Good morning travelers. My, this week has certainly been an educational one for yours truly. First I learned that Robert Ripley, of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” fame, was the first person to give the first ever live radio broadcast from the Grand Canyon. And today I learned something a bit new about options for Grand Canyon tours from Williams AZ, courtesy of TripAdvisor of course. 🙂
OP (and what does that mean boys and girls? That’s right “original poster!”) ‘Florence J’ asks:
I will be staying in Williams without a car. Do you know an helicopter tour company that picks up from Williams AZ?
To which Destination Expert DetroitTigerFan replies:
I’m not aware of any organized Grand Canyon from Williams AZ but I would think that you would be able to arrange a private tour that combines transportation from Williams to the airport in Tusayan for the helicopter ride and then onto the National Park at the South Rim. It might be easier and certainly cheaper to rent a car in Williams and drive yourself to Tusayan. The yellow pages does list one car rental agency in Williams.
A couple of elements of this statement caught my eye and compelled me to respond. Firstly, there are in fact several excellent Grand Canyon tours from Williams AZ. The one that would most suit ‘Florence J’s’ particular desires would be our Ultimate Grand Canyon Tour. This comprehensive Grand Canyon South Rim Tour package takes you to all the best views and lets you do all the best stuff, including the IMAX Movie presentation “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” and the “Majestic” Helicopter Tour, a 30-minute flight over the Grand Canyon’s Dragon Corridor. Take a look at this video ->:
But what really intrigued me about DTF’s response was the statement that “the Yellow Pages does list a rental car agency out of Williams.” Really? For years, common knowledge has been that there were no rental car agencies in Williams. In the past, there used to be a car rental counter at the Grand Canyon airport, but it closed down years ago. As far as we at GrandCanyon.com knew, the nearest place to the Grand Canyon where one could rent a car was Flagstaff, Arizona, about 90 miles from the park.
So I did a little searching, and sure enough did find a car rental agency based in Williams called “I-40 Fleet Services.” They not only rent sedans and mini-vans, but forklifts, backhoes, and even kayaks. They also do RV and truck repair. They’re based near downtown Williams and even provide 24-hour roadside assistance according to the message on their voicemail.
So, for those of you who prefer to drive and make your own Grand Canyon tours from Williams AZ apparently you now have another option. Grant you, this company seems to be quite new (the content on their website was dated 2012). As a result, we have no first hand reports of the quality of their service, employees, etc. That’s where you guys come in. For more information visit www.i40fleet.com or call 928-635-9199 and let us know how it goes.
’til next time, make this day as “grand” as you can! 🙂
I’m doing the hotel and train package in May would like to know if there is a helicopter tour in Williams Arizona as that’s where we are staying .
Thanks Shannon Kelly
There’s not a helicopter tour in Williams, however there is a way to do this, and this is a BIG However right now during COVID or late COVID…you can arrange a Helicopter Tour for when the Train is at the Canyon, but…it really eats up MOST of your time at the Rim of the Canyon in the Grand Canyon Village. And I’m totally PRO taking a Helicopter Tour, however, I don’t want you to miss time on the Rim either. The Train arrives at 11:45am and departs at 3:30pm if memory serves me correctly. (And it should, I heard the Train whistle two Saturday’s ago while coming up the Bright Angel Trail…alright, alright, I’ll go do my homework on TheTrain.com real quick…as it seemed like it was early…and I thought, is the Train already pulling out???) Ah…my memory was correct for May! BUT it actually pulled out at 2:30pm in November when I was on the Bright Angel Trail. So, YES, IN MAY it will arrive at 11:45am and pull out at 3:30pm…so, the problem is that by the time you take a Taxi to the Heliport wait for your departure then hustle back to the Grand Canyon Village area…the majority of your 3 hours and 45 minutes will be GONE! Like 2 1/2 to 3 hours of it…then you’ll just have time for a quick run through the El Tovar, Lookout Studio, Bright Angel Lodge, Kolb Studio area and then think about getting back on the Train.
So, right now, getting the Transportation back and forth to the Heliport is the issue. I don’t think Xanterra is operating the Taxi yet due to COVID. You can try getting Buck Wild Hummer Tours to do it…however, they might be sold out in May.
So, what’s the real answer…um, after the Train Tour…drive up to Tusayan the next day to the Heliport, take the Helicopter Tour over the Grand Canyon, and then head back to I-40 and continue on with your vacation. The upside is that you DON’T have to enter the Park as you will already have done that with the Train. Entering the Park can be very time consuming depending on how and when you get to the South Entrance gate.
Anyways, I hope that helps you,