Spring Break will be here with the April warm weather, and that means it’s time to start planning your vacation. Vegas is a fantastic Spring Break destination, and when you’re there, you can take an air tour of the Grand Canyon for even more fun. These tours fill up fast because they are so popular, so be sure to book yours as soon as you can.
Helicopter Tours Of The Canyon
You can take a helicopter tour of the South or West Rim. Vegas is close enough to the West Rim that the helicopters can make the round trip. If you want to take a helicopter tour of the South Rim instead, you’ll have to add a plane flight from Vegas to the South Rim to your package since the South Rim is too far from Vegas for helicopters to make the whole trip.
You’ll even get an aerial view of Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam when you fly out of Vegas since they are along the flight path to the Canyon. A helicopter can get to the West Rim from Vegas in under 45 minutes, and it takes an airplane about 60 minutes to fly to the South Rim so you can begin your tour there.
There are landing and air-only tours available to the West Rim. The air-only tour flies over the West Rim and lets you see all the amazing scenery there before circling back to Vegas. The landing tours are more comprehensive and give you the opportunity to see the Canyon up close.
One of the more popular tours lands on the Canyon floor after a thrilling descent inside the Canyon, and once it lands, you can enjoy a champagne picnic or a boat tour along the Colorado River. Another option is to land on top of the rim where you can visit the scenic lookout points. The Skywalk is also located on top of the West Rim. The Skywalk is a huge transparent viewing bridge that lets you stand 4000 feet above the bottom of the Canyon for one of the most thrilling views you’ll see anywhere.
Touring The South Rim
If you choose a South Rim helicopter tour, you’ll hop on the chopper right after you arrive from your plane ride out of Vegas. You can pick from one of two tours. There is a short tour that gives you 30 minutes of flight time, and a longer one that lasts for 50 minutes. The 30 minute tour flies from the South Rim over to the North Rim and then circles back. The longer tour goes to the North Rim too, but it also includes an added trip to the eastern boundary of the park. You’ll get to see nearly 75 percent of the entire National Park when you take the longer tour. The longer tour costs a little more, but it is worth it because you get to see so much more of the park.
Helicopters can’t land inside the Canyon at the South Rim, but you can add a bus tour or Jeep tour to your package if you want to have a ground experience there.
Canyon Plane Tours
Tour airplanes fly to the West Rim or the South Rim. An airplane tour is more affordable than a helicopter tour, so it is a good choice when you have a tight vacation budget. You can still add on other adventures, for instance you can take an airplane to the West Rim and then ride a helicopter to the Canyon floor. The airplane tours of the South Rim cover a large portion of the park, in fact, they fly along the same flight path as the longer helicopter tour.
One difference between the two types of air tours is that airplanes need to fly at a higher altitude than helicopters, and anther important difference is that the airplanes can carry more people on each tour. The airplanes carry 19 at a time, so if you’re flying with several people, an airplane tour is probably the best choice. However, if excellent viewing is the most important thing to you, then you’ll want to book a helicopter tour since the choppers fly lower than planes and they have bigger viewing windows. When you book a deluxe helicopter tour, you will fly on an EcoStar chopper that has a panoramic wraparound windshield and six seats arranged stadium style for unobstructed views. These choppers are made specifically for sightseeing and they are quieter and offer a smoother ride.