Well, it's almost here, the day most Americans wait for eagerly, the July 4th holiday! It is a fantastic time to take a vacation to the Grand Canyon National Park, but you better book your tour as soon as possible. Independence Day is one of the most popular times for family vacations and the popular Grand Canyon helicopter tours usually sell out fast.
Chopper tours fly out of Tusayan, AZ (where Grand Canyon National Park Airport is located) and Las Vegas, NV. Tusayan flights do the South Rim, while Vegas tours head for Grand Canyon West.
Tours Of The South Rim
You can choose from a 50 minute or 30 minute helicopter tour of the South Rim, they fly you to the North Rim and back passing over dramatic landmarks such as the Dragoon Corridor.
The 50 minute flight follows the same path as the shorter flight, but it also covers other territory so you see even more sights. It is a very popular option among visitors to the South Rim. You'll see the South Rim, the North Rim, and everything up to the Park's eastern boundary. This gives you an amazing aerial view of almost three-fourths of the entire National Park.
At the South Rim, helicopters are not allowed to descend to the canyon floor or even fly below the rim. If you want to do that, you have to visit the West Rim.
West Rim Tours
You can catch a helicopter tour out of Vegas every hour of the day from early morning until sunset. They come in air-only and enhanced landing versions.
The air-only tours are cheapest and they're a great value. They're perfect for folks who are short on time, have limited funds, or just want to get the flavor of the canyon. Besides Grand Canyon West, you'll see Hoover Dam and Lake Mead during one of these flights.
Of course, the landing tours are great fun and very popular. As I mentioned before, the West Rim is the only place where your chopper can land on the bottom, almost 4,000 feet below the edge of the rim! That's exciting enough, but it also enables you to add some terrific side trips.
The tour that lands on the bottom and includes a Champagne picnic is one of the most popular. In addition, you can book a rafting tour along the smooth waters of the Colorado River. Another tour many people like is the landing tour on the rim that includes VIP access to the amazing glass Skywalk. This all-glass cantilevered bridge lets you walk 70 feet past the edge of the rim!
Tips For Booking Discounts
Independence Day is an extremely busy time at the Grand Canyon and the helicopter tours sell out fast. If at all possible, get your tour booked at least one or two weeks ahead of time. That allows you to have more options too, you should try to get a morning flight if you can.
The best prices are always on the ?Net. But don't buy your seats from one of the big-box travel sites like Viator, Orbitz or Priceline. Go directly to the tour operator's website instead. Then you can take the Internet discount when you complete your purchase on the site.
To Sum It All Up
Summer is always busy at the Grand Canyon, but many folks make a special point of going there for the July 4th holiday. That is why it is so important to book your tour early. Don't forget, to get the lowest possible rate, go to the tour operator's site and complete your purchase online.