A helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon is exciting and it is the ideal way to view the scenery. You'll have fun on any kind of Grand Canyon tour, but none are as exciting as soaring above the massive landmark in a helicopter. These tours take off daily year round and have so many options available that you are bound to find the flight of your dreams.
An air tour can depart from two main sites, directly from Las Vegas, NV, or the South Rim, close to Tusayan, AZ. While both tours offer various air or ground tours, only those leaving from Las Vegas and the West Rim offer flights that venture beneath the rim and land on the canyon floor. Flying into the canyon is prohibited by the National Park Services at the South Rim due to noise restrictions.
When you take a flight out of Vegas, your sightseeing tour starts right away. You'll see Lake Mead, the 16th largest man-made lake, the Colorado River and the vastness of the Grand Canyon. Landing tours fly to the bottom of the canyon, the top or a combination of both. A fun tour to consider is the one that flies you down to the canyon floor where a champagne picnic awaits.
Another amazing tour combines a helicopter tour with a peaceful float on the Colorado River for 11.3 miles. The floating tour sets off near the Hoover Dam and follows the river through the Black Canyon and it's dark volcanic rock formations. The rafting tour completes its voyage at beautiful Willow Beach. The oasis at Willow Beach is a great place to swim and cool off from the summer heat. This tour departs early morning once a day.
Flights Over The South Rim
The South Rim is known for its spectacular panoramic views from the air. Two options are available, depending on how much time or money you want to spend. There is a flight that gives you 30 minutes of air time and goes to the North Rim and back. Then there is a longer, 50-minute flight that goes to the North Rim and over to the eastern border, so you see about 75 percent of the whole Grand Canyon National Park.
Another tour option is to take the 30 minute helicopter flight and combine it with a Jeep tour of the park. This tour is the best of both worlds since you see the park from the air and from the ground too. Mather Point is not to be missed because the canyon stretches out for miles from that vantage point and you can see brilliant colors off into the distance. Another place for great views of the canyon is at Yavapai Point. The Jeep tour also includes a stop at Grand Canyon Village where you can sop and view historic buildings. Overall, this is a fantastic tour of the South Rim that lets you see it all.
Which Way To Fly?
You can book a basic or deluxe tour depending on the aircraft the tour utilizes. There are basic and deluxe tours to choose from too. Basic tours utilize the standard Bell Ranger or A Star. They are okay for flying, however, they are noisy and there isn't very good climate control in them. The deluxe tour uses the EcoStar 130 that boasts a cabin 25% larger than basic tours, deluxe stadium seating, and climate control. In addition, the EcoStar is a lot quieter and gives you a smoother ride. Plus its 180-degree wrap around windshield allows for amazing views.
So Many Choices
You'll get to choose from a variety of fun options when you begin planing your helicopter tour. Hopefully, you now know about some of the best choices available. Deluxe flights are the way to go since they come with great perks and offer a more comfortable flight. Two popular tours you may want to consider are the South Rim flight with an included Jeep excursion through the park, or the Vegas tour that comes with the fun champagne toast on the floor of the West Rim. No matter what tour you pick, be sure to book it online well in advance so it isn't sold out when you're ready to go.
Tips from the Author
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