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Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours South Rim

Imagine going from the South Rim to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and back in under 45 minutes! Is it possible? Absolutely. Hi, I'm travel writer Keith Kravitz, and I'm here to share with you today why I think a South Rim helicopter tour is a must-do when you visit the National Park.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours South Rim

There are two kinds of South Rim helicopter flights: Standard and deluxe. Routes are the same. The difference is that the later uses an EcoStar 130 chopper (more on this later) and comes with more airtime.

The tour starts with a low-altitude flight above the 1.6 million-acre Kaibab National Forest. Here elevations range from 5,500 to 10,500 feet. The forest is home to a huge variety of big game and the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine in the U.S.

The South Rim falls off and you enter the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the Grand Canyon. Below, the Colorado River looks like a blue ribbon, and Phantom Ranch is identified by green vegetation. Surreal buttes and spires complete the scene. Turn back is at North Rim.

The Upgrade

Is it worth upgrading your trip to an EcoStar 130? I think it is. This is a state-of-the-art chopper and comes with a 25% larger cabin. The benefit to you: More legroom and personal space. All seats are front facing. The windshield is 180-degrees of wraparound glass. The unique Fenestron tail rotor ensures that ride is "whisper" quiet and smooth.

grand canyon helicopter tours south rim

Grand Canyon Airport

Helicopter tours depart from Grand Canyon Airport, located at Tusayan, a small town just 10 minutes from the National Park's main gates. Flights leave from the heliport year round, including all holidays. I recommend that you get there 30 minutes before departure. Coordinate with the transportation desk inside Bright Angel Lodge if you need a ride to the airport.

Where is Grand Canyon South Rim?

The South Rim is located in Northern Arizona. It is just west of Flagstaff. Drive time from Phoenix is 4 hours from Sedona it's 2 hours. The main highway is I-40. Get off at exit 165 to SR 64 at Williams. From Vegas, the South Rim is 277 miles away. Self drive or bus tours take 5

Grand Canyon Facts

Grand Canyon National Park is a massive place. It's 277 miles long, averages 10 miles in width and a mile in depth. The Park comprises more than a million acres, and the Colorado River bisects it into the South Rim and the North Rim. The West Rim, know as Grand Canyon West, is actually just outside the Park's boundaries on Hualapai Indian tribal lands.

Tips on Buying Cheap Helicopter Tours

There are two simple ways to save big money on canyon helicopter tours to the South Rim: 1) Book in advance; and 2) purchase online. These air tours sell out fast. Consider yourself lucky if you get a tour the day you want to fly, and, if you do, expect to pay a hefty premium. Most helicopter operators post their best deals on the Internet. I regularly find seats at a 35% discount.

grand canyon south rim helicopters

Tips on Buying Cheap Helicopter Tours

There are two simple ways to save big money on canyon helicopter tours to the South Rim: 1) Book in advance; and 2) purchase online. These air tours sell out fast. Consider yourself lucky if you get a tour the day you want to fly, and, if you do, expect to pay a hefty premium. Most helicopter operators post their best deals on the Internet. I regularly find seats at a 35% discount.

Let's Fly

Grand Canyon Helicopter tours South Rim are an exciting way to see the National Park. They are also the fastest, too. The Grand Canyon is epic in scale. A chopper can go rim-to-rim in 30 minutes. Drive that and it will take you 5 hours one way! My parting comment is this: If you can afford to upgrade, do it. The EcoStar is the king of the sky. More airtime, too, is always better.

More South Rim Helicopter Deals Here!

Have a GRAND day,

P.S. Try to book a morning flight. That's the time when visibility is the best and the trip is smoothest. Naturally, these trips are the most popular, so book your South Rim flight early!

 

 


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