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What Helicopter Tour Flies to the Bottom of the Grand Canyon? By: Keith Kravitz A lot of people visit the Grand Canyon via the West, South or North rims. Each offers hiking to the bottom. But only the West Rim offers you the chance to ride a helicopter to the bottom. Helicopter operators such as Papillon, Maverick, and Sundance, depart daily from Las Vegas for the West Rim and can complete the 120-mile trip in about 45 minutes, making this day trip ideal for travelers on a schedule. These helicopter trips are a bargain when you consider how much you can do in such a short time frame. Papillon's Grand Celebration tour, which takes you to the bottom and includes a Champagne toast, retails for $399 but can be purchased on the company's website for $270. The price gets cheaper if you book a group of 10 or more people. The great thing about the West Rim tour are the upgrades, which include the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a rafting trip on the Colorado River, and a flight over the Las Vegas Strip. Of those, the Skywalk is the most popular. It's a glass bridge that extends 70 feet beyond the edge of the Rim and suspends you 4,000 feet over the river. The South Rim offers a helicopter tour, but it is banned from landing on the bottom and flies a strictly controlled airspace. That said, the 20-minute tour is magnificent and is a "must-do" if you are headed that way. Upgrades at this Rim are minimal, but do include a fantastic raft ride. Papillon helicopter trips include transfer to and from your Las Vegas resort hotel. Flights depart from McCarran International Airport, and, en route to the West Rim, you'll see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, before descending into the Canyon and landing at the operator's private landing site. A light lunch will be served under a real Indian Ramada. Afterwards, you're free to explore the river and the West Rim's ancient floor. The ride to the bottom is spellbinding. This 15-minute descent would take you at least six hours on foot. As you slowly lower into the Canyon, you'll come face to face with millions of years of geology: Sheer cliffs, solitary buttes, undisturbed ravines, red sandstone, plus much more. The ride up to the top is equally spectacular. You'll see all of the Rim's key landmarks, including Guano and Eagle Points, will unfold before your eyes, most of it unobstructed as the helicopter is comprised of wraparound glass windows. You'll also get to plug-in to the aircraft's digital communications system - it allows two-way conversation with the pilot and other guests as well as a recorded narration about the tour in multiple languages. Grand Canyon West is the only place where you ride a helicopter to the bottom. Flights depart daily out of Las Vegas and are an ideal day trip for families, groups, and travelers who are tight on time. Papillon Helicopter's Grand Celebration tour is the most popular trip and offers visitors a host of upgrades, including admission to the Skywalk and river rafting. Trip prices start at about $270 - a total bargain when you consider that you can be at the West Rim and experiencing it in 45 minutes. For Papillon's best prices, book on-line on-line. If you are looking for something adventurous to do while in Las Vegas, consider taking this helicopter tour. It will leave you breathless. About The Author: Travel writer Keith Kravitz reviews and rates West Rim helicopter trips at Article Source:

What Helicopter Tour Flies to the Bottom of the Grand Canyon?  

This article turns the spotlight on the Grand Canyon helicopter that flies to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.