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Grand Canyon National Park Helicopters - Now That's the Way to Observe St. Patrick's Day

Justine Moriarity
 


Visitors: 1,007

If you're looking for something fun to do on St. Patrick's Day this year, you ought to take a chopper tour over the Grand Canyon. You probably won't find the fabled pot of gold there, but you will find some of the most breathtaking scenic views on the planet.

Grand Canyon choppers leave from Grand Canyon National Park Airport (in Arizona, just outside the Park's main gates at the South Rim) and Las Vegas, Nevada. Holiday flights are scheduled on the hour, just like every other day of the year. Try to get a morning flight if you can as many people think they are best.

Helicopter Tours Of The South Rim

South Rim Grand Canyon helicopters come in two flavors: a basic 30-minute flight or an extended 50-minute flight. The half-hour flight departs from the South Rim, flies over to the North Rim, and then circles back. Dragoon Corridor (the canyon's deepest, widest section) is the hands-down highlight of this particular tour.

The longer flight covers almost 3/4 of the National Park. In addition to covering the South and North Rim, it goes all the way to the eastern border as well. You will see many amazing sights on one of these tours and they are highly recommended.

Chopper Tours To The West Rim

The West Rim of the canyon is a short 120 miles from Vegas. All chopper flights outbound from Vegas fly to the West Rim. During 45 to 60 minutes of airtime, these tours fly over such highlights like Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Colorado River and more.

A Skywalk Adventure

One interesting fact to note is the West Rim is the only place in the Grand Canyon where helicopters can fly under the rim and land on the canyon floor. You can buy helicopter tours with upgrades that include picnicking on the canyon floor, floating on the Colorado River, and walking on the Skywalk.

If you opt for visiting the Skywalk, your chopper will land at the nearby helipad at the top of the West Rim. The Bridge is a modern-day engineering wonder, costing somewhere in the range of $30 million to build (each glass panel is worth $250,000). Structurally, it's built to withstand 8.0 earthquakes and 100 mph windstorms.

Book In Advance Online

Air tours out of Las Vegas are very popular especially on holidays. That's why I always urge travelers to book their tours at least a week before their preferred date. The close the tour gets to the departure date, the greater the risk of it being sold out, so don't put off getting your seats. Deciding to go at the last minute and getting same-day tickets is pretty much out of the question.

Want to save some money on your seats? Who wouldn't, right?

Just book your tour right on the tour company's website. These companies own and operate the choppers, and they're in the best position to give you the lowest prices. I've seen a lot of travelers save as much as 35% by booking this way!

All you have to do is choose your tour and pay for it online. If you don't, you'll lose the great Internet-only discount, meaning you might end up paying full price!

Tips from the Author

Prepared to see the Grand Canyon? Do it by helicopter. The author strongly endorses checking out these top 3 suppliers . Plus this list of discount coupons: http://grandcanyoncheap.com/helicopter-deals.html

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