There is no better Memorial Day weekend getaway than spending it over the Grand Canyon on a helicopter tour. The holiday falls on Monday, May 27, and plenty of folks will turn it into a 3-day weekend. The Grand Canyon is a huge destination for holiday travelers and helicopter tours usually fill up fast. If you want to take one, book your seat as soon as you can.
Grand Canyon helicopters fly out of Tusayan, Arizona (just outside the South Rim gates) and Las Vegas, Nevada. Flights take off hourly and are running on their regular schedules over the holiday. If you catch a flight in Tusayan, you visit the South Rim but if you leave from Vegas, you go to the West Rim.
There are advantages to each rim.
Chopper Tours Of The South Rim Of The Grand Canyon
Air-only and landing flights are offered at the South Rim. The air tours come in a thirty minute or fifty minute option. These tours begin at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport in Tusayan, Arizona. The thirty minute flight takes you to the North Rim and back to the South Rim. You see the same sights on the 50-minute tour, but you also fly to the east side of the canyon and see additional landmarks along the way such as the amazing Painted Desert.
There are also two choices in landing tours. One option combines the thirty-minute helicopter tour with a fun ride through the National Park on a Harley. Another one combines a helicopter tour with a 4×4 Jeep ride to the edge of the canyon on a sunset tour. If these options sound like fun, be sure to get your seats early so you don’t miss out.
Las Vegas Helicopter Tours
The helicopters that depart from Las Vegas only fly to the West Rim. If you’ll be in Vegas but want to see the South Rim, I suggest booking one of the airplane packages that include a South Rim helicopter tour.
You can choose between landing tours and air-only tours at the West Rim too. The West Rim has an extra benefit in that it is the rim where choppers can descend to the canyon floor.
The air-only tours are terrific, though, especially for travelers who are short on time. On the way to the canyon they pass over sights like Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Grand Cliffs Wash. Once your chopper arrives, you’ll fly over the fabulous Grand Canyon Skywalk (the ?Glass Bridge?) before turning for home.
Landing tours though are extremely popular because they offer more options. The tour that lands on the canyon floor and includes a champagne picnic is a terrific pick for the holiday. The trip down is a 3,500-foot descent and you’ll picnic next to the Colorado River! A smooth-water rafting tour is a popular add-on for this flight.
Another landing flight option is one that comes with VIP access to the Glass Bridge. The Skywalk is made out of glass and is big enough to allow you to walk 70 beyond the edge of the rim. As you stand 4000 feet above the canyon floor you will get to see the most amazing scenic views you can imagine.
The holiday weekend is fast approaching. If you’ll be in the area, I recommend taking a Grand Canyon helicopter tour while you’re there. Since this is the first holiday of the summer travel season, the seats will go quickly. Get your tickets at least one week ahead of time if you can. Also, buy your tour online so you get the best rate available.