The Grand Canyon is one of the largest and most frequently visited National Parks in the U. S. , it covers over one million acres of pristine wilderness. It is so large, you need to see it by helicopter to appreciate all its beauty.
Helicopter Tours Available
You can choose different helicopter tours of the South Rim based upon flight time. The shorter flight lasts about thirty minutes while the longer flight lasts around sixty minutes. You can upgrade to a deluxe version of either tour, which lets you fly in a smooth-riding EcoStar 130 helicopter. It costs more but it is worth it. The cabins in these choppers are much bigger and more comfortable as they offer stadium style seats, excellent climate control and wraparound sightseeing windows.
The scenery on these tours is breathtaking, even if you take the short flight. The tours begin near the main gates to the Park at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. After flying over Kaibab National Forest, they head to Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon. Once they reach the North Rim, they head back to the South Rim.
The longer (50-minute) tours on South Rim helicopters do all that too, but they're more comprehensive and also include points of interest like Zuni Corridor, the Desert Watchtower, the East Rim, the Painted Desert and Imperial Point (the highest spot in the National Park).
Sure, the longer tours cost more, but they give you terrific bang for your buck. The more comprehensive tours allow you to better appreciate the majestic beauty of this special place on our planet.
Federal regulations prevent Grand Canyon choppers from flying below the South Rim's edge and landing on the canyon floor. If you want to have that thrilling experience, you will have to go to the West Rim. If you want to take a West Rim helicopter tour, then you need to start your tour in Vegas. There aren't any flights between the South and West Rims.
However, if it is a landing tour you want, you can take one of those at the South Rim. The tour includes an exciting Jeep ride that allows you to see many unusual sights up close. If you are lucky, you will get to see the sun set at Hopi Point. These tours begin late in the afternoon so your Jeep ride coincides with the sunset, these tours are very popular and fill up fast. There is a reason this tour is so popular, the views at sunset are fantastic!
Book your seats as early as you can, try to do it at least one week ahead of your flight date. This is important for the following reasons:
1. You'll get the particular tour you want
2. You will have a better selection of departure dates and times
3. You'll get a cheaper price
Each of these is a great reason to book your seats early. Although a week ahead of time is good, even earlier is ideal during the peak summer season. It's possible you could cut it shorter and still get the flight you want, but at best that's a long shot. Plus, it is very hard to get same-day seats when you have multiple people in your party.
The cost of Grand Canyon tour tickets might be too high for you, but here are some suggestions. Most importantly, you should get your seats online. Be sure to do it on the tour company's site. Tickets bought from Viator, Expedia, or Travelocity will cost you more. The lowest prices for Grand Canyon chopper tours are posted on the tour companies’ websites. These discount rates are easy to find since they are usually posted right on the front home page.
Travel author Justine M. is a specialist on air excursions over Grand Canyon National Park. For chopper trips , she suggests visiting this site for excellent rates: http://www.grandcanyonhelicopters.org/hot-deals