Grand Canyon / Vegas


OK so my dad and I are flying over to Vegas next weekend... On the way back I'm gonna show him the Hoover Dam and possibly the Grand Canyon. Anyone done VFR over the Grand Canyon before??? How's the airspace? I don't think he wants a huge tour or anything but I think I'd be a nice suprise...

Anyways I don't have the chart yet (I don't know if the local shops have it either) so any tips / advice would be great.

Also, back to the Vegas thing... it's between LAS (the big one) or VGT (little one - North Las Vegas). Any prefrence either way? Flight school pays for fuel... I pay for tiedown.
North Las Vegas has no tie-down fees, and there is a cool restaurant right on the field so you and your dad can eat some lunch and sit out on the patio and check-out the different planes coming through.
I know the airspace ofer the GC is pretty well FUBAR'd to anything other than "approved" tours. They keep transient aircraft along certain cooridors and pretty high up. I'd just call center (on the ground) and check out the maps of the area.

I could be off base here as I've never been up there but I've heard it's pretty wacky.
The biggest problem with LAS is that the fuel prices are outrageous. I believe that if you buy at least XX gallons of fuel, then the tie-down is free. Someone correct me if I'm wrong! If your FBO is paying for the gas, then go for LAS - it's across the street from the strip.

I've flown over the western part of the Grand Canyon VFR with no problems, as long as you stay west of SFRA. The best views I've had were flying IFR around the Grand Canyon. Center can vector you wherever they want and assign whatever altitude they want, or at least it seems that way. We flew the along the southern edge from Grand Canyon to Page and were assigned an altitude below the 14,5000' in the SFRA and had an awesome view of the canyon for 70nm. A 135 operator requested a slight diversion to get closer to the canyon for a better view, Center did even better and gave him vectors for a nice tour of the canyon.

Grand Canyon village is a good 150nm from Vegas, but you can get some great views just to the east of Lake Mead if you don't want to go that far. I have flown over Lake Mead 3 times now in the daytime (and 3 at night) but have yet to see the Hoover Dam. The last time I flew there, I wasn't flying so I had a chance to pull out my chart and find it. From over Lake Mead, it's behind a mountain and not visible.
there's also Henderson, just abut 8 miles south of McCarran. I dont know about fuel prices, but I do know that the airport remains open while they build two parallel runways, so make sure ya check the notams on whats what around there....
I say fly to LAS, you are already spending $500+ on this trip, so what is a few more to have your ride parked just accross from the strip! When I went there if you bought fuel your ramp fee was wavied.

I like your new avatar; Kate is HOT!
I flew to LAS for my long IFR cross country. The view is worth it to fly into LAS. We were on a visual approach that took our base right down the strip. On final we had a 737 to your right and a 757 waiting at the hold short for us to land. Gas prices are expensive, but I think they waived the $50 ramp fee if we bought gas (I really don't remember).

Flying over the grand canyon the airspace is wack! Contact Los Angeles Center and see if you can get vectors over it. As it was, they let us fly almost on the edge of the canyon and at one point they let us fly over it.

If you get a chance, fly into Grand Canyon airport, it looks awesome, it's located right on the edge of the canyon. Next time I go I plan on doing at least one touch and go there.

Have a great trip!
I dont know much about hoover dam but Grand Canyon is easy to see even with the airspace. The west airspace doesnt have the 14500. I regularly fly down to Kingman and back with FF with L.A. @ 95 to 115. I recommend the chart and study it. Some of my best views have been at 14600 going back and forth from PHX. I would suggest flying lake powell and stopping in page. The gas its usually around $2 bucks a gallon. Good luck youll enjoy it.
VGT was very nice. They have a free shuttle to whatever hotel you are staying at or where you want to be dropped off at. Though after that it is about a 15.00 trip by cab back. They had an overnight tiedown fee of 12.00 I believe. That was in January anyway.

Be careful of the winds. They get nasty in Vegas. One day I landed it was a nice 8 kts. By the next morning, 30kts +. To make a long story short, Treasure Island had another night with us kind enough to give them our business (nice hotel). The winds there can change very quickly, as can the entire Colorado river area.

Remember density altitude at the Canyon. This time of year, in the middle of day, a 9000 ft strip may not be enough for the 172. Just a bit of advice. Good luck and enjoy the view.
Looks like she's got teeth like Jewel in that picture!
Doug don't ruin it!

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Shh! Risky Business is on VH1
Looks like she's got teeth like Jewel in that picture!

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I can't stand that about Jewel. She would be pretty good if it weren't for those summer teeth.
Looks like she's got teeth like Jewel in that picture!

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Woah there Doug... you dissin' my girl!