Monday, December 21, 2015

Grand Canyon Helicopters: Try A Tour For The New Year's Holiday

By Beth Adams

Are you ready to have a fun time doing something exciting and different? Well, it's time to celebrate New Year's Eve in grand fashion by taking a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon.

Helicopter flights run all year round, barring Christmas Day, so you won't have trouble seeing the Canyon on New Year's Eve, or any of the days around it. Of course, you will need to book fast, because tours are expected to be incredibly popular for the end of the year.

Booking early also allows you to have a wider selection in available tours, and when you buy your tour online, you'll get the lowest price available.

Vegas Chopper Tours

Vegas is by far the most popular place to begin an air tour of the Canyon. Because of that, the Vegas tours offer a lot of options. As a little extra, some flights offer tours of The Strip, and all flights go over the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam.

If you're tight for time and trying to adhere to a budget, you could choose an air-only tour. These fly out to the Grand Canyon, perform some stunning flyovers, and then head back to the city. If you do have more time, and these tours are by far the most popular, you can choose to land at the Grand Canyon National Park.

These tours are a lot of fun because you can add on different adventures. You can land at the top of the Canyon, at the bottom, or you could even do both.

At the top of the Canyon, you will have access to the public walkways and viewing platforms. For a little extra, you could purchase a ticket to the Skywalk. If you haven't heard of the Skywalk, it is a glass platform that extends 70 feet over the Canyon rim, and allows you to look down a 4000 foot drop to the bottom of the Canyon. If it sounds scary, don't worry, it's actually one of the most exciting things you could ever do, and it is well worth the price.

If you want to land on the Canyon floor, you can enjoy a Champagne picnic by the Colorado River and then take a fun boat ride along the colorful Canyon walls. This landing tour is great for couples and celebrations, and is the most popular out of the landing helicopter tours.

Chopper Tours Of The South Rim

South Rim helicopter tours take off from the small town of Tusayan, Arizona. If you're in Arizona, you can drive yourself to Tusayan, but if you're in Vegas, you'll need to catch a flight there. The Tusayan airport is just outside of the main gates to the National Park. Even though there are no landing tours permitted at the South Rim, you'll still find the tours there worthwhile. One of the air tours lasts 30 minutes and it flies to the North Rim and back to Tusayan. The extended tour, which I highly recommend, will do everything from the standard tour, while also taking you to the far eastern area of the Park. The longer flight lasts 50 minutes and flies over nearly 75 percent of the whole National Park.

Choose a Tour Package

There are basic and deluxe helicopter flights to choose from. Basic helicopters follow the same routes, but they use older choppers. Don't worry, they're excellently maintained and fit for flight.

However, if you can afford it, upgrading to a deluxe tour is a good idea. The helicopters used for these tours are designed specifically for sightseeing. The seats are bigger and more comfortable, plus they are arranged stadium style so you have a good view no matter where you sit. The cabins are oversized and climate controlled. The best thing about deluxe helicopters is that they have massive wraparound windscreens that provide fantastic panoramic viewing. The newer helicopters are also quieter inside, and smoother while in flight.

Wrapping Up

It's going to be cold at the Canyon this year, so dress in some warm layers, with a winter jacket on over top. It can sometimes snow at the South Rim, so dress warm!

Touring the Canyon is a fun way to spend New Year's Eve. Canyon flights are popular from Las Vegas and Arizona, so make sure you book early. For the best chances of getting the tour you want, secure your seats with your credit card by buying your tour online at least two weeks in advance if you can. You will get the best prices, and you won't have to worry about losing your reservation.

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