A helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon is exciting and it is the ideal way to view the scenery. Other tours are fun too, but nothing can compare to soaring over the massive canyon in a chopper. These tours operate all year long and they offer several options, so you can put together a package you're sure to enjoy.
Where To Begin
Grand Canyon helicopters operate out of Las Vegas in Nevada and Tusayan, Arizona, which is by the South Rim. You can take air-only and ground tours at both of the rims, but the only place your helicopter can fly below the rim and land on the canyon floor is at the West Rim, and you need to part from Vegas to go there. Noise restrictions prohibit flying below the rim in other parts of the canyon.
Vegas Air Tours
When you take a flight out of Vegas, your sightseeing tour starts right away. You'll get an aerial view of scenic Lake Mead, which is the sixteenth largest man-made lake as well as beautiful views of the Colorado River and the canyon itself. If you book a landing tour, you can set down on top of the rim, at the bottom of the canyon, or do a combination of both. One popular tour lands at the bottom of the canyon where you can enjoy a picnic and champagne toast.
Another tour upgrade to consider is a fun 11-mile floating tour through the canyon on the Colorado River. This rafting tour starts at the base of the Hoover Dam and wends its way through the dark rocks of Black Canyon. The raft ends its journey in the tranquil waters of Willow Beach. Here you'll find a welcoming oasis that's the perfect spot for a relaxing dip in the cool waters of the river. This river tour takes off early in the morning and runs once each day.
South Rim Air Tours
The South Rim is known for its spectacular panoramic views from the air. You can choose from two flights depending on the amount of money and time you have. 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 is a great combo because you get to see all the highlights of 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. Yavapai Point is another great observation area. 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.
Upgrade To A Deluxe Tour
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. The basic tours fly on A Star choppers or Bell Rangers. While they are great for flying, they aren't very good at controlling the noise or climate in the cabin. Deluxe tours fly on the EcoStar 130 chopper that has climate control, deluxe seats arranged stadium-style, and roomy cabins that are 25 percent bigger than basic helicopters. In addition, the EcoStar is a lot quieter and gives you a smoother ride. Perhaps the best benefit of all is the huge panoramic windshield that offers the best viewing possible from the air.
Lots Of Enticing Options
You can see there is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. 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 tours to keep in mind when you book are the flight out of Vegas that comes with a champagne picnic and the South Rim tour that comes with the Jeep excursion. No matter what tour you pickArticle Submission, be sure to book it online well in advance so it isn't sold out when you're ready to go.