Local pilot will give you a ride over eastern Idaho in a helicopter - East Idaho News
'I love flying'

Local pilot will give you a ride over eastern Idaho in a helicopter

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Garrett McGroarty is the pilot and tour guide at Idaho Extreme Adventures, which provides helicopter tours of part of eastern Idaho. See what the helicopter looks like in the video above. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

ST. ANTHONY – Garrett McGroarty loves seeing the sunset over the St. Anthony Sand Dunes and the Tetons from the cockpit of his three-passenger Robinson R42 Raven helicopter.

The 20-year-old St. Anthony man is the pilot and tour guide for Idaho Extreme Adventures, a company that provides helicopter tours from Rexburg to the edge of Island Park. The hangar and pad are near the sand dunes at 1695 East 500 North in St. Anthony.

The tours are open to anyone, including farmers who want to see an aerial view of their land.

“We’ll fly them over hundreds or thousands of acres and let them see their cattle from above or see how their crops are growing,” McGroarty tells EastIdahoNews.com.

One of the most popular tours gives passengers an aerial view of the Rexburg Temple.

The business launched in April 2023 and last summer, McGroarty says he provided tours for about 450 people.

EastIdahoNews.com met McGroarty at the hangar for a look inside, which you can watch in the video above.

The business is adjacent to Idaho Dunes RV, an RV park near the sand dunes his family also owns.

McGroarty got the idea for Idaho Extreme Adventures during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was a sophomore in high school at the time and everything was shut down. As a result, it was a “rare opportunity” for McGroarty to take a hard look at what he wanted to do with his life.

“With some of the biggest sand dunes in the country, the Tetons, Island Park, West Yellowstone — there was no helicopter tour companies in the St. Anthony area and so we figured it would be a great career,” McGroarty says.

McGroarty got his start flying helicopters about three years ago while attending Idaho State University. At this point, he’s about a year away from graduating and he’s thrilled to be doing something he loves.

He has fond memories of taking a ride in a helicopter as a young boy. An employee at Air Idaho Rescue in Idaho Falls is close friends with his family and they’d often give him rides.

“Flying other tours, other places all over the country made me realize how much I love flying and I felt like I could challenge myself and get my own license,” says McGroarty.

Currently, the tours are confined to a 25-mile radius around the helicopter pad at the St. Anthony hangar. But McGroarty is in the process of getting the Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator certification, which will allow him to fly greater distances.

He’s hoping to provide flights to neighboring states in the near future.

The entry level flight gives passengers a helicopter dune tour, which covers all the sand dunes, including some hidden ones, as well as Devil’s Dune, Thunder Mountain and Egin Lake. It starts at $140 per person. The price goes up, depending on the length of the flight.

To schedule a tour or learn more, call (208) 243-9554 or email info@idahoextremeadventures.com. You can also visit the website.