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Grand Canyon Helicopters Why You Should Fly a Chopper Above the South Rim! By Marc Gaspian | If you want to see as much of Grand Canyon National Park as possible in 1 day, go on a Grand Canyon heli trip of the South Rim. These flights are spectacular and take you into the heart of the canyon, offering unforgettable aerial sights that you'll cherish for a lifetime. Heli trips depart everyday from Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, a town that is a fast 10-minute drive from the National Park's main entrance. These flights sell out so book upfront (FYI - More than 5 million people check out the canyon annually, and many do helicopter flights!). Morning flights provide the best visibility. Sunset trips can be found, too. Grand Canyon South Rim airspace is thoroughly regulated. There are not any bottomlanding flights. Those are only available out of Las Vegas and are done at Grand Canyon West. At the moment, there are no flights that hook up the South Rim with the West Rim. Grand Canyon National Park helicopter flights begin with a low-altitude flight above the Kaibab Plateau, home to the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine on the earth. I guesstimate that it takes about 10 minutes to leave the South Rim and go into the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest portion of the canyon. Inside the corridor, you'll see the Tower of Ra, the Colorado River, Phantom Ranch, Grand Canyon Village, and the Plateau Point Mule Trail before turning back at the majestic North Rim. Helping put what you will see into perspective, picture this: A. Ground visitors see just 30 miles of the 277 that comprise the National Park. Airborne travelers see 140 miles! B. You will need at the very least five hours to drive a car from the South Rim to the North Rim. For those who have one or two days at the South Rim, it's obvious to me that a heli flight is the only way to go. You will find three businesses that run air tours: Papillon, Maverick and Grand Canyon Helicopters. Papillon has the greatest deals. Maverick is more aimed toward luxury. Grand Canyon falls in the center. South Rim chopper rides last between 30 and 50 minutes. Most use A-Star helis. If you have the budget, I suggest you upgrade to the EcoStar 130. This is an elite piece of

machinery. It comes with a cabin that's 35 % larger than its competitors and theater-style seats. It is also quieter and features 180-degree wraparound windows. Each tour comes with a set of personal headphones. Utilize these to hear the pre-recorded flight narration (10 languages!). Or chat with your pilot and fellow passengers. The whole flight is documented by video cameras connected to the front of the heli and in the cabin. The recording is ripped to a DVD and can be purchased. Don't ever pay full market price for heli tours. Shop the Internet. Please. I've been discovering deals that cut prices by 35 percent Caveat: To obtain these special prices, you must complete the purchase online. Realize that commissioned sales people man the "customer service" numbers and will upsell you to more expensive priced package. Grand Canyon helicopters to the South Rim are the most effective and exciting way to experience the National Park. The Rim is a large place. For those who explore it on foot, you will see just a fraction of it. Get airborne and you'll see four-times as much. That's a major difference. It's also the reason that's making chopper trips the runaway success they are today. See you up there! #30#

Take a Grand Canyon South Rim Helicopter Tour?  
Take a Grand Canyon South Rim Helicopter Tour?  

If you want to see as much of Grand Canyon National Park as possible in 1 day, go on a Grand Canyon heli trip of the South Rim. These flight...