In 1982 Norman Beerger filmed and
produced what is probably the best video ever made for anyone
that would like an armchair scenic aerial tour of the Grand
Canyon. Both the 1-hour and 2-hour versions are helicopter
tours accompanied by a classical music sound track. There are
many CLOSE-UP! views of cliffs, ridges, and river rapids.
(e.g. The 2-hour version includes an upstream run 20 feet over
Lava Falls Rapid.)
Both the 1-hour and 2-hour versions are available at Very Nice
A recent update indicates the 2-hour DVD version is available
The notes below can be used as a mile-by-mile guide for either
the 1-hour or 2-hour versions. (The second half of the 2-hour
version is identical to the entire 1-hour version.)
I am publishing this information on the Internet for those
people that already have the video and would like a
mile-by-mile log identifying their exact location; and as a
review for anyone interested in buying the video. I receive no
benefit (monetary or otherwise) from this review, and any
promotion of it is based solely on the video's merit.
Also please see:
of the Grand Canyon
Geologic Tour of the Grand Canyon
Return to Durango Bill's Home Page
Web page generated via Sea Monkey's Composer HTML editor
within a Linux Cinnamon Mint 18 operating system.
"Right/Left" are viewing direction relative to flight
Mileage and locations determined by:
Delorme's Topo USA (Can also generate 3-D views of the entire
Grand Canyon National Park Trails Illustrated Topo Map
Geologic Map of the Eastern Grand Canyon
Belknap's Grand Canyon River Guide (Better than Stevens for
River miles as shown in Belknap's Grand Canyon River Guide
If decimal miles are shown, location is within +/- 0.1 miles.
Otherwise mileage is rounded.
First half of trip is mostly upstream.
Opening scene: Low over Lake Mead
From one mile SW of Mile 259: Fly/look toward SSE
Mile 258 1/2: Look to right (toward WSW). Quartermaster Canyon
is on the far side of the sharp ridge.
Mile 257: Fly across Jackson Canyon
Mile 256 to 255: Fly thru gap at top of ridge (Ridge has no
Mile 255: Fly/turn slightly right toward south
Mile 254 1/4: Look/turn to right
Mile 253 1/2 to 253: Close to cliff on right
Mile 253: Look back to right. Maxson Canyon (Horse Flat
Canyon) to right. Fly over lower Maxson Canyon.
Mile 252 1/2: Cut across river to left (NE) side of canyon.
Look/loop back to NW (away from sun)
Mile 253 1/2: Turn to head SE again. Fly close to cliff on
Mile 252 1/4: Fly through 2nd gap. Turn left
Mile 250 1/2: Cross back to SW side of the canyon
Mile 249: Look back to the right. Fly past Lost Creek Canyon
(Clay Tank Canyon).
Mile 248 3/4: Sharp banks left and right (else meet cliff).
Mile 248: Look/fly SSE toward Picture Frame Rock. River goes
upstream to the left. Spencer Canyon is in the distance to the
Mile 246.3 to 246: Fly over ridge (SW side of canyon). Fly
short distance south up Spencer. Bank sharply to left. Then
fly left of Picture Frame Rock
Mile 246: Fly around north side of P. F. Rock. Then climb and
turn right to fly thru the gap in P. F. Rock. Turn 180 deg. to
right. Fly over NW end of P. F. Rock.
Mile 245: River makes turn to north. (As viewed by flying
Mile 245 to 244: Fly NE close to cliff on right (east) side of
Mile 244 to 241 3/4: Fly northeast over ridge.
Mile 241 3/4: Sharp turn to right to follow river toward the
Mile 241 to 240: Fly close to cliff on right. Separation
Canyon (closest of the two canyons) is on the left side of the
river in the distance.
Mile 239.5: Turn left and cross to north side of river. Leave
river and fly ENE up a side canyon located just to the east of
Separation Canyon. (Canyon has no official name.)
Mile 239 to 236: Fly to the E up the side canyon staying north
of the river. Fly over top of ridge to exit side canyon.
