A Spectacular Helicopter Tour in Banff

Written By: The Planet D

When viewing spectacular landscapes like the Rocky Mountains in Banff, there is really only one way to truly understand the magnitude of their beauty – from the air.

Yes, hiking through the mountains, taking a dog sled tour or driving up to lookouts can offer outstanding views, but it’s from a helicopter that you really get to see how massive, awe-inspiring, and extraordinary the Rocky Mountains are.

We met with our pilot Ralph Sliger of Rockies Heli Canada for one of their Banff Helicopter Tours on a crisp and clear winter’s morning for the most impressive helicopter tour we have ever taken.

Banff Helicopter Tours with Rockies Heli

banff helicopter tours
The views from our Banff Helicopter Tours with Rockies-Heli.

Located just an hour from Calgary and a short drive from Canmore or Banff, Rockies Heli is one of the premier helicopter tour companies in Alberta.

Our helicopter tour was taking us over Banff National Park to witness famous peaks like Mt. Assiniboine, The Three Sisters, and Mount Lougheed. But we also had the added bonus of landing on a peak just outside the park to go snowshoeing where nobody else dares to go.

When landing a helicopter on the top of a mountain, you can be sure you won’t see crowds of people during your hike!

helicopter tours of banff | mountain views

The helicopter is state of the art with headsets and bubble windows giving everyone inside great views of the Rockies. A helicopter tour is on our list of the most unforgettable things to do in Banff. See what else there is!

Helicopter tour banff | winter
The beautiful Rocky Mountains in Winter

We couldn’t believe our luck that our last day just so happened to be the clearest day of our entire trip. The skies were blue with just enough clouds in the sky to create the perfect scene. It was our last day in Banff and we stopped for our flight with RockiesHeli en route to the airport.

Enjoy This Video Journey Through the Rocky Mountains

helicopter tour banff rocky mountains

After going through our safety check and being weighed, we were escorted to the helicopter where we were strapped in and suited up with our headsets so we could hear the commentary of our captain and talk to each other.

Dave managed to snag the front seat giving him an excellent vantage point but I felt that my backseat view was equally extraordinary.

I could look out both sides of the window and even look ahead as bubble windows bulged out enough letting me see the side of the helicopter.

helicopter tours in  banff
Able to see ahead because of bubble windows

Our chopper pilot Ralf made sure that he circled around each sight enough to give each person on each side of the helicopter a birds-eye view. See our Helicopter Tour over Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse

view of banff ski hills from helicopter

There were so many sights to see, I could have soared through the air all day. Spray Lake, endless mountains, and extraordinary glaciers. It was the glaciers that really took my breath away.

I could see deep into the crevasses carved out in the side of the mountain and Ralph flew so close it felt as though we could reach out and touch the peaks. The beauty of a helicopter tour is that it is never the same. We were originally planning to fly over one part of Banff National Park, but a low cloud came in making it impossible to land. Check out these Most Beautiful National Parks in Canada

Clouds Covering the Rocky Mountains

best helicopter tours banff

I didn’t mind that we couldn’t land because the mountains peaking out of the top of the clouds made for the most breathtaking views.

How long is the Helicopter Tour in Banff

banff helicopter tours | rockies heli

Our flight lasted for about 45 minutes mixing together two of RockiesHeli’s most popular tours, the Ultimate Alpine Glacier Tour and the Grand Rocky Mountain Tour.

The flight was smooth, comfortable and we were toasty warm and safe inside from the winter air outside. But soon it was time to face the elements. Check another excellent helicopter tour over Victoria Falls at our Top 5 Adventures in Zambia

Exclusive Snowshoe in the Rocky Mountains

heli snowshoe tour banff alberta

The second part of our tour took us to a peak where we landed high on a mountain just outside Banff National Park. No helicopters are allowed to land within the park boundaries so we landed just outside Banff. We put on our snowshoes and set out on a 30-minute hike through the forest.

Ralph pointed out animal tracks as we hiked and showed us different viewpoints to witness the Rockies. It was a fun walk through the woods, hiking over a few logs and making some fresh tracks.

Hot Toddy on the Trail

banff snowshoe and helicopter tour
Dave shows off the Rocky Mountains of Alberta

The best came when we stopped for hot chocolate and Baileys. This was the spot. The clouds opened up to let the most beautiful landscape unfold before our eyes.

We could have used a blanket had we wanted to, but with our blood pumping from the hike, we felt warm and comfortable as we looked on at Mother Nature’s finest work. It was a special feeling to land in a secluded spot at the top of a mountain.

Normally when you do a helicopter tour, you take off and arrive only at the launch pad of the company. But when doing a heli-hike tour, you get to feel what it’s like to land and take off in the wilderness. It also makes for some pretty sweet photo stops! Enjoy our Helicopter Tour of Maui

About Rockies Heli

banff alberta helicopter tours
Amazing views over Banff National Park

Rockies Heli offers many different helicopter tours over Banff and Canmore. They also have another branch for helicopter tours over the Columbia Icefields near Jasper. If you go to Alberta make sure you take a helicopter tour over Banff. Seeing Spray Lake slice through the snowy peaks of the Rockies is something you won’t soon forget. See our helicopter tour over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Fall in Love with the Rocky Mountains

tour of the rocky mountains by helicopter

During our time in Banff Lake Louise, we went on a backcountry tour with a fellow travel lover. While skiing, he asked us what mountains we thought were more beautiful, The Rocky Mountains or the Alps. We replied, “Both are beautiful there is no doubt about it.” But if we had to choose, it would be the Swiss Alps.

But after doing our Banff helicopter tour, we’d like to change our answer. We’ve now seen the Rocky Mountains in a whole new light and our he’ll hike and tour through Banff was definitely more extraordinary than anything we saw in the Alps. So if you ask us again what is more beautiful? Our answer will be, “The Rocky Mountains forever

alberta helicopter tours over banff.

For more information on Banff Helicopter Tours visit Rockies Heli Canada. 

Tours start at $199 CAD per person for a 20-minute flight (we’ve done 20-minute flights before and they are plenty too if you are on a budget) and range to $699 CAD for the 55-minute Complete Colombia Tour. You can also book private charters and even weddings! There are plenty of upgrades you can do too like Front Seat Upgrade $25 and a 1 Hour Exploration Hike/Snowshoe (Dec-March) $75/person

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

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Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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11 thoughts on “A Spectacular Helicopter Tour in Banff”

  1. You had a great experience. and awesome photography it’s very helpful blog i really like it… Thanks for sharing your experience

  2. I’m a huge fan of helicopter tours and flights! I might just have to find a new travel companion – after discovering some 6 years after I started dragging him on “eye in the sky” experiences all over the world, that my boyfriend is actually terrified of heights!!! Banff looks incredible… Definitely popping this one on my bucket list!

    • Haha! Don’t replace him, he’ll come around ๐Ÿ˜‰ You will definitely have to give Banff a go, it’s an amazing destination and certainly one of the top helicopter tours we’ve ever taken. Happy travels and enjoy more high in the sky adventures!

  3. This place is look like a Himalaya in Kasmir, India. Really awesome place and photography. This video explain your experience and enjoyment in the mountains.

    • You are right. It does have a Himalaya feel for sure. Especially in the winter. We have walked through the Himalaya and they are a stunning mountain range. for you to feel that this reminds you of them says a lot about the route we took on our helicopter tour. They definitely made the Rockies look good.