Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours Can Help You Check Out Extraordinary Things

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Author: Luke Plunket

I'm a travel writer who specializes in finding Grand Canyon tour deals. My expertise is finding and promoting helicopter, bus, airplane and rafting specials. Click any link in my profile to get the latest information on the best canyon offers from Las Vegas and the South Rim (Grand Canyon Airport).

The sheer size of the Grand Canyon defies reality even when seen in person. Millions flock to that area every year for different reasons. Spectacular edges on the canyon and designated lookouts offer incredible views of the area. It will knock your socks off. Why settle for peanuts. Looking out at the scenery is breathtaking. And nothing gets you closer to the magic than seeing the Grand Canyon by helicopter.

Tourists arrive at one of two departure points for a Grand Canyon helicopter tour: The West Rim or the South Rim. For Las Vegas travelers, the West Rim is your best option. There are no helicopter flights from Vegas to the South Rim - it's too far. However, a person can switch to a helicopter at the canyon after arriving in a bus or plane. The South Rim has an incredible helicopter tour and those arriving from Northern Arizona (Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix) frequently drive a rental car to reach the South Rim.

Things Every Tourist Should Know about the West Rim

The West Rim, also known as Grand Canyon West, is 120 miles from Las Vegas. A short jaunt by helicopter and you're there. Along with the Grand Canyon Skywalk, this is the rim with the most activities. It's here where helicopters are allowed to fly 4,000 feet to the bottom and land. Imagine the feeling as you walk on the surface of the canyon before enjoying an elegant picnic. The waters of the Colorado River provide a comfortable float trip as another option.

The opening of the Grand Canyon Skywalk in 2007 has lured former visitors back. Made of glass panels that cost $200,000 each, the bridge lets you walk some 70 feet past the edge of the West Rim. Then realize you are seeing the Colorado River from a distance of 4,000 feet. Tourist Alert: Smart phones and cameras are prohibited. This is to protect the glass panels from getting chipped.

Grand Canyon West offers guests unlimited free shuttle service. Ride the shuttle to popular Eagle Point, Guano Point or other areas of interest. Time at Indian Village is a must. The reenactment of an Indian village of yesteryear includes the large outdoor kitchen, meeting area, and teepees. Enter it and you'll be instantly transported back to a time when the rim hosted a thriving civilization.

Delight in a South Rim Trip

It is hard to describe the South Rim sights. Purists refer to it as the "real" Grand Canyon. Panoramic scenes of the Grand Canyon usually are a product of this location because of its colorful open beauty. The front gates of the park are about 10 minutes from the Grand Canyon Airport in the town of Tusayan, the site that helicopter tours begin.

The heliport in particular is a busy place. Reserve a seat on one of the helicopter rides. There is no deviation to airspace protocol. This means that all helicopters follow the same flight plan. If you want something fancier just book an upscale chopper for the ride. Incredible scenery pervades the path. Rising over the rich beauty of Kaibab National Forest is an amazing sight as you fly towards and past the rim, dropping down to explore Dragoon Corridor. The North Rim is the turning point. It's 30 minutes for lifetime memories!

Those traveling from Las Vegas have a choice of flying or taking the bus to the South Rim. By air is my preference. The 45 minute trip starts out towards the Grand Canyon Airport, flying east over the magnificent Colorado River. Viewing half of the canyon is an intriguing experience that occurs before landing at Tusayan. You will see the sunset as you return to Vegas. Your day's adventure still allows you to enjoy plans on The Strip that evening.

Bargain for Incredible Opportunities

Never pay full retail price. Check websites first. Tour operators and brokers offer the best deals online. Experience cuts of 30 percent and more. Customer support should only be called for direct answers. The person on the other end of the phone is a commissioned sales person and it's their job to upsell you into a higher-priced package. Get questions answered by calling, and finish your reservation online right after you disconnect.

Flying High and Loving It!

If you only have a short time to visit the Grand Canyon, a helicopter provides the opportunity for a quick, yet packed, tour. Deciding between the West and South Rim trips is difficult. The West Rim is best known for its activities and the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Viewing the gorge as the helicopter passes through the most beautiful area is a breathtaking experience for those who select the inspirational South Rim tour. Las Vegas visitors who want to do the South Rim should strongly consider the airplane flight over. Check the Internet for any current air tour discounts. Now you're ready to go online and book the helicopter tour that best meets your needs.

Travel journalist Luke Plunket highly suggests bookmarking and particularly reading for first-time canyon travelers.

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