Mile 236: Fly to the east and look to the right (south) down a
large unnamed canyon that leads down to Gneiss Canyon Rapid.
Gneiss Canyon is on the far side of the river and is actually
smaller than the canyon underneath the helicopter.
Mile 236 to 232: Fly to the SE over plateau (north of river)
Mile 231 1/2: Turn to the right to fly down the unnamed canyon
the leads to 231 Mile Rapid. Look to right (downstream) at
Lower Granite Gorge. Approach river at 231 Mile Rapid. Turn to
left to begin Rapids Run.
Mile 230.5 to 225: Low level "Rapids Run" - but jumps over
Diamond Creek Rapid from Mile 226.6 to Mile 225.3
Mile 225: Climb right side of canyon.
Mile 225 to 223 1/2: View to NE. Climb to 800 feet (measured
by Tapeats Sandstone) above the river.
Mile 217 1/2: (Gap in sequence) About 300 feet above river and
Mile 217 to 216: Fly low on left side of river.
Mile 215.7: Very low directly over river.
Mile 214.5: Climb over right bank
Mile 214 to 213: Climb right side of river. Cliffs to right.
Mile 212: Climbing right side. View to north.
Mile 211: Cliff on right. Climb over cliff (Mile 210.6). View
to NNE across east side of Granite Park to high
Mile 210 to 209: Cross Granite Park Canyon
Mile 208: Approach high K-T rim to north-northeast of Granite
Mile 207 to 206: Fly north to the left of high K-T
Mile 206 to 207 to 206: Start loop to left. Turn left (west)
over upper end of small canyon. Continue turning left. Look
south downriver. River is visible at Granite Park (Mile 209).
Continue loop to left. Fly east and north toward high K-T.
Mile 206: Turn left. Fly west again. Start down the small
canyon. Then over lip into 205 Mile Canyon.
Mile 205: Fly NW over 205 Mile Canyon. Then over ridges to
main canyon. Turn a little right (north). Cliff on right.
Mollies Nipple (small mesa) on horizon.
Mile 203 1/2 to 203: Descend toward river.
Mile 202 1/4 to 200 1/4: Low over river
Mile 200 to 198 3/4: Cliff on right. Climbing up cliff.
Mile 198 to 196: Shortcut over top of ridge. On right side of
Mile 195.9: Cross to left (NW) side of river. Fly short
distance up side canyon. Then turn right to fly over small
Mile 195.6: Descend to river.
Mile 195 to 191 3/4: Low over river. (Sharp left at 194.2)
Mile 191 to 190: Over right bank. Climbing
Mile 190: Turn to left. View to north with Whitmore Wash in
Mile 190 to 188: Fly toward Whitmore Wash & Lava Cascades.
Mile 187 1/2: Fly near cliffs on right
Mile 187 to 184.3: On right side of canyon.
Mile 184.3 to 184.9: Loop to left. Fly near Lava Cascades.
Complete loop to left.
Mile 181 1/2 to 179.7: (Gap in sequence) Low over river.
Mile 179.6 to 179: (Fade in sequence) Low over Lava Falls
Mile 179 to 177 1/2: Climbing. Cliff to right.
Mile 177.2: Fly short distance into and look to right in small
side canyon. Not over rim yet. Turn left.
Mile 176.9: Climb over Esplanade rim. Then look slightly
further to the right to see The Dome. Fly ENE toward The Dome.
Mile 175.7: Look to right. Cross small side canyon.
Mile 175.7 to 173.0: Fly NE toward The Dome. River out of view
Mile 173.0: Over the lip of the inner gorge. (Let music be the
clue.) Fly ENE toward The Dome
Mile 173.0 to 171.5: Cross to left (north) side of inner
Mile 171: Cross (large) Stairway Canyon. Fly NE toward The
Mile 168: Cross (large) Fern Glen Canyon. Fly toward The Dome.
