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How To Pick A Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour

Author : Keith Kravitz   Top Author

Should you wish to take a Grand Canyon chopper trip, you need to make a choice between the West Rim and the South Rim. Challenging decision because both are breathtaking. Here's a breakdown of the rims that will make your choice easy:

Grand Canyon West (West Rim)

The West Rim is 120 miles west of Vegas on Hualapai Indian tribal lands. It takes a helicopter 45 minutes to get there, making it an incredible excursion if you're tight on time and can only spare half a day. Additionally it is well-known for this: The Grand Canyon Glass Walkway and chopper tours that land at the base.

The "glass bridge" is comprised of 44 specially made glass panels that cost $250,000 each. This glass observation deck runs 70 feet past the edge and suspends you 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. An engineering miracle, the bridge is able to withstand magnitude 8 earthquakes and winds in excess of 100 miles-per-hour. Cameras along with other personal electronics are forbidden; photographers are available to take your photo. Tip: Make sure the Glass Walkway is bundled into your helicopter tour at time of purchase. It's more affordable.

The helicopter journey to the bottom is intense. The descent is 15-minutes in length and places you in direct contact with the canyon's steep cliffs and twisted rock structures. The exposed rock signifies four eras of geological time, which makes the oldest exposed material on the Planet's surface. Helicopters land on private landing pads. Here, you will deplane and revel in a Champagne toast under a genuine Indian Ramada. Next, go and explore the surrounding area and the nearby Colorado River.

The marketplace for West Rim helicopter tours is very competitive - search for very best deals. Should you book using the web, be ready to save up to 35 %. Total round-trip time is four hours and incorporates hotel pick up and drop off and lunch. There are many activities that you can add to your trip, like horseback riding, Hummer 4x4 tours, ATV trail riding and kayaking. Total trip time four hours. Packages begin between $235 and $335.

The South Rim

All helicopter tours depart from Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, a town 10 minutes from the Park's main entry. From Phoenix and Sedona, it's a two-hour and four-hour drive, respectively. From Las Vegas, you must purchase an air-ground package, which can be done onboard a fixed-wing Vistaliner aircraft and takes 45 minutes.

Upon arriving at the rim, you will transfer to a helicopter and set off over the Kaibab Plateau till you reach the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest area of the canyon. Other points of interest include Temple Butte, the Zuni Corridor, the North Rim, and the Painted Desert. The Vegas bundle comes with ground transfer to the South Rim, where you'll spend several hours checking out the Park, including the dining establishments and gift shops at Grand Canyon Village.

The South Rim is the place where the most famous pictures and images of the canyon have been taken. Helicopter tours last up to 40 minutes. Total Las Vegas trip time, including helicopter flight and tour bus transfer to Grand Canyon Village, is six hours, and comes with hotel pick up and drop off and lunch. South Rim helicopter trips start at $135 a person. The Vegas package starts at $360 per person.


The Grand Canyon is 190 miles long and encompasses more than 1,900 square miles. On foot, you'll see 45 miles of canyon - flying, 140 miles (even more should you fly from Vegas to the South Rim). If you really want to experience the canyon, flying is choice number one. Next up: Choosing amongst the West Rim and the South Rim. The West Rim is loaded with things to do, and it is close to Las Vegas. The South Rim offers the best viewpoints, hiking trails, and guest services. The 3 top tour operators - Sundance, Maverick and Papillon - offer helicopter and air-helicopter-ground trips to both rims, varying in price from $135 per person to $360 per person. For the best deals, always book online. Now, with this information in mind, you're cleared for lift off.

Author's Resource Box

Mr. Plunket is a travel writer who reports on all things Grand Canyon. He recommends readers click Grand Canyon helicopter tours for the best deals on flights to the West Rim and South Rim of the National Park.

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Tags:   grand canyon, helicopter, tour, flights, rides, national park, las vegas, arizona, west rim, south rim, trip, vacation

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Submitted : 2011-09-23    Word Count : 735    Times Viewed: 383