If you've been wanting to visit the Grand Canyon, you should see it by helicopter, and there is no better time than the winter holiday season. Helicopter air tours operate every day of the year except for Christmas day itself, so there are plenty of days left you can go before the year is up.
Helicopter Tours That Depart From Vegas
The helicopters tours out of Las Vegas come in two types: those that land at the canyon and those that are air-only. The canyon is beautiful from the air, but you'll see many interesting things on the flight there and back too, such as the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.
The air-only tours are great if you're short on time or money, but if you can swing it, you should opt for a landing tour so you can add on some fun adventures. One of the fun landing tours is one that sets down on the canyon floor and comes with a champagne picnic. You can even add on a Colorado River rafting excursion if you want.
Some of the other landing tours put down on top of the rim rather than the bottom. These packages can include tickets to the Skywalk. This bridge allows you to walk 70 feet beyond the edge of the rim and stand 4000 feet above the bottom of the canyon on a panel of glass.
You get to pick between a basic helicopter tour or the deluxe version. The basic tours are the least expensive option, and they provide you with complimentary transportation in a shuttle van. They lift off from the Vegas suburbs from an airfield in Boulder City. If you want to spend more, you can opt for the deluxe tour instead.
The deluxe tours depart from the Vegas Strip, which is more convenient, and they provide upgraded shuttle service by the way of a limousine. Deluxe tours utilize the EcoStar 130 sightseeing helicopters too. These choppers are roomy and comfy, plus, there is no bad seat thanks to the wraparound windshield that offers everyone a great view.
South Rim Chopper Tours
If you take a helicopter tour of the South Rim, you'll board your chopper at the airport that sits near the main gate of the park in Tusayan, AZ. These tours are great if you'll be starting from a city in Arizona, but if you will be driving to Tusayan from Vegas, be prepared for a 5-hour drive each way.
You can choose from flights that give you 30 or 50 minutes of air time. You'll see a lot more of the park if you opt for the longer tour, so paying the additional price is worthwhile. You'll get to see the region between the North and South Rim on either tour, but you'll need to take the longer tour if you want to fly all the way to the eastern border and back.
Winter Is The Ideal Time For Grand Canyon Air Tours
The air is crisp and clear during the winter, so it is the perfect time to take an air tour. In the canyon itself, the temperature varies along with the elevation, since the South Rim sits higher, it is colder there, but the West Rim has about the same temperatures as Las Vegas. You'll want to dress for the weather and don't forget to wear hiking boots. You'll probably need a warm coat, gloves, and a hat to keep warm.
The winter holiday season is the ideal time to take an air tour of the Grand Canyon, but don't forget to book your tour in advance. Try to book your tour two weeks ahead of time or it might be sold out if you wait. Booking online is the fast and easy way to get your seats, and doing so can even save you some money because you cut out the travel agent's commission and you get to use the low Internet rate.
Don't put off seeing the Grand Canyon, because now is the perfect time to go. A helicopter tour is the best way to see the canyon since it gives you the best perspective for appreciating the size and beauty of nature's unique wonderland.
Tips from the Author
Grand Canyon travel expert Justine M. recommends checking out these helicopter reviews as well as this list of the best flights from Las Vegas and the South Rim: http://grandcanyoncheap.com/helicopter-deals.html