Las Vegas is one of the major hubs to consider if you want to take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour. Several types of flights are available, and you'll need to know the differences so you get the trip you want.
Canyon helicopter tours come in two varieties: Air and landing. Air tours are exactly that: they fly over the best the canyon has to offer before making their descent. En route, you'll see:
1. Lake Mead
2. Hoover Dam
3. Fortification Hill
4. Grand Cliffs Wash
5. The Colorado River
6. The Grand Canyon Skywalk
I want to also add that aerial tours are a great way to sample the National Park, and they also make ideal trips for travelers who have a limited amount of time to enjoy it.
Landing tours are my personal favorite. I say this because they let you interact with the canyon in ways that aerial tours can't. It should also be noted that Vegas helicopters go to the West Rim, and this is the only place where you can fly below the edge of the canyon and land on its bottom.
This ability to fly into the canyon opens up a lot of opportunities, and has allowed reputable tour companies to created such packages that include:
1. Landing on bottom of canyon floor
2. Picnic at the bottom
3. Colorado River boat ride
Additionally, there are helicopter rides that land at the top of the rim, which lets you experience the following:
1. Grand Canyon Skywalk
2. Guano and Eagle Points
3. Hualapai Ranch
4. The Indian Cultural Center
The South Rim is based in Arizona, and all helicopters here originate from Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCA). If you are in Las Vegas, you'll have to take a plane or a bus to the South Rim because it's too far for helicopters.
South Rim chopper rides are determined by time. There's one that flies rim-to-rim for 30 minutes and another that goes for up to an hour. Naturally, I'm all about more airtime because you'll see:
1. South Rim, North Rim & East Rim
2. Desert Watchtower
3. Zuni Corridor
4. Painted Desert
5. Navajo Indian Reservation
and so much more.
I urge all readers to book their helicopter rides in advance. Try to do it a week prior to the time you want to go. This is because air tours are very popular and sell out on a regular basis.
Don't be tempted to purchase your tour from hotel concierges, street kiosks and the like. This will just end up costing you more in the long run. There's also a good chance of not getting exactly what you want.
Instead, I recommend booking direct from the tour supplier. These are the folks who own and operate the tours and are in a position to set prices. Moreover, the best deals are posted on their websites, which I like because you also get their ironclad cancellation policies (as opposed to “specials" that carry a ton of fine print).
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it's given you the tools to pick a high-quality canyon helicopter tour. If not, I've included a link in my “about the Author" box below where you can get more info.
Tips from the Author
Travel writer Justine Moriarity recommends first checking out these Grand Canyon Helicopter tour reviews: http://www.grandcanyonhelicopters.org/helicopter-tour-company-reviews And then going here for the lowest prices on the best canyon chopper flights: