Friday, May 6, 2016

Amazing Las Vegas Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours On Memorial Day

By Ione Mahler

Memorial Day is just around the corner, and that means that it's time to start planning an unforgettable vacation. Around this time of year, the Grand Canyon will be looking awesome, and if you want to get out there, you can take helicopter tours from the nearby city of Las Vegas. Helicopters operate every day from dawn until dusk, and you'll just need to know what's on offer, and all the small tricks to help make sure you don't miss out on a booking.

Making Your Booking

You can use your credit card and book your helicopter tour online for the most convenience. Paying for your tour online confirms your seats and even better, you get to use the Internet rate for the lowest possible price on your tour. Then on tour day, all you have to do is show your photo ID and check in at the helipad a half an hour before the flight and you're all set.

Departing From Vegas

When you take a helicopter tour from Vegas to the West Rim, you'll get to fly over the massive Boulder Dam and Lake Mead on the way to the Canyon. The West Rim tours are available as air-only tours or landing tours, and the landing tours are highly recommended.

When you book a landing tour, you can choose to land on the Canyon floor or on top of the rim. Landing on top of the rim puts you close to many scenic walking trails and the famous Skywalk viewing platform. Be sure to add Skywalk tickets to your tour so you can stand on the glass platform and peer down to the Canyon floor 4000 feet below you.

Bottom landing tours are just as exciting, and many people prefer them. You can purchase a ticket that sets you down next to the Colorado River, where you can enjoy a champagne picnic, and even add a Colorado boat trip onto your adventure.

If you've got plenty of time and your budget will allow for it, you can choose to check out the top and bottom of the Canyon.

Touring The South Rim

Helicopters don't fly from Vegas to the South Rim because it's too far, however, you can get to the South Rim by airplane in about an hour, and then you can begin your helicopter tour in Tusayan, Arizona, which is just outside the main gates of the National Park. You can pick from two tours. The first tour flies over to the North Rim and then comes back. The next tour costs a little more, but it is longer, and is definitely worth considering. It flies over the same area as the shorter tour, but it also includes a scenic jaunt over to the eastern edge of the park. It covers an impressive 75 percent of the entire National Park in 50 minutes of flight time. The longer tour is a sightseeing dream because you get to see so many of the highlights and landmarks in the Canyon.

Taking A Deluxe Tour

The basic tours come with transportation in a shuttle van and a flight on the Bell Ranger helicopter. The choppers lift off from a helipad in Boulder City, which is a suburb of Vegas. The deluxe tours offer a VIP experience because they transport you in a limo to and from your hotel, and the helicopters lift off from the Vegas Strip. However, the best thing about taking a deluxe tour is the helicopter that's used for the flight. You'll get to experience flying on an EcoStar 130 chopper, which has a massive panoramic viewing window, large cabin, and comfy stadium-style seats that offer unobstructed views no matter where you sit. It is worth paying the extra cost for a deluxe upgrade because of the perks and excellent viewing on your tour.

Because this is one of the hottest times of the year, especially at the West Rim, you'll need to come prepared with light clothing, sun block, some snacks, and plenty of bottled water. Because these tours are hugely popular, you'll also need to book early. I recommend doing this at least two weeks before the date you intend to fly.


Keep the advice above in mind as you plan your Memorial Day tour so you have the best time at a price that fits your budget. Most importantly, go online to save money, and buy your tour in advance before it sells out. If you cut it too close and book your tour late, you might have to pay a premium price for your seats.

Take what you need to last a day in the sun so you'll be comfortable and set to enjoy exploring one of America's most beautiful National Parks.

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