Are you planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style by heading to Vegas? You can make your trip even more memorable with a Grand Canyon helicopter or plane tour. You’ll see many beautiful sights, which is very romantic when you tour with someone you love, but Valentine’s Day is a busy time at the Canyon, so you need to book your tour as soon as you can.
Flights from Vegas go to the West Rim and the South Rim, which is farther away in Arizona. Tours depart hourly on Valentine’s Day, just like they do every day of the year. There are two basic tour options that let you choose an air-only tour or one that lands at the Canyon.
If you choose to visit the West Rim, you can even land inside the Canyon in a helicopter, right next to the Colorado River. To ensure that you don’t miss out, you will need to book in advance, and book your tickets online. I suggest booking as soon as you have confirmed your hotel room. Leaving it too late, can mean increased prices, or even missing out on seats for the day that you want to fly.
Touring By Helicopter
Helicopters fly over Lake Mead and the mighty Hoover Dam on the way to the Canyon. Once at the National Park, you will complete a scenic flyover, before heading back to Las Vegas. If you choose a landing tour, you will have some more time to explore. I prefer landing tours because they offer more adventure. My favorite is the one that goes to the bottom of the Canyon, and it even includes a Champagne picnic, which is perfect for Valentine’s Day. There’s even the Skywalk at the West Rim – an impressive glass platform that is 4000ft above the bottom.
If you want to take a helicopter tour of the South Rim from Vegas, you’ll begin with a plane ride to the rim and then you’ll choose a 30 or 50 minute helicopter tour. The shorter flight tours the North and South Rims. The longer tour goes over the South and North Rims and also includes a jaunt to the eastern boundary of the park, so in all, it covers about 75 percent of the whole National Park. It is worth the extra expense to take the longer tour because you see so much of the park.
Canyon Plane Tours
Airplanes take the same routes as helicopter tours, with the differences being that they fly at higher altitudes, and they can’t land at the bottom of the West Rim. Planes also seat 19 passengers, while helicopters can only accommodate 6. If you’re travelling in a group, an Airplane may be the best option.
You can still land at the top of the West Rim, and with an upgrade you could still take the helicopter ride down to the bottom of the Canyon. If you tour the South Rim, the air-only flights take the same path as the 50-minute helicopter tours. If you want a land experience at the South Rim, you can add on a scenic 2 1/2 hour bus tour through the park.
Airplane tours are more affordable, but you do have the tradeoff of diminished visibility as compared to a helicopter tour. When you take a tour on a deluxe helicopter, you get panoramic views from a wraparound windscreen on the chopper, but when you fly on an airplane, your views are limited to the sights you can see outside the window by your seat.
Whatever you choose, I know that you will have a fantastic time at Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. My recommendation is that you spend as much as you can afford. This is one of those places where you really do get what you pay for. The Champagne picnic landing tour is my favorite at the West Rim, while the 50 minute helicopter tour is my recommendation for the South Rim.
Choose one that suits you, and make this Valentine’s Day the best one yet.
Grand Canyon expert Beth Adams is a huge fan of these Canyon tours and recommends readers go here for a list of the best helicopter and airplane rides for Valentine’s Day: http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/grand-canyon-flights-helicopter-airplane-tours/Google+