Hi my husband and I are going to the US in August. We will be based in Santa Fe NM and want to make a trip to the Grand Canyon.. thinking of a road trip and thinking of a helicopter ride from Vegas .. any help on the best way to see the Canyon, stop overs and how long the journey should take would be very helpful want to do the whole trip in about four days tops.
You can drive from Sante Fe to the GC in less than 7 hours. There are plenty of helicopter options just outside of the park in Tusayan AZ. I would drive right to Tusayan and pick a helicopter ride in your price range. Several companies to choose from. I would chat with several of them and then decide what company and what tour. Many say a morning flight is the best time for color in the canyon..
6 motels in Tusayan. I would read the reviews before deciding. Or stay in Flagstaff and drive over in the am. Plug in your dates for price comparison.
Historic Route 66 is right there at Williams AZ. If you have a few hours, you might take 66 instead of I-40 if you are heading towards Kingman. My blog covers my day on 66. Good luck with your planning.
Another option is to take vegasmike6's suggestion to go to the Canyon, and then return via the route that takes you north to Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon (and then head east through Monument Valley and up to Mexican Hat, then east to Durango and Mesa Verde National Park before returning to Santa Fe. I would suggest staying in Flagstaff on Day 1, staying near Page, Arizona on Day 2, staying in Durango, Colorado on Day 3 and then back to Santa Fe on Day 4.
Alternatively, you could go to the Grand Canyon and then to see the red rock formations in Sedona (about a 2 hour drive south of Flagstaff) and then return to Santa Fe--or, of course, go on to Las Vegas (or Phoenix) and then return to Santa Fe.
While the Grand Canyon is most dramatic of the things to see in the southwest, it is not the only fantastic sight. I prefer the long trip--but even a short 4 hours extra to take the trip to Sedona is worth the effort.
Here are a few pictures of Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, and Sedona to help you decide.
Forgot to include a picture of Mesa Verde: