Sunday, December 27, 2015

Grand Canyon Tours: Helicopter, Airplane Tours For New Year's Travelers From Las Vegas And Arizona

By Ione Mahler

Are you still trying to come up with something special to do on this New Year's holiday? If you want an experience that is truly one of a kind, then touring the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas or Arizona could be exactly what you need.

Arizona air tours begin in the small town of Tusayan which is situated near the South Rim about three hours north of Phoenix. The Vegas air tours lift off from the Strip in Vegas and from an airfield in Boulder City. Holiday air tours are popular and the tours fill up in advance, so be sure to book your tour as soon as you can.

Booking online is the best way to ensure that your tickets are secured, and that you get the best prices. Again, you'll have to book quick, because New Year's Eve is one of the busiest times of the year for these Canyon tours.

Canyon Helicopter Tours

Helicopters provide the premier Canyon experience. When you fly from Vegas, there are landing and air-only tours available. Both will take you over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, before heading to the Canyon and performing a scenic flyover, but only the landing tours can get you right into the action.

I recommend landing tours because they offer the most comprehensive Canyon experience. You can choose to land at the bottom, where there's a Champagne picnic or a Colorado riverboat ride awaiting you - just take your pick, and you can even do both! If you land at the top, there's the Skywalk, the world renowned transparent platform that allows you to step right over the edge of the Canyon. If you have time, you can even purchase tickets for both landing tours, allowing you to see everything that there is at the West Rim.

Tusayan tours can't land inside the Canyon, but they do offer some stunning sights. This area is a little more remote, and you can see the North Rim as well as the South Rim. A 30 minute tour is standard, but there's also a 50 minute option. I highly recommend the longer tour because the small increase in ticket price will take you to the eastern boundary of the park, and allow you to view up to three quarters of the entire National Park. The Dragoon Corridor is the highlight at the South Rim.

Touring By Airplane

Plane rides will take you on the exact same routes that helicopters do, with the only difference being that they fly at higher altitudes. If you travel from Vegas to the West Rim, plane rides can only land at the top of the Canyon, but you will have an option to purchase helicopter tickets to the bottom. You also have the Skywalk at the top, and plenty of viewing areas and walking trails.

The South Rim is too far from Vegas for helicopters to make it, but you can book an airplane tour from Vegas to the South Rim. The flight there takes about an hour, which is much quicker than the five hours it would take to drive. When your plane lands at the South Rim, you can transfer to a bus for a 2 1/2 hour ride through the Park, or you can transfer to a helicopter and fly over the rim.

If you're airplane touring at the South Rim, take the extended option. Just like with the helicopter tours, it will show you 75% of the national park, from the South Rim, to the North, and the eastern park boundary.

If you have a larger group then an airplane tour could be your best option. With capacity for 19 passengers, rather than the 6 in a helicopter, planes are perfect for groups of friends, families, or business teams.


There are several options to choose from when you plan your New Year's flight over the Canyon. There is a tour for any taste and budget, and you can depart from Arizona or Vegas and go by plane or helicopter. Some of the most popular tours to consider are the 50-minute air tours of the South Rim, and one of the landing tours of the West Rim. These tour options allow you to have a comprehensive experience at the Canyon.

Book now to avoid disappointment, and book with your credit card online. You'll get the best rates, and will be all set for a fantastic New Year's holiday adventure at the Canyon.

About the Author: