If you are planning a getaway to Vegas, then you should take a side trip to see the Grand Canyon by air. Aerial views of the National Park are widely regarded as some of the most magnificent sights on the planet! If you have extra time, you should get one of the upgraded tours that includes a thrilling adventure such as a raft trip on the Colorado River, a 4x4 expedition, or a walk on the world famous Grand Canyon Skywalk.
The Flight Options
You can book a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon every day of the week including holidays. When you fly to the West Rim, you can choose from a variety of tours that last from 3-7 hours. You can also charter a helicopter flight if you want, but it costs quite a bit to do that.
Helicopters that fly out of Vegas only go to the West Rim. The South Rim is just too far away for them. However, all is not lost if you are in Vegas and really want to go to the South Rim. One thing you can do is book a plane tour to the South Rim that comes with a chopper tour of the canyon once you are there. It only takes about an hour to fly there by airplane and the views you see on the South Rim chopper tour are fantastic.
The West Rim has its own special attraction though because it is the only place in the National Park where helicopters can fly below the rim and land on the canyon floor. It is a pretty thrilling descent and once you are at the bottom, you can catch a rafting tour of the Colorado River.
Leaving From Las Vegas
You can start your air tour of the Grand Canyon from one of several conveniently located heliports in the Vegas metro area. There are some located on the Strip so it is easy to get there from your hotel. However, you have to pay more for those tours than you do if you depart from Boulder City which is about 30 minutes away by shuttle bus.
Air Tours Of The South Rim
If you are staying at a lodge in Grand Canyon Village or in a city in Arizona such as Sedona, Phoenix, or Tusayan, you should consider taking the South Rim tour instead. You will board your chopper at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, which is situated in the tiny town of Tusayan near the main gates of the Park.
You can choose from a helicopter tour of the South Rim that lasts 50 minutes or 30 minutes. The half hour flight takes you over to the North Rim and back and flies over spectacular scenery. In addition to covering the same ground, the fifty-minute flight takes you all the way over to the eastern edge of the National Park too. The longer flight is a fantastic way to appreciate the Grand Canyon because it lets you see nearly 3/4 of the entire region!
You definitely want to book your tour ahead of time. Try to book your helicopter tour at least one week before your tour date if at all possible. By doing this, your tickets will be cheaper and you'll have more flight times from which to choose (in my opinion, flights before noon and sunset flights are the best times of day for chopper tours).
I also recommend booking your flight online, but not with any of the big travel brokers. It is better to go to the tour operator's website and buy your seats from them. The tour operators always have special promotions going on and they can offer you the lowest rates on your tour. It's easy, just use their online form to book your tour. That way you'll qualify for the terrific Internet rate!