The best way to see the Grand Canyon is from the air so you can appreciate its immense size and beauty, and the most affordable type of air tour is an airplane tour. Airplane tours operate all year long, seven days a week, and you get a lot of value for your money. There are several airplane tours to choose from, and here are my top three recommendations.
Want To Depart From Arizona Or Vegas?
You can begin your airplane tour in Tusayan, Arizona or Vegas, Nevada. The tours out of Vegas fly to the West Rim or the South Rim. Airplane tours out of Tusayan are South Rim tours only.
The Top Three Tours
The #1 airplane tour of the Canyon is a very popular choice because it is a Vegas flight that comes with a helicopter ride when you get to the Canyon. This tour flies by airplane from Vegas to the top of the West Rim, and once the plane lands, you transfer to a helicopter and take an exciting flight down to the Canyon floor. Also, this tour includes a VIP ticket to the world famous Skywalk.
The helicopter portion of the tour is quite thrilling as the chopper makes the 2500 foot descent to the bottom of the Canyon where it lands near the Colorado River, plus, you'll have around 30 minutes to explore the area by foot. Not only that, the tour comes with a boat ride along the river, so you get to do it all when you book this top tour.
The #2 tour is also a Vegas tour, but this one goes to the South Rim rather than the West Rim. The South Rim is farther away, so the flight there from Vegas takes about an hour, but that is a whole lot quicker than if you drive, which would take over five hours. The airplane flies from Vegas to Tusayan, where a motor coach is waiting to take you on a ground tour through the National Park. To enhance your experience, you can add a helicopter flight to this tour that goes from the South Rim, across the Canyon to the remote wilderness areas of the North Rim and back.
The #3 tour is one that departs from Tusayan. This could be the tour for you if you want to see as many scenic views of the Park as possible. This flight takes you from the South Rim over to the North Rim, and then it flies all the way to the eastern border of the Park before returning to the South Rim. This tour flies over 75% of the entire National Park during the 50 minute flight. This is an excellent tour choice if you plan to depart from Arizona rather than Vegas. You'll be treated to impressive aerial views of landmarks such as the Dragoon Corridor and the Colorado Confluence. The Dragoon Corridor is an amazing sight from above since it is the deepest trench in the Canyon.
As noted above, some tours come with tickets to the Skywalk, which is an amazing thing to see. It is a huge glass and steel platform that hangs over the Canyon. It extends 70 feet past the rim, and when you walk on it, you can look down to the Colorado River on the Canyon floor some 4000 feet below you. The platform offers the best views in the Canyon, and you can stay and enjoy the scenery for as long as you like. Most people spend around 20 minutes taking in the view, and before you leave, a professional photographer can snap a photo of your experience for a souvenir.
All of these three tours offer exceptional value for the price when it comes to the experience you'll have at the Canyon for an affordable cost. If your budget allows you to do so, then choose tour #1 so you have a day filled with adventures. Tour #2 is a good choice if you'll be starting from Vegas and you want to tour the South Rim. If it is better for you to depart from Tusayan, then tour #3 with the 50-minute flight is an ideal choice. Any one of these tours is a good choice, so pick one and get set to soak up some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet.
Grand Canyon authority L. Fallon recommends these Canyon trips along with these wonderful plane rides from Las Vegas and the South Rim: http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/best-airplane-tours/