About Las Vegas Grand Canyon Airplane Tours
Las Vegas Grand Canyon airplane tours are the best way to experience the National Park, especially if you want to see the South Rim. Daily flights depart three to four times in the morning, every day of the year.
It takes 25 minutes to reach West Rim and 45 minutes to land at South Rim. That's really quick, especially compared to a tour bus, which requires 2.5 hours and 5.5 hours to reach the West Rim and South Rim, respectively.
And that's the other great thing about airplane rides: The short hop over lets you deplane fresh and energized before embarking on one of the most amazing sightseeing excursions on the planet!
This is the most important question you can ask yourself. Go to the South Rim for natural beauty and to the West Rim for thrills and adventure. Here's a bit more information on the matter...
The South Rim represents the official Grand Canyon National Park, which is comprised of more than a million acres of pristine wilderness. Elevation is more than 6,000 feet, with vegetation running from ponderosa pine to juniper trees. It's amid this natural beauty where you can transfer to a luxury bus for a guided ground tour or to a helicopter for a rim-to-rim ride.
The Colorado River splits the Kaibab Plateau down the middle, forming a canyon that's 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep. It's also resulted in a series of incredible lookouts that include Mather Point, Yaki Point and Hopi Point. Most likely any canyon pictures you've seen were taken at the South Rim.
This rim is located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park boundary line. Only here can you take a helicopter ride to the bottom and do a Colorado River boat ride. Further, the West Rim is home to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that lets travelers walk 70 feet past the rim - 4,000 feet below one's feet is the bottom!
There's plenty to do here. The most famous viewpoints are Guano Point, site of an abandoned guano mine, and Eagle Point, a spectacular cliff that offers amazing vistas. Word of caution: There's no protective fencing to keep you from falling off the ledge. Included in most air tours is free park shuttle service
The West Rim is synonymous with Grand Canyon West. Currently, the Skywalk complex anchors the Park. That's due to change as the tribe plans to develop a 100-mile swath of the rim to include a hotels, restaurants and shopping. It's an ambitious plan, especially considering that the area is sparsely populated and that water needs to be trucked in.
Before flying out of Las Vegas, here's a check list of things you need to bring and do:
- Set a wake-up call.
- Re-confirm your flight.
- Find the tour lobby.
- Bring confirmation letter.
- Bring identification with picture.
- Bring credit card you used to book flight.
- Understand confirmation policy.
- Charge cameras, camcorders and phones.
- Understand confirmation policy.
- Pack appropriate clothing.
The Flight Over
Travelers underestimate the value of the flight over. On the way, you'll fly over the Mojave Desert, Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, Fortification Hill, and Grand Cliffs Wash before touching down at Grand Canyon West Airport. South Rim fliers will continue east, using the Colorado River and the canyon as a guideline to Grand Canyon National Park Airport in Tusayan, Arizona. By the time these travelers are on the ground, they've seen nearly 50 percent of the National Park! I consider these "lead-up" sights a major bonus that only air tours can deliver.
Planes & Pilots
There's a misperception that smaller aircraft are used on these tours. Not true. In most cases, you'll be comfortably aboard a 19-seat Vistaliner. These planes, manned by two FAA-certified pilots, boast oversized viewing windows, incredible climate control and lounge-style seats. These are state-of-the-art aircraft that further enhance the value of these flights.
Las Vegas is the primary hub for commercial air flights to the Grand Canyon. Great news if you're in Las Vegas, but don't get too comfortable. These trips are popular and fill up quickly. I suggest at least five days from your desired departure date. Compounding the issue of getting a flight is that tours leave only in the morning. Go ahead and try a same-day booking but in all likelihood you won't get up in the air.
For some reason, everyone thinks they can get a better deal on plane rides in Las Vegas. Not true. For starters, you need to book in advance to even get onboard. But say you do get a flight from your friendly hotel concierge. Congratulations - you just paid full retail.
Paying top dollar is not in my DNA. The best deals are on the Internet. Paradoxically, this is especially true for airplane tours! I'm not going to solve this riddle now. Suffice it to say that I regularly get up to 30% off on certain flights just by clicking a mouse. You can, too, IF you follow this one piece of advice: complete the entire booking online. If you get the urge to call, do it AFTER you get your confirmation letter.
Las Vegas Grand Canyon airplane tours are an exciting and convenient way to see the National Park. Flights leave 365 days a year to the West Rim and the South Rim. Just getting started? Pick your rim first. Many, after they realize it's a 45-minute flight, do the South Rim. Next, book it online to get the cheapest rate. Lastly, print and pack the confirmation letter you received in your inbox - it contains all the info you need to take the flight of your dreams!
Book Grand Canyon Airplane Tours From Vegas
P.S. Uncertain who to fly with? Check out this canyon airplane tour review site where trips are rated based on quality, price and safety.