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Go for a Grand Canyon Excursion This Fourth of July Holiday Vacation!
Home Travel & Leisure Travel Tips
By: Susan Bissonnette Email Article
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The Fourth of July Is one of the most popular holidays in America. So why not celebrate it by taking a Grand Canon tour? Choices include helicopter and airplane flights, bus tours, and smooth-water rafting trips. They're all exciting and they're all running on their regular schedules over the July 4th holiday.

Grand Canyon tours start from two places: Tusayan, Arizona (the site of Grand Canyon National Park Airport, sometimes called "GCN") and Las Vegas, Nevada. If you will be in Arizona, in Phoenix or nearby, you will take your tour out of the airport in Tusayan and if you will be in Vegas, you will start your tour from there. The July 4th holiday weekend will be busy at the canyon, so you should book your tour one or two weeks ahead of time.

South Rim Tours

There are short and long helicopter tours that depart from Tusayan, the shorter one is a half an hour long and the other one gives you 50 minutes of air time. The 30 minute flight may not be as long, but you see plenty of great sights on your way to the North Rim and back, however, the longer tour adds a jaunt over to the East Rim too and is much more comprehensive. You get to see about 3/4 of the whole National Park on the longer tour.

You can also take plane tours out of GCN. They follow the same route as the upgraded helicopter tour and last 50 minutes. Rating tours are on offer at the South Rim too, and these take you on a 15 mile trip along the smooth waters of the Colorado River. It starts at Glen Canyon Dam and ends at historic Lee's Ferry.

Tours Leaving From Vegas

The advantage of being based in Las Vegas is you get to pick which rim you want to tour since you can go to either the South or West Rim from there. Not only that, the tours tend to cost less than the ones that depart from the airport in Tusayan.

The flight to the West Rim from Las Vegas takes about 45 minutes on a helicopter. All helicopter tours fly over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, but you can pick from air-only or landing flights.

One of these landing tours comes with a lot of fun things to do such as a helicopter descent to the canyon floor, a champagne picnic, a boat ride on the Colorado River, and VIP access to the Skywalk. The Skywalk is a massive glass bridge that juts out 70 feet beyond the canyon rim so you can walk out and peer down 4000 feet to the canyon floor!

Bus tours to the South or West Rim are incredibly popular and affordably priced. The basic West Rim version is perfect for people with limited time or budgets, but an optional extension adds the exciting chopper flight to the bottom. When you take a bus tour to the South Rim, you can upgrade to include the half-hour helicopter tour as well.

The airplanes that leave from Las Vegas fly to both rims too. The airplane tours to the West Rim are very similar to the helicopter tours when it comes to upgrade options, but the plane tours cost less. A terrific South Rim package flies there direct and includes a 2 1/2 hour bus tour inside the National Park.

Book Now!

Don't forget, the Fourth of July weekend is going to be busy at the National Park. Book your tour early before it sells out. That way you'll have more choices and be able to get the best prices.

Speaking of prices, book your tickets on the Web, right on the tour company's website. Stay away from travel sites like Orbitz, or you will have to pay more. Just remember to complete your purchase on the tour company's site so you qualify for the terrific online discount.

Summing Up

Tours of the Grand Canyon depart from Vegas and Tusayan. No matter what kind of tour you choose, you'll have a great time, because they are all fun and memorable. You can enjoy touring by raft, airplane, bus, or helicopter. Book your tour as soon as possible, and do it on the tour operator's website so you get the lowest price.

The writer is a specialist on Grand Canyon tours. She suggests starting here with regards to selecting the adventure that's right for you and your family:

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