Friday, March 4, 2016

Top Grand Canyon National Park St. Patrick's Chopper Excursions

By Kate Reingold

Have you made plans yet for St. Patrick's Day? If you want adventure, fun, and excitement all rolled into one, then you should take a tour of the Grand Canyon. St. Patrick's Day is a holiday, but helicopter tours of the Canyon operate as usual, so it's a great time to plan your tour as long as you book it early so you get good seats and a good deal.

You get to pick between touring the West Rim or the South Rim. If you begin your tour in Vegas, you can go to either rim. Vegas is closest to the West Rim and you can get there by helicopter in around 45 minutes, but it will take about an hour to fly to the South Rim by airplane. When you get to the South Rim, you can transfer to your helicopter for your flyover tour of the Canyon.

Helicopter Tours Of The West Rim

The flight from Vegas to the West Rim of the Canyon goes right over Boulder Dam and Lake Mead, so as an added bonus, you get to see them from the air too. You get to choose between a tour that lands at the Canyon and one that is air only and flies over the high points of the Canyon before circling back to Vegas.

The landing tour is a more comprehensive experience, so you should book one if you can. When you book a landing tour, you can land on top of the rim, at the bottom of the Canyon, or you can even do both. If you go to the Canyon floor, you can enjoy a champagne picnic or a floating tour along the Colorado River. If you land on top of the rim, you'll be close to the Skywalk, which is a massive transparent viewing platform that is suspended 4000 feet above the Canyon floor. The top of the rim has several scenic walking trails too with lookout points and fantastic photo opportunities.

The South Rim Of The Canyon

If you fly to the South Rim from Vegas or drive there from Arizona, you'll get to choose between two air-only helicopter tours. The shorter tour flies over to the North Rim and circles back. The other tour lasts about 50 minutes and flies over to the North Rim as well as over to the eastern edge of the national park. Pick the longer tour if you can because you will fly over about 75 percent of the entire park. You'll have to pay a little more, but you'll see a vast portion of the park. The Dragoon Corridor is located in this part of the park, which is noted for being the widest and deepest part of the Canyon, and you'll get to fly over it during your South Rim tour.

The Deluxe Tour Is Best

You will be able to choose from either basic or deluxe helicopters. If you take a basic tour, you get transportation in a standard shuttle van, and you get to ride in a basic Bell Ranger chopper. Deluxe tours use the newer EcoStar 130 helicopter, which is bigger inside, quieter, has more comfortable seating, and features a huge front facing window that wraps right around the cockpit. The deluxe tour also includes a limousine shuttle service, for the ultimate VIP experience. When you book your St. Patrick's Day tour, be sure to book the deluxe option so you'll have the best experience possible.

Final Thoughts

This coming St. Patrick's Day could be just like any other year, OR, it could include one of the best sightseeing adventures that America has to offer. Try to make your budget stretch for the best possible tickets. The landing tour at the West Rim is especially memorable, or if you're at the South Rim, the 50-minute helicopter is the way to go. Be sure to book your tour early, and the best way to do that is to buy your tour online with you credit card. When you buy your tour online, you'll find you get the best deals, plus as soon as you purchase your tour, your seats are confirmed and locked in, so you won't have to worry about the tour being full when you're ready to go.

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