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
Helicopter tours of the West Rim depart from Vegas and the tours of the South Rim depart from Tusayan, AZ. If you go to the West Rim, you can book a landing tour that sets down on top of the rim or on the Canyon floor, but if you go to the South Rim, you’ll have to take an air-only tour since helicopters are not allowed to land at the Canyon in that part of the National Park.
Beginning your tour in Vegas means you’ll see a lot of interesting sights during your flight to the Canyon. Your helicopter flies over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, so you get a fantastic bird’s eye view of these massive landmarks. If you book an air-only tour, your helicopter will fly over the main highlights of the West Rim and then circle back to Vegas. If you opt for a landing tour instead, you’ll get to add on other fun adventures and explore the area by ground as well as by air.
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.
There are two helicopter tours to choose from at the South Rim. One of the tours flies over to the North Rim and then back to the South Rim in a tour that gives you 30 minutes of air time. The longer 50-minute tour costs more, but it is worth it because you see so much more since the flight goes all the way to the eastern edge of the National Park. Both tours fly over the Dragoon Corridor, which is the widest and deepest part of the entire Canyon.
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.
The airplanes can land at the Canyon too, so you can take a landing tour when you fly by plane, however, your airplane has to land on top of the rim. You can do all the same things as you would with a helicopter tour including touring the Skywalk and taking a helicopter descent to the bottom of the Canyon.
When you take an airplane tour of the South Rim, the airplane flies over the longer helicopter route, so you get to see around 75 percent of the whole National Park from the air. It’s basically the same tour as you would take if you booked the 50-minute helicopter tour of the rim. Even though your airplane tour flies you at a higher altitude, your tickets will be cheaper, and because the planes carry more passengers per tour, the airplane tours are the best choice if you’re traveling with a large group.
To Wrap Up
It’s important you buy your tour seats soon or they may be sold out since these tours are very popular. While it’s best to book your tour two weeks in advance, the last thing you want to do is buy your tour at the last minute or wait until the day you want to go. It’s easiest to buy your tour online with your credit card so you get instant confirmation of your seat reservations, plus, buying your tour online means you get to pay the low Internet rate.
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.