If you’re going to Las Vegas for a vacation this summer, I recommend you consider adding a Grand Canyon helicopter landing or air-only tour to your list of things to do. Indeed, trips depart daily but make sure you book in advance in order to get the best seats and the cheapest prices.
I typically recommend booking your tour about 2 weeks in advance. This is because the price goes up if you purchase the tour in Las Vegas or within 72 hours of your desired departure date. Another result of purchasing late is that the tour is sold out.
Vegas is just a 45-minute helicopter ride from the Canyon. En route, you’ll fly over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Colorado River and the Canyon itself. Depending on the kind of tour you take, you’ll fly over Canyon or land on the top, bottom or both.
I personally prefer landing tours because they offer more “bang for the buck.” Specifically, I’m a huge fan of the tour that makes a 3,500-foot descent to the base so folks can enjoy a Champagne picnic. Lots of travelers who have the budget add a boat ride down the Colorado River.
There’s another landing tour that goes top, bottom, boat and Skywalk. I call it the “mega” tour because once you’ve done it you’ve effectively seen and done everything the Canyon has to offer. This tour is, however, fairly limited and departs only 3 times a day in the morning.
The tour that lands on the top includes a VIP ticket to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. For those unfamiliar with the “glass bridge, ” it’s a platform made of glass that lets you stroll some 70 feet over the edge until you are “hovering” 4,000 feet over the bottom. It’s quite a rush and definitely a unique experience.
Basic And Deluxe
The great thing about Vegas is you have choice. In this instance, it’s a choice between basic and deluxe helicopter tours. Basic tours are a terrific value while deluxe tours come with all the perks and value-adds. From my experience, deluxe tours are the way to go.
For example, deluxe tours ensure you fly only on the newest choppers like the EcoStar 130. What makes the EcoStar so appealing is the fact that it comes with a cabin that’s 20 percent larger than those on older aircraft.
Then there’s the issue of seating. Older aircraft could be configured with a rear-facing jumpseat. Most aren’t, but many fleets still include these older models. By contrast, all EC 130s feature forward-facing, theater-style bucket seats fronted by a 180-degree windshield for max views.
The last differentiator is hotel transfers. Basic tours utilize a Sprinter van. Deluxe tours include transfer by stretch limousine, which, in my opinion, is a must-have if you are celebrating a life event like a wedding, anniversary, bachelorette, stag party, birthday and more.
I hope this article about Las Vegas helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon was helpful. From my perspective, I recommend going with a deluxe tour. Not only are you flying on a better aircraft, but you also get free limo transfers and an extended tour over the Vegas Strip. Finally, please be sure to RSVP. Helicopter tours are very popular and have a history of selling out 72 hours prior to flight time.