Helo Days logo
Pilot, passenger seen in cockpit overlooking Grand Canyon

What to wear on helicopter tour of Grand Canyon

Don't risk spoiling your Grand Canyon helicopter tour by wearing inappropriate attire or failing to bring along items to protect you from the intense desert climate.

What to wear on helicopter tour of Grand Canyon depends on the type of tour you'll be participating in. If its a landing tour then be sure to dress to hike as the terrain is rough. Wear toe covering shoes well applying sunscreen with a set of sunglasses. Weather in the Grand Canyon is similar to your departure location.

Did you know the Grand Canyon West Rim experiences a subtropical condition up to 300 days of the year.

Most of you will be departing into the West Rim via Las Vegas, Boulder City or the Hoover Dam - so dress according to your departure location.

Knowing you'll be entering a tough, often intense desert climate; take extra care to what you wear and bring with you.

You can't go wrong by under dressing but will intern expose your skin to the dangerous heat of the sun.

So where your skin is exposed to the elements - namely face, arms or legs - then be sure to apply sunscreen.

Go one better by bringing along a sun hat for wearing on your Grand Canyon helicopter tour that includes time spent on a landing trip.

More so, you'll need to bring sunglasses to protect eyes in-flight or when you're exploring the Grand Canyon or sitting for a picnic - which is not often shaded.

Shoes play a vital part so for a matter of comfort, make it toe covering sneakers or boots as the Grand Canyon environment does not take kindly to open toed sandals or heels.

All clothing including the photography equipment you bring on your helicopter tour will have to be weighed for what is known as weight and balances.

Grand Canyon weather similar to Las Vegas

One way to get a good understanding of how the weather will be in the Grand Canyon - the the West Rim in particular - is knowing what is happening in Las Vegas.

You can do an online weather check for Las Vegas locally; that will in tern tell you how the weather is in the Grand Canyon.

Las Vegas climate is very similar to a subtropical desert so not much changes with a helicopter tour from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon.

Knowing what the weather is doing in Las Vegas is important for helicopter passengers to know, as its basically what's happening in the Grand Canyon.

If you feel shorts, a light shirt and sandals are appropriate to wear in Las Vegas; then it will be acceptable for you to wear in a helicopter.

However, knowing the difference in terms of terrain should be strongly considered as sandals are not appropriate for wearing on a Grand Canyon helicopter landing tour.

To wear on Grand Canyon landing tour

If you know you'll be undertaking an heli adventure into the Grand Canyon via the South Rim or West Rim - then dress to the occasion.

Grand Canyon helicopter tours with landings include safe to visit remote areas; but that is not to say the environment is safe for exploring.

Consider a Grand Canyon helicopter landing tour as if you're going on a hike, walk up a mountain or into the countryside.

Now you wouldn't wear sandals to go hiking would you? So be aware you need to dress in hiking-like gear - including closed toed hiking boots or sneakers.

But first, you'll need to protect yourself from the strong sunray by splashing on a quality sunscreen.

Not appropriate to wear inside the helicopter in-flight, but do bring along a sun hat to wear on the Grand Canyon landing - as its needed well exploring or having a picnic.

South Rim helicopter tours will often require you to layer up as the temperature can drop to cold conditions - so wear a hat and gloves - with long pants and a jumper.

Not really a problem with a Grand Canyon South Rim helicopter tour as the area experiences 300 days of subtropical conditions.

Helicopter tour ONLY attire

If you're participating in what is coined as an 'Air Only' helicopter tour as oppose to a Grand Canyon 'Landing Tour' - remember it can get warm.

That being said Maverick Helicopters or Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters do make use of climate control inside the chopper.

So when its chilly out the pilot is sure to make use of the climate control inside; much so if its hot out then it will be nice and cool inside the helicopter.

If you decide to wear too many layers in cold weather than the heat inside the heli might not be too comfortable for you.

So be sure not to go over the top as you won't be allowed to undress in flight.

What the weather is doing at your departure location should be the attire fit for wearing on your tour.

No need to be concerned about it being cold at high attitude as the climate control will be used if its too hot or cold.

