by Jacky O’Shea
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. One way to make the occasion really special is to take a tour of the Grand Canyon with your loved one. There are several types of tours that depart to the Canyon from Vegas, and you can tour by airplane, bus, or helicopter. No matter what type of tour you choose, you want to book it as soon as possible, because these tours are popular and fill up fast.
You can book a tour that departs from Tusayan in Arizona and from Vegas. Flight times can vary, depending where you travel from. For example, the flight from Vegas to the South Rim will take an hour or so. The Vegas bus tours take much longer, so if you’re going to tour the South Rim, you’ll be in for a 5.5 hour bus ride to get to the rim and a 2.5 hour ride to get to the West Rim. If you begin a bus tour in Phoenix, the bus ride to the South Rim will be just under four hours.
West Rim Tours
A quick way to get to the Canyon is to book a helicopter tour. It only takes 30-45 minutes to fly to the West Rim from Vegas. As an added bonus, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are on the way to the Canyon, so you’ll get an aerial view of them too when you fly out of Vegas. Depending on the type of tour you book, your helicopter tour will be air-only and just fly over the Canyon, or it will be a landing tour and set down on top of the rim or on the Canyon floor. The landing tour that flies into the Canyon and lands on the floor is very popular, and it even comes with a Champagne picnic. It’s a perfect tour to take on Valentine’s Day.
Although airplanes can also land at the West Rim, they are not able to land on the Canyon floor. You can still get to the bottom of the Canyon by transferring to a helicopter once you arrive at the West Rim, and if you want to stay on top of the rim, you’ll find plenty to do there too, such as walking on the Skywalk. The Skywalk will give you quite a thrill as well as provide you with the best view at the Canyon. If you and your sweetheart are adventurous, then walking out on the massive glass bridge will create Valentine’s Day memories you’ll never forget.
Touring The South Rim By Helicopter
There are a couple of helicopter flights that tour the South Rim. One flies over to the North Rim and circles back in a flight that takes about a half an hour. The other tour also goes over to the North Rim, but it adds an extra leg that goes to the eastern border of the park, in all, the flight lasts about 50 minutes. Book the longer tour if you can because it flies over about 3/4 of the entire national park, and you’ll get to see a lot of interesting views.
You can also take an airplane tour of the South Rim, even if you want to depart from Vegas. You’ll start with an hour flight to the South Rim and then follow that with the 50 minute air tour that follows the same path as the longer helicopter tour. The only difference is that the airplanes fly higher so the views aren’t as close as you get from a helicopter. One advantage of flying on an airplane is that they carry 19 people at a time. So if you plan to travel with a group, an airplane tour is probably best so everyone can fly together.
Touring By Bus
If price is an important consideration, then you may prefer a bus tour since they are the most affordable. Bus tours take an entire day, so you’ll have a day packed with sightseeing and adventure. You can choose from basic and deluxe tours, and tickets are inclusive of fees and taxes. They also provide a light breakfast and lunch. Bus tours to the West and South Rim come with the ability to add on adventures. Some upgrades to consider are Skywalk tickets at the West Rim or a helicopter ride to the Canyon floor, and at the South Rim, you can add on a 50-minute helicopter tour of the National Park.
These tours are available as basic or deluxe tours. A deluxe tour is a good choice if you want to make your Valentine’s Day experience even more special. The deluxe air tours provide transportation to and from your hotel in a limousine, which adds an element of romance. Plus, you’ll get the best views when you fly on a deluxe helicopter that has panoramic views through massive windows, and the deluxe aircraft are quieter and give you more personal room too.
These tours are popular and they sell out quickly, so book yours as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to book yours about two weeks ahead of time. Buying it is easy when you book online where you’ll find the lowest price, plus you’ll get instant confirmation when you use your credit card. With all the options available, you’re sure to find a tour that fits your budget and your interests, so you can make this Valentine’s Day something to remember.
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