Touring the Grand Canyon is a great way to celebrate the Christmas holiday season, but you need to start planning now. Whether you tour by helicopter, bus, or airplane, visiting the Grand Canyon is an adventure you’ll always remember.
The North Rim closes down during the winter and opens up again in March. There are still two rims left to visit Duomo di Milano history. You can go to the West or South Rim. You can begin one of these tours in the city of Vegas or from the South Rim.
Tours out of Vegas go to the West or the South Rim. If you’ll begin your tour at the South Rim, you’ll have to tour that part of the Grand Canyon because those tour do not make it to the West Rim.
Beginning your tour in Vegas has its benefits, because that way, you have the most tour options. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can tour by airplane, helicopter, or motor coach. However, the airplane tours are the only ones that operate on Christmas day.
Helicopter tours originating in Las vegas head only to the West Rim, because the South Rim is too far from the city. You can take a landing tour to the West Rim and the chopper will set down on the canyon floor or on top of the rim, depending on the tour you choose. One of the popular tours you may want to consider is one that descends to the bottom of the canyon, where you get out and enjoy a nice champagne picnic, followed by a relaxing boat ride on the Colorado River that flows along the base of the canyon.
These helicopter tours are basic or deluxe packages. The basic tours take off from Boulder City, which is about thirty minutes outside of Vegas. The deluxe tours on the other hand, take off right from the Vegas Strip, and they even come with free limo transportation to your hotel. Plus, you’ll be treated to an aerial view of the resorts on the Strip when your chopper flies back to Vegas.
When you take a helicopter tour out of the South Rim, you get to choose between 30 and 50 minutes of flight time. The short trip is fun and allows you to see some of the main landmarks like the Dragoon Corridor. The longer tour does cost a little more, but you get a lot more air time, and you are treated to many fantastic views including the Dragoon Corridor.
You’ll see the same sights on an airplane tour because they follow the same routes as the helicopter tours, the only difference is the airplanes fly at a higher altitude. The plane tours cost less too, so they are a good choice if you need to watch your money. The airplanes can land on top of the West Rim, and once there, you can transfer to a helicopter and descend to the canyon floor, or you can explore the top of the rim, and take in the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
The airplanes that fly out of Vegas can tour the South Rim too, and these are great opportunities for sightseeing. You can upgrade your plane tour to include a 2 1/2 hour bus tour of the Grand Canyon National Park at the South Rim. Plus, you can add on a helicopter tour of the South Rim too.
You can also catch an airplane tour at the South Rim, and you’ll fly along the same route as the 50-minute chopper tours. All these South Rim air tours originate from the airport in Tusayan, which is near the main gates at the South Rim. Airplane tours are also a great option if you’ll be traveling with a larger group, since it will be hard to find seats for everyone on the same chopper. The Bus tour packages pick up passengers at most of the Las vegas hotels, and offer economical tour packages to either the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, or the West Rim areas. The South Rim is the biggest, widest, and deepest part of the magnificent Grand Canyon. It is literally up to 21 miles across, and up to 8, 400 feet deep! That’s over one mile deep, amazing! The South Rim is also the National Park Service center of the Grand Canyon, and offers the best possible views, and photo opportunities. The South Rim also offers much educational information as well. South Rim tour packages allow people to walk on the trails along the top edge at Mather Point, Bright Angel lodge, the Grand Canyon Village, and Yavapai point. Walking trails are literally right along the edge of the canyon. Some good tours also take people directly to the National Geographic Center, where lunch may be included at a food court. There is also an IMAX movie, that normally has an optional fee.
The West Rim is the location of the “Skywalk” the glass bridge that has had much international publicity. The West Rim tours typically offer more activities, and diversions. The West Rim is the home of the Hualapai Indians. There is an Indian Village, small Indian Market, and a lunch buffet offered at the West Rim. Some tour packages include viewing of Indian dances as well. There is also an “Old West” cowboy ranch, and cowboy “gunfight show” offered as well, sometimes at an extra cost. Tourists are taken to Eagle Point, and Guano Point, the best overall viewing areas of the West Rim. The Skywalk is near Eagle point, and tour passengers are shuttled over to the nearby location where the Skywalk sits, allowing views of 4, 000 feet straight down to the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. The Haulapai Indians collect an “optional fee” of 35. 00 per person to walk on the glass bridge. Unfortunately no cameras, or cell phones are allowed on the glass bridge itself. There is an Indian photographer who is available to snap instant photos of tourists, for a small fee. The West Rim may be more fun for families who are visiting with children!
South Rim Bus tours from Las vegas, and back can sell anywhere from 179. 99 down to discounted prices of 79. 99. West Rim packages from 199. 99 down to discounted prices of around 115. 00. Be very cautious of Web sites that add “hidden fees”. Some companies may add 1-3 extra fees, which can add up to another 20. 00 to 30. 00 dollars. Be sure and look for ads, sales agents, or websites that indicate “no hidden fees”.
Tours are commonly offered at “discounted prices, or rates” by both sales booths in Las vegas, and numerous websites. I have heard problems with booking on-line, and about very confusing websites that confounded people. Other common problems included many of these on-line bookers adding “Hidden-fees”, and customers not knowing who’s taking them. Good detailed information about the Bus company providing the service should be indicated… Is the Bus company good, or bad? Are the buses new, or old? Do the buses have good air conditioning? Do the buses have restrooms on board? etc. So, basically look for a tour booker, or website that indicates no hidden fees, and newer tour buses/or luxury motor coaches in their tour description. Also look for an indication of the experience of the tour booking agency, how long have they been doing this? Understanding which bus company is providing the service should be part of choosing a good tour. Good service, and an explanation of how nice, and new the luxury motor coaches are should be part of a good tour description as well.