Check weather at departure location

Not much difference in terms of weather conditions wherever you may be departing via a helicopter to the Grand Canyon when it relies on the season.

So in the summertime, a departure via Las Vegas in Nevada or Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona will be similar.

Much so even in the winter the Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tours out of Las Vegas or Boulder City will be hot still.

To better understand how the weather is doing to the point in the Grand Canyon you'll be visiting via a helicopter landing tour - its what is happening at the point of departure.

No need to be concerned if its an air only helicopter flight, but a landing tour will result in you being to hot or cold if not dressed appropriately.

So be sure to check the weather at your departure location as it should be all you need to know when dressing for a landing tour on the South or West Rim.

Sun hat to protect face

Providing you have also applied sunscreen to your exposed skin before setting off for your helicopter tour, people who are prone to sunburn will need a hat.

Now, saying that not every helicopter tour operator allow passengers to bring a hat on board as it would be a distraction or a nuisance to other passengers.

So you might be able to compromise by arranging to carry the hat on your lap, well only wearing it once you've arrived at your landing tour site.

If you're participating in a Grand Canyon helicopter tour with a picnic; the area can be shaded, but they can also be exposed.

So know that you will need a hat to protect yourself from the intense heat of the sun.

On top of that, you'll also need to bring along sunglasses.

Sunglasses on sunny days

Thankfully, the helicopter tour operator will not stop passengers bringing along a pair of sunglasses, as they're needed more ways than one.

To begin with, as the Grand Canyon experiences sunshine most of the year, its imperative you bring sunglasses along to protect your eyes as you sightsee out of the helicopter window.

If the sun does not trouble you on the way, it will be a nuisance on the way back as the helicopter is heading in the opposite direction.

No one will be able to avoid the intensity of the sunshine, so at one point or another sunglasses will be needed.

That also goes for the need to wear eye protection as you embark the helicopter at the landing site to walk around and take pictures.

If you don't like to wear sunglasses, bring a pair anyway as you'll be sure to not regret it.

Long pants if its cold

If you choose to wear shorts on your Grand Canyon helicopter shorts, this would be normal dress sense as often the weather conditions calls for it.

However, like me I never wear shorts as my legs are too hairy; but it must be said I've never regretted it.

That is because my legs don't get cold or hot; so for you only wear shorts if you do over heat.

Failing to wear long pants can have a few unwelcoming effects; firstly you can sunburn; secondly, bare skin on rocks or the picnic bench will be pressed up against intense heat.

So remember that, if you don't have skin covered up then there's no protection from the sun on legs - well it will be difficult to sit on something as simple as a picnic bench.

I recommend you wear long pants such as leggings or jeans so that you do have protection from the heat - it might be chilly in the Grand Canyon so that's another reason to wear long pants.

Layers on top to prevent the chill

If you decide to wear long pants or prefer to take the risk by wearing shorts or perhaps a skirt or dress on a helicopter tour with a landing - then do layer up on top.

It can still get a little chilly in flight well even colder once you've arrived at the landing site.

To keep warm passengers can focus there attention on staying warm by simply layering up on top.

No hassle to it as a zip up jumper or hoodie is all that is needed.

If its to hot you'll be free to take it off at the landing site, but not before in the helicopter.

Where a hat is not permitted a hoodie might be a comprise to help protect yourself from the desert sun.

Summary

When participating in a Grand Canyon 'air only' helicopter tour wear what you feel comfortable in at the departure location.

If its too hot or cold the condition can be canceled out with air conditioning inside the helicopter.

Where you need to focus your attention on most is when you're undertaking a Grand Canyon helicopter tour - with a landing.

In which case you'll need to dress as if you're going on a walk or hike.

So its more important than anything else to wear hiking boots or toe covering sneakers that would be suitable to wear in a canyon that is riddled with loose rocks and rough terrain.

What the weather condition is doing in Las Vegas, Boulder City or the Grand Canyon National Park departure location - is sure to be similar where the helicopter lands.

Play it safe by wearing layers that can be removed if its too hot, but don't go overboard as it can't be removed in-flight.

Apply sunblock before anything else, and don't forget to bring sunglasses as a desert climate calls for such items.

Share this article: