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Choose A Grand Canyon Plane Tour of the South Or West Rim

Justine Moriarity

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You have a couple of options when it comes to taking tours on Grand Canyon airplanes. One set of tours fly out of Las Vegas, NV, and the other tours leave from Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN) at Tusayan, AZ. Tusayan is just outside the main gates of the South Rim and only 10 minutes from Grand Canyon Village. Your budget and where you'll be starting from will have a big influence over your choice.

Airplane Tours Departing From Vegas

It only takes about 30 minutes to fly from Las Vegas to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. You will be treated to scenic views along the way such as Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. You can choose an air tour that flies over the canyon or one that lands on top of the rim.

The landing tours allow you to explore the rim on foot, or you can hop on a chopper and drop down to the canyon floor and take a smooth-water raft ride on the river. Another option for the landing tours is a VIP pass to the amazing glass Grand Canyon Skywalk.

If you would rather visit the South Rim, you can fly there from Vegas. In fact, some of the most popular Vegas tours are the ones that fly to the South Rim. The flight there takes under 60 minutes. If you go by bus, it takes over five hours! These tours include a 2-hour bus tour inside the National Park. You can also upgrade your tour to include a helicopter ride along the Grand Canyon that goes from rim to rim.

Flights From GCN

The main air tour here is a 50-minute flight that visits the South Rim, the North Rim and the Park's eastern boundary. This amazing tour covers about 75 percent of the entire National Park.

Another air tour lets you add on a raft float along the Colorado. You can take one of these any day of the week. The plane takes you to Page, Arizona where you can enjoy a thrilling 4x4 tour of Antelope Canyon.

You'll get to see the famous slot canyons during your tour, plus you will see plenty of other beautiful and amazing sites on your way to the base of Glen Canyon Dam. That's where you'll hop into your motorized pontoon raft (it holds up to 19 passengers). You will meander along the Colorado River until you get to Lee's Ferry. The water on this trip is so calm, children as young as four years old are allowed.

Tour Discounts

It is a good idea to get your seats early since these tours are so popular. It is possible to snag a seat at the last minute, but you want to be on the safe side so you don't miss out. Plus, by booking early, you get your choice of the best flight times and tour options.

You'll get the best price on your tour by booking online, and it is more convenient too. Booking through a hotel concierge or at a street kiosk is probably the worst mistake you could make. You will also pay more when buying from online brokers such as Priceline, Expedia, or Orbitz. You will always find the lowest price on the tour operator's website.

To Recap

I hope this information helps you plan your trip to the Grand Canyon. Before you do anything, decide on your departure point and which rim you want to see. Then you have to figure out if you want to land at the Grand Canyon or just fly over it. And last, book your seats in advance and get them directly from the tour company's website. If you complete the transaction online, you'll benefit from a terrific Internet discount!


Tips from the Author

There is a Grand Canyon National Park plane excursion for everybody and every price range. Visit here for the very best trips from Vegas. And here if you're venturing out from the South Rim:


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