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Grand Canyon Airplane Tour Choices

So you're considering a Grand Canyon plane trip. There are 2 kinds: landing and air. Read this article for full details on both...

When you take an airplane tour of the Grand Canyon, you get to see as much as the entire National Park, there is just no way to cover that much ground on any other tour. But which type should you take? Would a landing tour or an air-only flight be better?

Both types give you a terrific experience. So it all comes down to what you most enjoy doing and how much money you want to spend. Let's take a closer look:

Landing Flights To The Grand Canyon

Sin City is one of the main hubs for Grand Canyon air tours, especially the landing variety. You'll have several choices. One fun addition you can choose for your airplane tour is a helicopter ride to the bottom of the canyon. You can even add an optional extension that includes a float trip down the Colorado.

Another popular landing tour sets down on the top of the West Rim and includes VIP access to the fabulous Grand Canyon Skywalk. Once you're out at the farthest point, look down, you'll be 70 feet out past the edge and 4,000 feet above the bottom!

There is a lot more to do on top of the rim and you can take a free shuttle ride wherever you want to go. West Rim highlights include the following:
  • Guano Point
  • Hualapai Ranch
  • The Interesting Cultural Center
  • Eagle Point Lookout
You don't have as many options at the South Rim, but a really fun one includes a raft trip along the Colorado River and a Jeep tour of the Slot Canyons at Antelope Canyon. Kids can participate as long as they're at least four years old.

Vegas Tours To The South Rim

One particular flight from Sin City to the South Rim is amazingly popular. One-way flight time is only an hour, and you'll see a big part of the National Park on your way to Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCA) in Tusayan, AZ (just outside the Park's main gates). One version includes a 2 ?-hour guided coach tour of the Park. An upgraded version does that too, but adds a half-hour chopper flight for even more excitement.

Air-Only Tours

You can catch one of these air tours of the Grand Canyon on any day of the year and depart from Vegas or the airport in Tusayan. Unlike landing airplane rides, they stay in the air the entire time.

When you book an air tour from Vegas, you will pass over these highlights:
  • Hoover Dam
  • Lake Mead
  • Grand Canyon West
  • The mighty Colorado along the floor of the canyon
  • The famous Grand Canyon Skywalk
Plus you will see many more scenic vistas before your plane turns around and brings you back to Vegas.

The air-only flights to the South Rim take you over the South, North, and East Rims. You will see these amazing sights:
  • Imperial Point, the highest point in the Park
  • Zuni Corridor
  • The widest part of the canyon called the Dragoon Corridor
  • The spectacular Desert Watchtower
  • The beautiful Temple of Ra
It's a 45-minute flight full of exciting sights. Plus, the airplane tour is very affordable.

The Best Time To Take A Flight

The best Grand Canyon aerial tours are in the morning. The air is clearer then so you have the best visibility and the air is calmer so you experience less turbulence. The timing of your flight is extra-important for summer flights. On the other hand, sunset flights are very beautiful!

You can see there are so many options when it comes to Grand Canyon airplane tours. Landing tours are fantastic because you get to see the Park from the ground and from the air. But, the air only tours are the ideal option if you don't have much time or are on a limited budget. No matter which tour you choose, it will be an experience of a lifetime.

Article Tags: Grand Canyon Airplane, Grand Canyon, Canyon Airplane, Airplane Tour, National Park

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Travel editor Tracy M. Delvecchio is an authority on the Grand Canyon and recommends these tours from Vegas as well as these from South Rim:

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