Las Vegas Helicopters - A Great Way to Make the Grand Canyon Really Sizzle!
Trying to experience the Grand Canyon in the most exceptional way possible? Do a helicopter trip. Flights leave every day from Las Vegas, NV, and South Rim and are filled with thrills you'll remember for a lifetime.
Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon depart Las Vegas every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Morning tours are usually best because the temperatures are cooler then, but avoid the 'early bird' flights if you can because the sun will block your view from the chopper and it won't be sunny on the canyon floor yet.
It is also a good idea to take a tour that uses the EcoStar 130 helicopter. You will see the sights in comfort because these choppers offer big sightseeing windows, an oversized cabin, stadium-style seating, and air conditioning to keep you cool on the hottest days of summer.
West Rim Only
The helicopter tours that depart from Vegas only go to the West Rim since it is about 120 miles away and the South Rim is 277 miles away, which is out of range. It only takes about 45 minutes to get there by chopper.
At the West Rim, the FAA and National Park Service permit choppers to fly to the canyon floor, this is not allowed elsewhere in the Grand Canyon due to noise and pollution problems. This gives people some great options while they're at the West Rim. For example, one terrific tour lands on the bottom for a picnic next to the Colorado River! You can even add on a raft ride down the Colorado if you want.
Another landing tour comes with VIP access to the exciting Grand Canyon Skywalk. This is the famous "Glass Bridge" where you can walk 4,000 feet above the bottom, 70 feet out past the rim's edge. It's a must-do while you're at the canyon.
If you prefer, you can opt for an air-only tour that departs from Las Vegas. The scenic chopper tours that take off from the Vegas area follow a flight plan that goes over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, an extinct volcano called Fortification Hill, Grand Wash Cliffs, the Skywalk, and Grand Canyon West. The air-only tours are ideal if you don't have much time to spend on touring the canyon and they are less expensive too.
When you book your seats, the tour operator may let your reserve ones on the front row, but there is no guarantee you will sit there. You might think it would be a good idea to reserve the front seat while you're booking your flight, but seating is assigned in a way that distributes the weight of passengers equally throughout the cabin. It's all luck of the draw.
It is very hot in summer so dress in comfortable clothes and wear sunglasses too. If you'll be on a landing flight, make sure you wear a hat and a loose-fitting, long-sleeved cotton shirt. You'll want to bring along water, salty snacks, and sunscreen.
Although it is very hot in Vegas during the summer, you can tour the Grand Canyon in complete comfort when you go by chopper. Tour helicopters have strong air conditioning and comfortable seating- especially EcoStar 130s. These Grand Canyon tours are very popular so you want to book your seat in advance in case the tour you want sells out. Pay for your tour online on the tour company's website. You will get the discounted Internet rate that way. It can save you a ton of cash!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Travel editor Tracy Delvecchio is an authority on Grand Canyon helicopters. She advises these excursions and this page for great mark downs: http://www.grandcanyonhelicopter.org/grand-canyon-helicopter-tour-coupons.html