There’s not a more incredible site in North America than the Grand Canyon. Certainly other destinations come to mind, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more spectacular the first time you see the Canyon in all its majesty.
It’s overwhelming in the sense that while you may have seen pictures of it before, you realize just how much more vast and spectacular it is in person. And while your kid’s may wonder why you chose the Grand Canyon over a visit to Disneyland, that doubt leaves their head’s the second they first see the awesomeness of the mighty chasm.
Indeed, checking out the Canyon after a long drive is very rewarding, but in no way is it close to the excitement you get hovering above it in a Grand Canyon helicopter from Vegas. Even if you’ve seen the Canyon a number of times before, flying above it is a completely new experience you’ll remember forever.
So why take a helicopter air tour of the Grand Canyon when visiting Las Vegas, NV? You can essentially put the reasons into two categories: experience and convenience.
In terms of experience, it’s something that you have no doubt never done, nor is it something that you can experience by simply driving there. These helicopters allow you to fly over the Canyon or land at the bottom. It should be noted that bottom landings are only available at the West Rim and that they depart exclusively from Las Vegas. South Rim flights are banned from flying below the edge. In most cases, these landing tours come with a Champagne picnic and approximately 30-minutes of exploration time at the base.
More luxurious landing tours come with a thrilling boat ride on the legendary Colorado River. These trips are guided by experienced, soft-spoken Hualapai Indian boatmen who freely share their knowledge of the river. Another landing trip comes with tickets to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The deck of the internationally famous Glass Bridge is composed completely of glass panels that let you walk a tantalizing 70 feet beyond the edge of the rim while suspending you 4,000 over the bottom. Undeniably, these air tours – specially the ones that land – show you more of the canyon than you’ll ever see if you simply did it on foot.
Convenience comes in because you don’t need to concern yourself with driving 2.5 hours from Vegas to see the Canyon (the last 10 or so miles are over an washboard-bumpy dirt road. If you self-drive, I urge you to lease an SUV or a vehicle with high ground clearance. Also, make sure you have a full take of gas). Why go through the hustle and bustle of driving when you can roll out of bed in your cozy hotel room, get on the free shuttle to the heliport, board a helicopter, see the Canyon and return to Sin City in time to keep your evening dinner reservations? The amount of time you save getting there makes booking a chopper tour an unbeatable proposition.
Taking an air tour means you don’t miss anything, and that includes the most famous of U.S. landmarks that just happen to be situated en route. Routes from Vegas to the canyon offer scenic views of Lake Mead, the largest reservoir of its kind in the U.S., the Hoover Dam, the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, the churning Colorado River and Fortification Hill.
RSVP Grand Canyon helicopter rides ahead of time. I always suggest at least a week. Avoid same-day reservations. You’ll end up paying a premium. Clearly, the best prices are on the Web. That’s where air tour operators post their best promotions. It’s not uncommon to find flights marked down nearly 35 percent. However, to be able to qualify, you must complete the whole transaction on the web. That’s not to much to ask in order to get the best price. Don’t be apprehensive about shopping on the internet. Today’s travel web sites are safe and secure. So try a heli ride – it’s going to be the experience of a lifetime.