Mile 168 to 165: Fly around north (left) side of The Dome
Mile 165: Fly ESE. View back toward the WSW. Start crossing
the inner gorge. End of first half of the two-hour version
Begin 1-hour version - continue with second half of two-hour
Mile 165: Above inner gorge. View back to the south through
WSW. National Canyon is to the south but the deep inner gorge
portion is below the Esplanade and is not visible. Camera
turns left for a view to the east toward Mt. Sinyala.
Mile 164: Cross side canyon. Fly east toward Mt. Sinyala.
Mile 163.7: Over ridge at Pocket Point
Mile 163 to 162: Over inner gorge. Fly ENE.
Mile 162 to 161 1/2: View back and to right over side canyon.
Mile 161 to 157: Fly east over inner gorge - then over the
Esplanade capping Yumtheska Mesa. Small canyon to right at
159. Fly toward Mt. Sinyala.
Southeast of Mile 156.7: Cross (large) Havasu Canyon. Look to
south (right) at Havasu.
Mile 156 to 153 1/2: Fly toward and circle around Mt. Sinyala
Side Trip: Fly SE along the east side of Havasu Canyon. Fly
over Ukwalla Point. Views are to SW-NW. At end of sequence,
fly over Carbonate Canyon and Mulgullo Point.
South of Mile 86: Big jump in flight sequence. (Probably not
the same day) Over the rim 1/2 mile west of Shoshone Point.
Fly NNE then N across Upper Granite Gorge. Cross river near
mile 85. Good view of Grapevine Rapid (white section of river)
in distance. Zoroaster Temple is in the foreground with Brama
Mile 86 to 87: Start loop to NW and W. Fly over lower end of
Bright Angel Canyon. Continue loop to south. Look west down
Upper Granite Gorge.
Mile 87 to 84: Continue loop to fly east again. Look nearly
straight down to Kaibab Suspension Bridge. After turn east
again, Grapevine Rapid in distance. Zoroaster Rapid nearly
straight down at 84.7.
Mile 81 to 75: Fly toward east a few miles to the north of the
river. Fly to the right (south) side of "pointy" Vishnu Temple
and over Rama Shrine (ridge)
Mile 73: Fly SE down Unkar Creek.
Mile 76: Near river flying NE starting over south side of
Solomon Temple. Look back (to SW) to see Nevills Rapid (Mile
75.4) with large sand bar to left (SE) of river. (Note this is
not Hance Rapid. River makes a sharp turn to the right
downstream from Nevills (as seen). Below Hance the river bends
Mile 75 to 73: Fly ENE toward Unkar Delta and Rapid. Debris
brought down by Unkar Creek has formed a large outwash fan
that has pushed the river to the right.
Mile 73 to 67: Continue NE over tilted Dox Formation. At mile
68.6 (Tanner Rapid) dark Cardenas Basalt has been faulted down
to the river (left of river).
Mile 66: Leave river to fly NNW up Chaur Valley. (First views
in sequence start about 2/3 of the way up where Natchi Canyon
Creek (not seen) comes in from the west.). Notch in distance
is Siegfried Pyre. Will fly thru gap.
Approach and climb over Redwall Limestone at Hubbell Butte.
After rounding Hubble Butte, turn NW to fly through the gap in
Siegfried Pyre. Turn west at the gap. Look back after flying
Climb over North Rim (Walhalla Plateau) midway between Atoko
and Naji Points
(Jump in sequence) Leave Walhalla Plateau over Manzanita
Creek/Canyon. (Upper end of Bright Angel Canyon to the east of
Fly WSW across Bright Angel Canyon. Look right (NNE) at upper
end of B. A. Canyon. First point (with white Coconino
Sandstone in the middle distance) is Bright Angel Point. Then
Transept Canyon has deep shadows on the left side. Close-up
view of white Coconino Sandstone in Oza Butte. Fly more toward
the west with another close view of the C.S. at Widforss
Point. Sequence ends as you fly toward The Colonnade.
(Start new sequence - pause in tape)
(Possible) take off from small plateau on a ridge on the east
side of the upper end of Crystal Creek Canyon. (36 deg. 12.6
min. N, 112 deg. 11.5 min. W.) Note: this is just west of
Dragon Head Ridge. Look south down upper Crystal Creek and
then head west.
