by Kate Reingold
Do you have any special plans for St. Patrick’s Day? If you’re looking for something different that’s fun and memorable, then you should head to the Grand Canyon. Helicopter tours of the Canyon operate on the usual schedule on St. Patrick’s Day, but you want to book your tour as soon as possible to get the best price and to lock in your seats.
You get to pick between touring the West Rim or the South Rim. Helicopter tours out of Vegas go to either one of the rims. Vegas is closes to the West Rim and you can get there by helicopter in around 45 minutes, but it will take about an hour to fly to the South Rim by airplane. Helicopters don’t fly from Vegas to the South Rim, but after you fly there by airplane, you can transfer to a helicopter for the rest of your tour.
Touring The West Rim
Lake Mean and Boulder Dam are along the flight path from Vegas to the West Rim, so you get impressive aerial views of them during your flight. You can take a landing tour or an air-only tour, the air-only tour flies over the rim and circles back to the city.
The landing tour gives you the chance for additional adventures and sightseeing, so you should consider taking one if possible. The tours that land at the Canyon fly to the bottom of the Canyon or land on top of the rim, and you can even choose to do both if you want. Landing on the Canyon floor is fun because you get the exhilarating descent into the Canyon followed by a champagne picnic and a boat ride along the Colorado River if you choose to do so. Landing on top of the rim is fun too because that is where the Skywalk is located and you’ll have the chance to walk out on the glass bridge and stand 4000 feet above the Canyon floor. There are also quite a few walking trails on top of the rim where you can enjoy the scenic lookout points and take plenty of amazing photos.
The South Rim Of The Canyon
If you fly to the South Rim from Vegas or drive there from Arizona, you’ll get to choose between two air-only helicopter tours. The shorter tour flies over to the North Rim and circles back. The other tour lasts about 50 minutes and flies over to the North Rim as well as over to the eastern edge of the national park. Pick the longer tour if you can because you will fly over about 75 percent of the entire park. You’ll have to pay a little more, but you’ll see a vast portion of the park. The Dragoon Corridor is located in this part of the park, which is noted for being the widest and deepest part of the Canyon, and you’ll get to fly over it during your South Rim tour.
The Deluxe Tour Is Best
You will be able to choose from either basic or deluxe helicopters. If you take a basic tour, you get transportation in a standard shuttle van, and you get to ride in a basic Bell Ranger chopper. Deluxe tours use the newer EcoStar 130 helicopter, which is bigger inside, quieter, has more comfortable seating, and features a huge front facing window that wraps right around the cockpit. The deluxe tour also includes a limousine shuttle service, for the ultimate VIP experience. When you book your St. Patrick’s Day tour, be sure to book the deluxe option so you’ll have the best experience possible.
Liven up your St. Patrick’s Day holiday with a little fun and adventure by taking a helicopter flight over the Canyon. You have several options and tours to choose from. A good choice in a South Rim tour is the longer, 50-minute flight, and if you go to the West Rim instead, then you should seriously consider taking a landing tour. Don’t forget to book your tour in advance, and that is easy to do when you use your credit card to book it online. When you buy your tour online, you’ll find you get the best deals, plus as soon as you purchase your tour, your seats are confirmed and locked in, so you won’t have to worry about the tour being full when you’re ready to go.
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Visiting Vegas or Arizona over the St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) holiday? Then the writer suggests these South Rim helicopters and these Vegas choppers: http://www.grandcanyonhelicopters.org/las-vegas/