There may be a cold nip in the air, but there is still plenty of time left for another fun outdoor adventure. Summer may be gone, but cooler weather has its perks. The weather has calmed down and the air is crystal clear, so there is no better time to take an air tour of the amazing Grand Canyon.
These fun tours set off from two different locations. Tours take off from Arizona in Tusayan, which is near the South Rim, and from the Vegas Strip and Boulder City in Nevada. The tours are a little different in each location, so lets see what they entail.
Vegas Area Tours
Las Vegas is about 100 miles from the West Rim. When you fly from Vegas to the West Rim, you'll get an aerial view of the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead too. You can take an air-only tour out of Vegas or you can take a landing tour where you are dropped off at the canyon for some fun.
If you pick a landing tour, you can decide if you want to land on the top of the rim or if you want to fly down into the canyon and land on the bottom. The choppers that land on the canyon floor let you out near the Colorado River, which is the force responsible for carving out the canyon in ancient times. A champagne picnic awaits you on the bottom of the canyon, and when you finish your snack, you can take a relaxing boat ride along the river.
If you're going to book a landing tour that sets down on top of the rim, be sure to buy tickets to the Grand Canyon Skywalk too. The Skywalk is an interesting structure made of huge glass panels you can walk out on and peer down to the canyon floor 4000 feet below you.
Air-only tours are fun too, and although you'll miss out on fun adventures on the ground, you'll still see all the highlights from the air.
South Rim Tours Departing From Arizona
Although most tours depart from Vegas, you can start a tour in Tusayan if you'll be staying in Arizona or if you want to tour the South Rim instead of the West Rim. If you are in Vegas and want to take a tour of the South Rim, you can book a tour package that comes with an airplane ride to Tusayan where you can transfer to your South Rim tour.
The South Rim has two tours to choose from. One is a thirty-minute flight that goes from the South Rim to the North Rim and then comes back. The other option is an hour long tour that covers the same ground as the shorter tour and then some. This flight also goes all the way to the eastern park border, and in total it flies over 3/4 of the National Park.
The longer tour is definitely worth the small increase in price because you get to see so much more. Not a lot of people can say they've seen that much of the Grand Canyon.
Choosing The Deluxe Tour
You'll also have to decide if you want to take the basic tour or if you want to upgrade to the deluxe version. The basic tours fly on older-style helicopters while the deluxe tours fly on modern sightseeing aircraft.