South Rim helicopter tours are definitely the very best way to enjoy the National Park. These flights easily pack into 30 minutes what might take days on the ground. There are a restricted number of trips to choose from, but all of them will leave you with a memorable canyon experience.
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Northern Arizona near the Utah border. The Park is approximately 5.5 hours from Las Vegas and the Phoenix-Scottsdale metro area.
There aren't any direct helicopter air flights to the South Rim from Vegas. You will have to bundle a helicopter excursion with either an airplane flight or tour bus ride. Personally, I suggest the aircraft option.
From Phoenix, I recommend you self-drive. Flights to Flagstaff are prohibitively costly. Besides, the drive up is quite beautiful, especially if you stopover in Sedona for lunch or as an overnight vacation spot.
This rim's trips leave from Grand Canyon Airport, AZ, which is minutes from the Park's front gates in the town of Tusayan. Three tour operators are based there: Grand Canyon Helicopters, Maverick Helicopters, and Papillon Helicopters
I recommend Papillon based upon their commitment to quality, safety and price.
National Park air space is rigorously controlled, so there is no below-the-rim or bottom-landing helicopter rides at the South Rim. For that, you'll need to depart from Vegas.
Here at South Rim, you have a basic flight as well as a deluxe one. Here are specifics:
Basic Chopper Tour. Leaves daily. Flies over Kaibab National Forest and enters the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the canyon, before turning back at the North Rim. Flight time is a half hour.
Deluxe Chopper Tour. Identical to above except you do it in a state-of-the-art EcoStar 130. This airplane includes 25 percent more cabin space, theater-style seating, 180-degree windshield and a super-quiet ride.
I get a lot of queries about when you ought to fly. Morning is optimal. This is when the air is smoothest. You additionally get great visibility. And do dress for weather. Yes you will be in a helicopter the whole time. However, the canyon's climate is one of extremes. Lastly, don't forget to charge your smart phone or digital camera. Picture taking is unavoidable and you should make sure you've got a full charge.
South Rim tours are very popular activities. So much in fact that I am now recommending that travelers purchase them at least 72 hours or more ahead of time. I'm seeing a lot more sold-out trips nowadays, and, to be truthful, it is discouraging to show up at the airport and watch as others board their plane for the greatest show on earth.
Planning is everything, and so is finding the best deal. I tell family and friends to go straight to the web for the best rates. You can begin at Expedia and Travelocity but you're wasting time. Find the sites of the businesses running these tours. It's there where you'll discover bargains that can save you up to 30 percent
I'm a big fan of these helicopter rides. Nothing touches them when it comes to providing you the most canyon for the dollar. Plus they're great fun! So, as you schedule your canyon vacation, definitely add a helicopter trip to the mix. It'll definitely be the spotlight of your trip.