Bucket list item, TICK. Here’s why a helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies is a truly incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience worth splashing out on…
Helicopter rides in general are pretty high on many travellers’ bucket lists. I mean, sure, you can appreciate incredible scenery from the ground – but up in the air? It’s a whole different ball game. Before road tripping the Canadian Rockies with TrekAmerica, I’d flown a stunt plane but never even been in a helicopter.
With a 5am start to a long day, I was in a state of half sleep when we arrived at Rockies Heli, but quickly woke up to the sound of spinning rotor blades. Signing waivers and being briefed on helicopter safety by our excellent pilot Ralph, four of us squeezed into the small space in the back of our ride. Much cosier than an Uber – and definitely a million times cooler.
My ears were filled with a whir as the blades began to spin, and the helicopter took off from the ground. It wasn’t long at all before we were soaring over snow-capped mountains, listening to Ralph’s commentary on the landscapes. As we lurched slightly downwards, I did feel slightly woozy -but it was nothing compared to the wonders stretched out as far as my eyes could see. Watching the tiny dot of a shadow that the helicopter created dance across the dense forest, I couldn’t help but feel emotional at the sheer scale of the world below.
Once we’d landed and taken a moment to gawp at the scenery, Ralph took us on a hike through the wilderness. Seriously, this place. It’s just what I’d imagined from Canada’s natural world – and so secluded, the only other people we saw were some fellow heli-hikers.
After learning about game trails and juniper berries, we reached the edge of a river. And apparently, the only way across was through. Knee deep, glacier-fed water. So, being me, I went ahead and stepped right on in. A few of us did, and then realised there was actually another way round that didn’t involve a thorough lower-leg soaking. But hey, I’d had the full-on Canadian experience, even if my socks were soaked, right?
If the helicopter ride and the hike hadn’t been wonderful enough, Ralph and his co-pilot Corey surprised us by popping open some champers as we sat and admired the views. I’m no expert in the luxury life, but sipping champagne at 11am on the top of a waterfall? So very extra.
Before heading off, we had some time to appreciate this quiet spot for a little longer. And take ridiculous pictures, obviously. Tom Cruise better watch out – this gal does all her own stunts.
Helicopter rides like this aren’t something I (like a lot of us) can casually slot in to every trip they do (and for the sake of disclosure, we were given 50% off the usual price for the group). For many, it’s a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s not something I could usually afford to drop $300CAD on, but oh boy, if you CAN do this at least once in your life, please do. And do it in the Rockies. Seriously.
Pin it for later!