Canyon.JPGHoover Dam-4.JPGLake - Grand Canyon.JPGLake View - Grand Canyon.JPGLake View.JPGWhere we Took Off From - Grand Canyon.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] IMG_8619.JPGVarying Terrain - Grand Canyon.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

In flight photos. We are all wearing head phones as the tour included an audio guide where we pushed specific numbers when instructed by the pilot to hear relevant information. An interesting an informed pilot would have been better.

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Inside the Plane - Grand Canyon-10.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

Since we had beautiful weather and a boring pilot who refused to fly terrifyingly low or perform acrobatics we had to pretend to be sick

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Turbulence - Grand Canyon.JPGTurbulence - Grand Canyon-1.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet). Nearly two billion years of the Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. – Wikipedia

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Ground Lookout - Grand Canyon.JPGInto the Distance - Grand Canyon.JPGOver the Edge - Grand Canyon.JPGThe Ditch - Grand Canyon.JPGThe Drop Off - Grand Canyon.JPGWinding - Grand Canyon.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

Sneaky photos taken of the airplane after landing. The plane Renee is standing next to actually wasn’t the plane we flew in, it was just more conveniently placed for taking a sneaky photo next to.

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] IMG_8625.JPGOur Plane - Grand Canyon.JPG[/pe2-gallery]


  1. You look more like you are falling asleep in the sick bag 😛