48 Hours or Less at Grand Canyon? Take a Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon chopper tours are a thrilling way to see the National Park. But even more important, they are the ultimate way to check out the park should you have only a few days to do it.

Starting Points

The West Rim and the South Rim are the only places in the canyon where helicopters are permitted to fly.

If you’re starting out from Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon West is the destination for you. The rim is only 120 miles from Las Vegas. If your heart is set on seeing the South Rim from Las Vegas, you must take a 45-minute airplane flight and after that transfer to the chopper segment of your package.

South Rim helicopter tours depart daily from Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, which is just outside of the main gates of the National Park. If you are driving up from such places in Arizona like Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Sedona, this is the Grand Canyon helicopter trip for you.

Different types of Chopper Tours

Of the two rims, the West Rim has the most add-ons. Of course, there is the air-only tour, but the majority of travelers want more and Vegas tour providers deliver.

The most popular is the landing tour. This tour takes you 4,000 feet to the bottom part of the canyon and lands. Most come with a Champagne picnic. There’s sufficient time to explore, too. There is also an opportunity to add a canyon float trip to this package.

Another very popular West Rim landing tour is the Skywalk. This package includes unlimited access to the fabulous glass bridge. It’s a miracle of modern day engineering and enables you to go 70 feet past the edge of the rim. Some 4,000 feet beneath you roils the Colorado River.

The South Rim is about natural beauty. Nothing shows this off better than a heli tour. There are no landing tours at this rim. The most popular trip takes you over the Kaibab Plateau and into the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the Grand Canyon, before turning back at the North Rim. Flight time is thirty minutes, nevertheless, you can extend it up to 50 minutes. Additionally you can upgrade to the super-sleek EcoStar 130 helicopter.

Getting a Good Price

There are two simple things you need to do to get a hot deal on a canyon helicopter tour. First, book ahead of time. If you can a week or two in front of this, you’ll win the game. Next, shop the world wide web. There’s a lot of great prices on the Web. I consistently find exclusive deals in which you can save up to 35%. It takes a little work but it’s worth it.

Time to Fly!

Grand Canyon helicopter tours are my favorite way to explore the National Park. Flights go to the West Rim and the South Rim. The West Rim offers a number of great landing tours. The South Rim is air-only. If you have the budget for it, upgrade to the EcoStar 130. Or follow my two steps to savings and use the difference to combo in side-trips. The canyon is an aerial delight. Luckily, there are a lot of helicopter tours available that permit you to experience it.

Mr. Kravitz is a travel writer specializing in reviewing tours to the Grand Canyon. Go here for his Top 3 Grand Canyon helicopter tour operators. Rankings are based on quality, safety and price. Scan these ratings and make sure you get the trip that meets your needs.