Has it been a long while since you've done something truly breathtaking? New Year's Eve is coming up fast, and if you want to celebrate in unique style, you won't find anything better than a Grand Canyon helicopter tour.
Helicopter flights run all year round, barring Christmas Day, so you won't have trouble seeing the Canyon on New Year's Eve, or any of the days around it. Of course, you will need to book fast, because tours are expected to be incredibly popular for the end of the year.
Booking your Canyon tour early is not just so you can secure your seat, but so you can take advantage of the best prices and schedule times, especially when you book online.
Las Vegas Grand Canyon Tours
Vegas is the most popular departure point for people who want to see the Canyon. There are also a number of tour options from Vegas, so you'll have plenty of packages to choose from. As a little extra, some flights offer tours of The Strip, and all flights go over the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam.
If you're tight for time and trying to adhere to a budget, you could choose an air-only tour. These fly out to the Canyon, perform some stunning flyovers, and then head back to the city. If you do have more time, and these tours are by far the most popular, you can choose to land at the Grand Canyon National Park.
Landing tours are so popular because they provide the most adventure. You can land at the top of the Canyon, at the bottom, or you could even do both.
At the top of the Canyon, you will have access to the public walkways and viewing platforms. For a little extra, you could purchase a ticket to the Skywalk. If you haven't heard of the Skywalk, it is a glass platform that extends 70 feet over the Canyon rim, and allows you to look down a 4000 foot drop to the bottom of the Canyon. If it sounds scary, don't worry, it's actually one of the most exciting things you could ever do, and it is well worth the price.
If you want to land at the bottom there is a Champagne picnic with lite-bites, and you could also take a tour on the Colorado River. This landing tour is great for couples and celebrations, and is the most popular out of the landing helicopter tours.
The South Rim begins in Arizona, in the small town of Tusayan. You can take a flight there from Vegas, or you can start your adventure from there, if the location is more convenient for you. Your tour will start from right outside the National Park gates. You can't land at the South Rim, but there's an extended tour to make up for it. The standard tour is 30 minutes to the North Rim, and then back to the South Rim. The extended tour, which I highly recommend, will do everything from the standard tour, while also taking you to the far eastern area of the park. In around 50 minutes you will have your breath taken away while viewing almost 75% of the entire National Park area.
Choose a Tour Package
There are basic and deluxe helicopter flights to choose from. Basic helicopters follow the same routes, but they use older choppers. Don't worry, they're excellently maintained and fit for flight.
If you have extra in your budget, deluxe is the preferred option. The helicopter you will fly in has been specially built for touring the Canyon. Seats are large and comfortable, and they're laid out like stadium seating, so even if you're in the second row of the cabin, you will have the perfect view. The cabins are oversized and climate controlled. Most importantly, the deluxe helicopter has a huge windshield that provides 180 degrees of unobstructed sightseeing. The newer helicopters are also quieter inside, and smoother while in flight.
It's going to be cold at the Canyon this year, so dress in some warm layers, with a winter jacket on over top. It can sometimes snow at the South Rim, so dress warm!
I hope this has helped you to discover a new way to enjoy New Year's Eve. These Canyon flights are popular from Las Vegas and Arizona, so make sure you book early. Book at least two weeks before you intend to fly, and book using your credit card, online. You will get the best prices, and you won't have to worry about losing your reservation.
Grand Canyon expert Lea F. recommends these hot New Year's holiday helicopter tours along with this list of the best deals from Las Vegas and South Rim: http://www.grandcanyonhelicopter.org/grand-canyon-helicopter-tour-coupons.html