Valhalla Helicopter Tour – Kelowna

Valhalla Helicopter Tour – Kelowna

Have you ever considered taking a tour in a helicopter? I have always wanted to, but I always assumed it was way out of my price range. Well, last year some friends invited Marc and me to join them on their helicopter tour. You can probably guess how much I squealed with delight when they asked us… They’d actually booked Valhalla Helicopter tour earlier in the summer; But on the date of their tour, the helicopter had been needed to help fight fires that were taking over British Columbia’s forests. Their tour was rescheduled for September. It costs the same amount if they came as a couple, or if brought 2 friends… and luckily for us, they opted to bring friends!!

Valhalla Helicopter Tour – the basics

There are a bunch of different tours you can book. It starts at $499 for a 20 minute flight, but you can spend more for longer tours, wine tours or even helicopter picnics. We’d done a walking wine tour of Naramata the previous day, how good would that be via helicopter!?

Safety briefing

You need to arrive early so they can explain the safety procedures and show how everything works. It all felt very professional and safe. We were unsure if we’d be allowed to fly until that morning, as they need to check the weather.

Doors off?

If you like the idea, many of their torus give you the option to fly without doors! Our tour was to celebrate our friend Chris’ birthday. He likes taking fabulous photos, so they’d requested to fly with doors off. The idea of flying at 3000ft in a vehicle with no doors sounds a bit scary. But we were all well strapped in (and we wore loads of layers to stay warm!) If you can, flying with the doors off is exhilarating.

Getting started

We didn’t fly straight off into the air. First the helicopter hovers for a while just off the ground while the pilot does a bunch of extra safety checks. Then, once he has permission (over a radio) we could finally fly up over Kelowna.

Okanagan Lake

The views down to Okanagan Lake were spectacular! Okanagan Lake is 135km long and 4-5km wide. It is lined on either side with vineyards that produce the best BC wines. This is the view south towards Penticton.

I was pretty worried about taking these photos as it is sooo windy with the doors off. Marc would have been so mad if I had dropped my phone.

Myra Canyon from above

One of the fun sounding trails near Kelowna is Myra Canyon. This used to be the location of the Kettle Valley Railway. The railway is now history, but the trestles and tunnels along the route have been linked up as a fantastic hiking/cycling route.

This is the same railway line that I’ve explored at the Othello Tunnels and the Ladner Creek Trestle near Hope. It was pretty amazing to see the same line, so much further northeast.

There are 18 trestles in this section of the Kettle Valley Railway near Myra Canyon. I will just have to come back to hike it so I can show similar views from the trestles!

Crawford Canyon

After flying up close to some of the trestles and waving to the hikers; We flew over to Crawford Canyon. This canyon is deep with impressive vertical walls of rock.

Crawford Canyon was the highlight for me, as it was so cool to feel so close to the edges of the canyon. I was in awe of our pilot.

Kelowna Mountain

On the way back we passed Kelowna Mountain. This is a adventure park with a cool suspension bridge, oodles of bike trails and newly planted vineyards. In 2003, the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire burned down the forests that used to cove these slopes. It’s impressive to see how they are revitalizing the area.

Good weather for flying

We were really lucky! The weather was perfect for our flight, although it started to look a little moody as we flew back across Okanagan Lake. Big drops of rain started to fall just after we had landed and made it back to our cars.

We absolutely loved our helicopter tour! It was really cool to see Kelowna and the surrounding countryside from up high. I was pretty chilly by the end of it, but it was worth having the doors off so we could take good photos.

If you ever plan a helicopter trip and you need two extra bodies to fill up the space and get excited with you – please feel free to invite me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Warm up at Loki’s Garage

If you need to warm up with some tasty comfort food after flying (or if you’re in Penticton); Try Loki’s Garage. We needed to drive south to pick up some wine (from our walking wine tour the previous day – we couldn’t carry it all.) After collecting our wine, we stumbled upon a fantastic brunch restaurant the served up perfect soup and incredible toasties.

