Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour from West or South Rim Posted by Julie Rainier ÂŠ 2012 http://www.grandcanyonhelicopter.org/articles-about-the-grand-canyon.html Should you wish to take a Grand Canyon chopper excursion, you need to choose between the West Rim and the South Rim. Tough decision because both are breathtaking. Here's a breakdown of the rims designed to make your choice easy: Grand Canyon West (West Rim) The West Rim is 120 miles west of Vegas on Hualapai Indian tribal lands. It will take a helicopter 45 minutes to get there, making it a great day trip if you're tight on time and can only spare half a day. It is also well-known for this: The Grand Canyon Skywalk and helicopter tours that land in the bottom. The "glass bridge" consists of 44 specially made glass panels that cost $250,000 each. This glass deck extends 70 feet past the edge and suspends you 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. An engineering wonder, the bridge can withstand magnitude 8 earthquakes and wind gusts greater than 100 miles-per-hour. Cameras along with other personal electronics are restricted; photographers are around to take your photo. Tip: Be sure that the Glass Bridge is bundled into your helicopter tour at time of purchase. It's more affordable. The helicopter journey to the base is intense. The descent is 15-minutes long and places you in direct contact with the canyon's extreme cliffs and twisted rock structures. The exposed rock represents four eras of geological time, which makes the oldest exposed material on the Planet's surface. Helicopters land on private landing pads. Here, you'll deplane and revel in a Champagne toast under a traditional Indian Ramada. After that, go and explore surrounding area and the nearby Colorado River. The market for West Rim helicopter tours is very competitive - shop for top deals. If you book using the internet, be prepared to save up to 35 percent. Total round-trip time is four hours and incorporates hotel pick up and drop off and lunch. There are many activities which you can add to your trip, like horseback riding, Hummer 4x4 tours, ATV trail riding and kayaking. Total trip time four hours. Packages start between $235 and $335.
The South Rim All helicopter tours start from Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, a town 10 minutes from the Park's main entry. From Phoenix and Sedona, it's a two-hour and four-hour drive, respectively. From Vegas, you need to book an air-ground package, which can be done onboard a fixed-wing Vistaliner aircraft and takes 45 minutes. Upon coming to the rim, you'll switch to a helicopter and head out over the Kaibab Plateau until you reach the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest area of the canyon. Other points of interest include the Painted Desert, the North Rim, the Zuni Corridor and Temple Butte. The Las Vegas bundle comes with ground transfer to the South Rim, where you will enjoy several hours checking out the Park, including the restaurants and gift shops at Grand Canyon Village. The South Rim is the place where the most famous pictures and images of the canyon are shot. Chopper trips last approximately 40 minutes. Total Vegas trip time, including helicopter flight and bus transfer to Grand Canyon Village, is six hours, and includes hotel pick up and drop off and lunch. South Rim heli trips begin at $135 a person. The Las Vegas package starts at $360 per person. Let's Go! The Grand Canyon is 190 miles long and encompasses more than 1,900 square miles. On foot, you will observe 45 miles of canyon - flying, 140 miles (even more if you fly from Las Vegas to the South Rim). If you really want to enjoy the canyon, flying is option number one. Next up: Choosing amongst the West Rim and the South Rim. The West Rim is packed with things to do, and it's near to Las Vegas. The South Rim offers the best viewpoints, hiking trails, and guest services. The 3 top tour operators - Sundance, Maverick and Papillon - offer helicopter and air-helicopter-ground trips to both rims, varying in price from $135 per person to $360 per person. For the best deals, always book online. Now, with this information in hand, you are cleared for take off. ###