Monday, May 23, 2016

Memorial Holiday Grand Canyon Helicopter And Airplane Tours

By Erik Magnus

The Memorial Day holiday kicks off the summer travel season, so it's time to start planning a fun trip. Going to Vegas is always a fun idea, but you can make the trip even more memorable by taking a side trip to the Grand Canyon, but you need to buy your tour tickets soon.

Touring By Helicopter

You can take a helicopter tour of the West Rim out of Vegas, but if you want to take a helicopter tour of the South Rim, you'll need to begin the tour in Tusayan, Arizona. South Rim tours are air-only, but landing tours are available at the West Rim, and you can choose a tour that lands on the bottom or top of the Canyon.

One benefit of flying out of Vegas is that the flight to the Canyon is quite scenic. For instance, you'll see the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead from the air, which is an impressive thing to see. Then, if you book an air only tour, your helicopter circles over the West Rim and then heads back to Vegas. If you book a landing tour, you'll get to explore the Canyon on foot and enjoy other fun adventures on the ground.

You should book a landing tour if you can if you intend to go to the West Rim. There is one popular landing tour that flies down to the Canyon floor where you are treated to a Champagne picnic. The picnic is near the Colorado River, and once you've finished your toast and snack, you can enjoy a scenic boat ride through the Canyon. The top of the rim has a lot of fun activities too, such as walking on a trail or viewing the Canyon from the massive transparent Skywalk platform that hangs over the edge of the Canyon, 4000 feet above the river below.

The South Rim has two helicopters on tour. The first is a 30 minute tour that goes to the North Rim and back again. However, I recommend the 50 minute tour, because for a small increase in price, you will go to the North Rim, and all the way out to the eastern boundary of the National Park. Both of these tours go through the Dragoon Corridor, which is a sprawling wide and deep section of the Canyon, and is the largest area of its kind within the National Park.

Canyon Airplane Tours

You can also take an airplane tour out of Vegas, and they are more affordable than the helicopter tours. You'll see the same thing on both types of tours because they all follow the same flight path, however, the airplanes have to fly higher. The airplanes used on the tours have wings mounted on top of the aircraft so they don't block your view, plus the viewing windows are extra large, however, you won't get to do any hovering like you would on a helicopter.

You can take a landing tour of the West Rim if you go by plane, but the airplanes all land on top of the rim where you can enjoy a variety of activities. You are free to add on as many adventures as you like such as visiting the Skywalk and taking a helicopter ride to the Canyon floor.

At the South Rim, the airplane tour follows the longer helicopter route that allows you to see about 75 percent of the entire National Park. This is the same tour you'd take with the 50-minute helicopter flight. So, while you fly higher when you go by plane, you'll save money on your tour, and since the airplanes are bigger and carry more people, the airplane tours are ideal if you're traveling with a group.

To Wrap Up

Tickets are selling out fast, so you will need to make sure you book soon. Don't book any later than 24 hours before the day you want to fly, and in my opinion, it's best to book at least two weeks in advance. Book online and you will get the best prices, and using your credit card you can ensure that your seats are secured for when you arrive in Las Vegas.

There are many tour options you can choose from when you're ready to book your tour, and that makes it easy to find something you'll like at a price you can afford. So reserve your seats now and you'll be set for your scenic and exhilarating Memorial Day tour of one of America's most loved National Parks.

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