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Grand Canyon National Park Helicopter Tours That Allow You To See Everything
Home Travel & Leisure Travel Tips
By: Susan Bissonnette Email Article
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Arizona's beautiful South Rim is the "official" Grand Canyon National Park. There are all sorts of ways to see it, but air tours on Grand Canyon helicopters are the best.

A few details before I go on...

The West Rim is more popular with people taking tours out of Vegas because it is closer, and the South Rim is the preferred destination for people taking tours out of Sedona, Phoenix, and other cities in Arizona. Unfortunately, if you prefer seeing the South Rim but will be coming from Sin City, no helicopters fly directly there because it's too far. I suggest getting to the South Rim by plane-it's only an hour's flight from Vegas and then boarding a helicopter once you arrive. Keep in mind, there aren't any flights that connect the two rims either.

Air Tour Options

You get to choose between two basic South Rim air tours, one of them lasts nearly and hour and the other one gives you thirty minutes of air time. The short flight is the least expensive, but here's why the longer flight is best:

This comprehensive flight covers 3/4 of the Grand Canyon National Park. After taking off at Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCA), you'll fly to the Park's eastern boundary. From there you'll fly over the Canyon itself to the North Rim. Then you'll return to the South Rim and GCA by flying through dramatic Dragoon Corridor (the canyon's widest and deepest section) before touching down.

The short tour offers many scenic views as well. It skips the trip to the eastern border and just flies to the North Rim and back to the South Rim, but you get to see the Dragoon Corridor along the way. You can also choose a package tour that includes the helicopter flight and a two-hour Jeep ride through the canyon. You'll ride in your Jeep all the way up to magnificent Grandview Point, with plenty of photo ops and stops at lookouts. The Jeep sunset tour is especially popular.

The Sightseeing Choppers

Grand Canyon helicopters themselves come in two models: the EcoStar 130 and the Bell Ranger. As a general rule, the cheaper flights use Bell Rangers and the more upscale air tours use EcoStars. So, the EcoStar tours might cost more, but it is definitely money well spent. You'll have more room and be more comfortable in an EcoStar. They are also designed for sightseeing and have stadium style seats, quieter engines, and huge wraparound windshields.

These air tours are quite popular, so you want to book your tour about a week in advance. That is even more true in the summer, which is peak travel season. If you wait until the day before the tour or the day of it, the seats will probably be gone and you'll miss a fantastic trip.

Also, be sure to charge up your smartphone or camera, because you will want to take a lot of photos during your tour. And please dress comfortably in loose, non-reflective clothing. If you don't speak or understand English very well, be sure to as for a pre-recorded narration of the tour in your native language so you'll know what's going on.


I hope this article has helped you learn a few of the basics about the South Rim's best helicopter tours. Popular choices are the sunset Jeep ride and the 50 minute flight on an EcoStar sightseeing chopper, but no matter which tour you choose, you will see spectacular sights.

Fly Grand Canyon Helicopters by heading to this page and getting the best tour at the best price on the Internet now:

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