Grand Canyon: What to do as an original and unique experience?

Helicopter and Harley Davidson

Who has never dreamed of the American dream, the country where everything is possible? I myself dreamed of it. Inspired by my father, driving along Route 66 in a Harley-Davidson and admiring the Grand Canyon from above was one of them. I was lucky enough to be able to live these experiences, let me tell you.

The questions I will answer in this article:

  1. How to reach the Grand Canyon from Phoenix by car?
  2. How to organize your day at the Grand Canyon?
  3. What budget should I plan to drive on Route 66 in a Harley-Davidson?
  4. What budget should be set to fly over the Grand Canyon by helicopter?

The American Dream in Arizona (also known as Grand Canyon State)

Settled for more than a year in Arizona, I discovered the Grand Canyon during the different seasons.I literally fell in love with the Grand Canyon under its blanket of snow.In addition, it is a wonderful season to visit it without being overwhelmed by countless visitors.

1. How to reach the Grand Canyon from Phoenix by car?

You have arrived at phoenix airport. If you are looking to rent a car, I advise you to go through Enterprise, directly from the airport. You should know that it is often difficult to rent a car when you are young (21-25 years old) in the United States. Personally, I have always gone through Enterprise for all my rentals, they do not charge exorbitant fees for young people.

Once the vehicle is picked up, head to Flagstaff by taking Interstate-17 (also known as I-17). Allow 2 hours for the trip. You will go from the cactus desert to the pine forests.

When you reach Flagstaff, feel free to visit the city center. A stone’s throw from the latter, you can find the mythical Route 66.

We slept in a clean Airbnb, at a decent price while being close to downtown Flagstaff. I chose this Airbnb so I could walk downtown, have a drink in the evening and avoid having to park in Flagstaff.


2. Typical day

  • 8:00 am Meet at EagleRider to pick up our Harley-Davidson previously booked online.The staff is very welcoming and caring.We had the opportunity to book the Harley-Davidson/helicopter combo thanks to their partnership with Papillon Grand Canyon, which allowed us to get a discount on the total price.
  • 9:30 Am Once equipped, seated and comfortably seated on the Harley-Davidson, head to the city of Williams, made famous by Route 66. Allow 30 minutes.
  • 11:00 Break of 1h. After a few photos, we leave in the direction of our second surprise!The helicopter tour.It takes about 1 hour to drive from Williams to Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopter on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (south rim)
  • 12:00 Arrival at Papillon Grand Canyon helicopter.Once they arrive, they will check your weight and show you a short safety video.(which by the way, is a few years old now…).
  • 13:00 Take-off time. The helicopter tour lasts 30 minutes.Information and explanations during the Grand Canyon flight can be in French.
  • The flight was amazing.I couldn’t hold back my tears in front of such beautiful natural beauty.
  • 14:30 We have finally reached the final point of our day.A picnic on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 
  • 15:45 We didn’t have time to explore any longer unfortunately, the Harley-Davidson was rented until 17:00.Then back to Flagstaff 1h45 drive. If you’d like to take more of your time, feel free to consider the two-day experience.

3. The budget for this day at the Grand Canyon

  • Helicopter flight: 30 minutes flight = 172€ per person
  • Harley-Davidson: 212€ for the day 10€ of gasoline.
  • Airbnb: 187.01€/night for 4 people. We were 3 so we paid 62 € / pers.

To conclude, this day was one of the most intense in emotions.Coupled with magic and sensations, this Helicopter and Harley-Davidson combo would bring down more than one. 

Video summary of my day in Harley-Davidson at 3min36!