Cross ridge between Confucius Temple (left) and Grama Point
(off Point Sublime). Look back after crossing ridge. Look
right at canyons in upper Tuna Creek. Head west toward Point
Sublime. (High Kaibab - Toroweap rim to the right.) At Point
Sublime turn south to look down Tuna Creek.
Look right (to NW) while flying SSW. Turn right (to NW) over
the southeast end of Sagittarius Ridge. Fly NW to cross
Scorpion Ridge (left) where it joins Sagittarius Ridge
(right). Shadows of helicopter are on the Redwall Limestone in
an amphitheater on the southwest side of Sagittarius Ridge and
to the east of river mile 104. (Faces southwest toward the
Mile 110 to 112: (Jump to new view) Fly WSW toward Fiske
Butte, then bear right toward river. Walthenberg Canyon (USGS
includes the "h" in Walthenberg) is in the distance on the
right. The high rim of Powell Plateau at Wheeler Point forms
the horizon. Turn left and drop down toward the river at
Walthenberg Rapid. (Note: Crystal Rapid has no nearby high K-T
rim and has a large outwash fan. Walthenberg has the high K-T,
but no outwash fan.)
Mile 111 3/4 to 113: (Slight backup for another view.) Fly SW
but look back to right at Walthenberg Rapid.
Mile 113 to 114: Approach Marcos Terrace. The east side of
Marcos Terrace is in the shadows (afternoon sun). Still
looking back to the right. Wheeler Point is on the horizon.
Mile 114 1/2: Look forward again. Closely approach and fly
around the southeast end of Marcos Terrace.
Mile 116: Turn right toward west. Fly over Explorers Monument.
Mile 117: After crossing Explorers Monument look right (north)
down Stephen Aisle. Great Thumb Point can be seen on the left
West of Mile 117: Fly west and climb up over K-T rim at Apache
Point. Once on top, look ahead and pan to right. Great Thumb
Mesa/Point in the distance.
(Big Jump in sequence) (Flying WNW) From the southwest end of
Beaver Canyon (south of river mile 158), look northeast. Mt.
Sinyala can be seen in the distance on the far side of the
Beaver/Havasu Canyon complex. (Fly over Yunosi Point between
the two tributary canyons.)
(Small jump in sequence to cross Yumtheska Point) (Flying
west) From south of river mile 161, look northwest toward
Tuckup Canyon. (Very wide as measured by the high K-T outer
rim) End of sequence flies over Tenderfoot Rim (south of mile
162). The Dome can be seen on the far side of the inner gorge.
South of Mile 165: After passing Tenderfoot Rim, fly west over
National Canyon complex. Look north to Tuckup Canyon on far
side of inner gorge. Then pan to the right past SB Point to
look back to the NE. You are directly over National Canyon
(Dark lower gorge). The last view in this sequence looks north
again toward Tuckup Canyon. The Dome can be seen in the upper
Mile 167 to 170 1/2: Start over Esplanade a short distance
west of National Canyon and fly west. Then high over river at
Mile 169 1/2. Stairway Canyon can be seen at the top of the
view just before the end of sequence. (Goes to right.)
Big break in sequence - probably another day.
North of mile 144: You are looking/flying south over the last
few miles of Kanab Creek before it joins the Colorado River.
The imbedded meanders (wavy path of the canyon) are the last
few miles of Kanab Creek. After flying south, turn right (SSW)
around Kanab Point and fly toward Mount Sinyala.
Mile 144 to 147: Fly toward Mt. Sinyala. River slowly bends to
the right around Paguekwash Point. Look to the right to see
the high K-T rim at Paguekwash Point.
Mile 148: River turns to the right at 148 1/2. Continue to fly
SW toward Mt. Sinyala, but look to the right to see 150 Mile
Canyon in the distance.
Continue flying across Matkatamiba Mesa toward Mt. Sinyala.
Cross Sinyala Canyon at mile 153 1/4.
Circle around and climb above Mt. Sinyala.
Rewind tape and watch it again (and again…)