Every year, over 35 million travelers make the trip to Las Vegas. Most of them are eager to experience the glitz of the Strip. However, a relaxing day trip adds even more fun to a Vegas getaway. Touring the Grand Canyon is a fabulous way to escape the hustle and bustle of Vegas.
You might not realize the Grand Canyon is close by, and actually, the West Rim is only 120 miles away from Vegas. You can get there by helicopter in about 45 minutes.
An air-only tour is one of the options for helicopter tours departing from Vegas, the other is a landing tour. The air-only type is cheaper and more basic, taking three hours total from hotel pickup to drop-off. During these flights you'll see Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon Skywalk, among other sites. An air-only tour is ideal for you if you just want an overview of the sights and don't want to spend a lot of money or time.
Helicopter Landing Tours
The other choice is a landing tour and they are much more comprehensive. Las Vegas choppers can land either at the top or the bottom of the canyon at the West Rim. Once you land on top the rim, you can choose from several activities, but the most popular is a walk on the glass Grand Canyon Skywalk.
The Skywalk is the largest glass cantilevered bridge in the world, and it's a true engineering wonder. Each of the glass panels cost about $250,000 and there are forty of them. At the apex of this remarkable horseshoe-shaped glass bridge, you'll be standing almost 4,000 feet above the canyon bottom - 70 feet past the rim's edge!
As I mentioned earlier, at the West Rim you can also take a chopper down to the canyon floor. When you go to the West Rim, you are lucky because that is the one location in the whole National Park where choppers are allowed to descend to the canyon floor. It is a very thrilling experience! You can probably understand these are the most popular helicopter tours you can take from Vegas.
The flight down is nonstop excitement and lasts about 15 minutes. Even better, a champagne picnic awaits you when you arrive. If you want an even better time, consider adding a float trip down the Colorado as an optional tour extension. It is an incredible sight to see the immense towering canyon walls above you as you meander down the river.
Get Your Seats Early
These air tours of the Grand Canyon as so popular you want to book as early as a week in advance so you can get the seats you want. By following this strategy you'll have more choices for flight times. In my opinion, morning flights are best because there's less air turbulence and visibility is much better than later in the day.
Also, you will get the lowest rates online. You have to buy direct from the tour company's website though and avoid third party sites such as Orbitz or Travelocity. You'll be happy with the price and the service you get by buying your tickets direct, with the tour operator!