by Debbie Shooster
Want to find a unique way to spend your New Year’s holiday? The Grand Canyon is waiting for you, and there’s no better way to see it than from the air. Tours are available for the South Rim and North Rim, so you only need to choose which part of the Canyon you want to see.
But be aware, it’s December already, so seats are filling up fast. You need to book your tour as soon as you can, but try to have it locked in at least a week in advance. You’ll find the best deals on air tours online and if you buy your tour online using your credit card, you can immediately and easily reserve your seats.
Tours leave from Vegas and Arizona, and you can even fly to Arizona from Vegas if you’re more interested in seeing the South Rim. There are plenty of fun things you can do on these tours.
Airplane Tours from Las Vegas
All of the tours that depart from Vegas fly over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam as part of the tour. Then, if you buy an air-only tour, your plane flies over the rim and heads back to the city. If you want a little more adventure, then you should book a landing tour that offers a day of fun.
When you book a landing tour, your airplane lands on top of the rim so you can depart and enjoy other activities. There’s the Skywalk viewing platform, for starters, which will place you on a transparent platform that is around 4000ft above the bottom of the Canyon, and 70ft over the edge. For safety, you can’t take cameras on the Skywalk, but there is a professional photography service on hand, to capture the moment.
You can also fly to the bottom of the canyon in a helicopter. This one is super popular with tourists. There’s a Champagne picnic option, or even a boat tour on the Colorado River.
South Rim Tours
You can start your tour from the South Rim, or you can fly out there from Vegas. All of the South Rim tours take off from the same point right outside the main gates.
Although there’s a shorter 30 minute flight, the 50 minute flight is the best option at the South Rim. It costs only a little extra, but it offers so much more. This tour goes to the remote and mystifying North Rim. And then out to the eastern boundary of the park, before going back to the South Rim. Why do I love this tour? Because it allows you to see around 75% of the total Grand Canyon National Park. When you take into account how big the Canyon and the park is, that’s a massive achievement. The Dragoon Corridor is located at the South Rim, and it’s the deepest and widest part of the entire Canyon.
Your airplane won’t be able to land at the South Rim like planes do at the West Rim, but there are still fun adventures you can add on to your tour. You could book a 2 1/2 hour bus ride through the Park or a fun off-road Jeep tour through the rugged terrain.
These airplane tours are all-inclusive of taxes and additional fees, so there are no hidden costs. The aircraft can seat 19 people, so they’re perfect for larger family groups or corporate events. Most importantly, the planes have been designed for optimal viewing. They have oversized viewing windows, and the wings are mounted above the windows, so there’s nothing to block the view. If you’re coming from abroad or have companions who are, there is in flight-narration, which can be provided in 10 major languages.
New Year’s Eve is a special time, but often we find ourselves doing the same thing, year after year. Taking an airplane tour of the Canyon is certainly something different, and it will make this New Year’s one you’ll always remember. Just be sure to book your tour as soon as you can since holidays are usually busy at the Canyon. It’s very easy and convenient to buy your tour online with your credit card. You’ll get the best price and will have no stress with your booking when it comes to the day for your tour.
About the author:
Grand Canyon expert Debbie Shooster recommends these National Park tours and specifically these fabulous airplane tours from Las Vegas and Arizona: http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/best-airplane-tours/