Do you fancy flying above the beautiful scenery in BC? Or does flying in a helicopter with the doors off sound a bit too terrifying? Click on the pins below to save this for later.

36 thoughts on “Valhalla Helicopter Tour – Kelowna

  1. I would love to go on this helicopter ride! I haven’t been on one before but it’s on my list of things to do. This one has some incredible views!

    1. I still really like the idea of taking a heli ride out to more epic hikes (but we’ll need a good excuse as it is so expensive!) But I am so glad I got to ride in one for the first time somewhere so pretty!

  2. Aww, I’m glad they opted to bring friends too! ๐Ÿ˜€ I feel like I’d be vaguely terrified of flying with the doors off…but would probably opt for it anyway just for the experience, haha. The photos you captured are gorgeous!!

    Loki’s Garage is such a cool name. :] That food definitely sounds tasty after a tour like that!

  3. What a cool way to explore the Kelowna area! I love helicopter tours but didn’t know about this one. On the bucket list now! Thank you!

  4. Sounds like a thrilling experience, especially with the doors off! I would have been so worried about dropping my phone as well. Your pictures look incredible and how lucky to have such fabulous weather (and wonderful friends)!

  5. What an awesome experience. I kind of like helicopter rides – I always get nervous in planes but I like that in helicopters you don’t get that rush as it takes off like a plane. All of a sudden you’re just off the ground. Never been in one with the doors off though, that would be incredible. And perfect for me who loves taking pictures

    1. Oooh have you been in a few? I’d love to hear your recommendations as I still like the idea of flying to the mountains. The Ones I looked up in Whistler were 3x more expensive though…

  6. The views from the helicopter are amazing. We did a tour over Iguazu Falls which gave us a completely different perspective. Definitely a very different experience!

  7. How exciting! Thatโ€™s an incredible way to see the area with those gorgeous views of the lake, mountains and trestles! Iโ€™ve only been on a helicopter ride once ages ago so this makes me want to go again.

    1. I’m surprised by how many of my blogging friends have been on helicopters already! We’re such a bougie bunch! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Taking a helicopter tour has been high on my bucket list for awhile, so I absolutely loved this post. What a remarkable experience plus the views you got to see are so incredible!

  9. This looks amazing!!! I always thought helicopter tours would have been too expensive but it sounds like an awesome experience. I love seeing everything from a plane so this would be even better. Flying without doors sounds terrifying but seemed pretty safe.

  10. My husband surprised me one year with a helicopter ride over fall in New England for my birthday. I loved it and wasn’t scared, which I expected to be. I love the idea of the windows being off, but don’t know if that would freak me out. Did it take you a minute to get used to it?

    1. Yes! Well…I mean it was so breezy that it made me worried I’d drop something out the doors. But it wasn’t scary (we all felt strapped in safely…)

  11. This looks awesome! I did a heli tour of Toronto city, but this is way cooler because of all the wild scenery you saw. Doors off – way to take it to another level, Josy!!

    1. Ooooh I guess thee must be more regulations about doors off over the city, as if you dropped something it could be fatal!

      Flying over Toronto must have been gorgeous though!

  12. When we visited Kelowna we did not even think about a helicopter tour. I can now see we need to look into this on a return visit. I think I would like to try a wine tour by helicopter. I love all the views you got from above!

    1. I totally understand! I had never considered it either until our friends invited us. I do love the idea of the wine tour (although it’s very bougie!)

  13. What an awesome experience! I’m glad you didn’t drop your phone because you got some amazing photos! I’ve only been in helicopter once and I definitely will not be taking the doors off anytime soon!

  14. Iโ€™ve always assumed a helicopter tour would be out of my price range as well, but if you do it with another couple, thatโ€™s not too bad! I didnโ€™t even know flying with the doors off was an option – it sounds terrifying, but I think Iโ€™d want to try it! The views and photos you took are beautiful!

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