Okay, let’s try something. Close your eyes and imagine with us:
Summer is wrapping up. The green plains and forests are giving way to rich golds and blazing reds. The breezes from the mountains are brisk, but still feel good in the warm sunlight. And of course, the leaves under your feet are extra-crunchy when you step on them.
Welcome to fall in the Grande Prairie region. Everywhere you go, the scenery is amazing…so think about how much more incredible it would be to see all this beauty from high up in the air, with nothing else to get in your way.
If you’ve never been on an aerial sightseeing tour – a.k.a. “flightseeing” – then this is a perfect time of year to start!
It’s hard to beat the experience of looking out over an Alberta autumn landscape from a helicopter. Unlike a plane, these vehicles can hover, move slowly, go straight up and down, or even fly backwards and sideways for closer looks at the beauty all around you.
In a helicopter, you can go “slow and low” over the forests full of deep reds and yellows, marching on into the distance. You can feel the rising mist coming off a waterfall below you, as you watch the sunlight dance on the rolling waters. Most of all, you can feel your breath get taken away again and again during this once-in-a-lifetime ride.
Speaking of which, if you’ve never ridden in a helicopter before, there are some steps you can take to prepare. Remember to listen to the pilot, follow all safety precautions, expect a bit of turbulence during take-off and landing (it’s totally normal), and otherwise…enjoy the ride!
Our friends over at Elevation Helicopter would be happy to take you up (you can even ask for a heli-picnic, for some serious bragging rights in your friend circle). Fly on over to their website to inquire about your trip today!
If you just can’t bring yourself to set foot in a helicopter, you might be a bit more comfortable in a plane. They are faster, they can fly higher, and they have a longer range and more stable flying. Thanks to this, planes provide amazing views of the landscape for hundreds of miles.
From the Grande Prairie Regional Airport (YQU) with Adventure Aviation, you can take a tour across the forests and plains that stretch all the way up into the foothills and mountains. In the fall, these forests seem to glow with different colours – auburn, orange, gold, deep red, and so many more. Seeing it from the air is an incredible experience, especially as you can also see the natural beauty of the mountains, rivers, and lakes that surround it all.
Of course, flying in a small plane isn’t for everyone. It’s different than riding in a commercial jet – it’s noisier (so make sure you bring earplugs), and you won’t be able to walk around due to weight distribution. But you’ll also be able to see so much more from your seats. You’ll get much closer to the cliffs, waterfalls, and other cool must-see things on your list. And of course…you’ll have an amazing story to tell!
So, you love the idea of sightseeing from up in the sky, but something about big, loud engines just doesn’t work for you. The solution you need might be one of the original methods of air travel: hot air balloons!
A hot air balloon over Muskoseepi Park is a relaxing and fun-filled way to spend an hour or two. Other than the occasional burst of hot air from the burner and the chatter of other guests, the ride is quiet, with 360° views in all directions. As long as the weather is good (and you remember some other useful tips about going up), this is an amazing alternative to powered flights – especially if you have kids that love adventure.
A quick Google search will connect you with the best local options for your hot air balloon trip. Don’t forget your camera – we’ll be sure to wave as you float past!
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No matter how you get up in the air, the experience is always better shared! Post your best pics & videos and tag us at @gp_tourism or with the hashtag #GPTourism for a chance to be featured on our feeds.
We love seeing and hearing about the amazing adventures that locals and visitors have here, too. If you have a great story to share about exploring the Grande Prairie region, our inboxes are always open!