Las Vegas, NV (PressExposure) September 21, 2013 -- Fall is officially here and with it a number of new helicopter tours sure to thrill travelers looking for an unforgettable National Park experience, said Keith Kravitz, CEO of Grand Canyon 123, the canyon's number one provider of travel and tour information.
"There are a number of flights that we're excited about," Kravitz said. "Specifically, there's one from Las Vegas that departs from The Strip and goes to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. As for the South Rim, it's the sunset air/Jeep combo. Both are value-packed and are sure to please even the most discerning visitor."
Visitation to the Grand Canyon drops in fall and that's a good thing for visitors. "During summer," said Kravitz, "flights regularly sell out and it's hard for guests to get the trips they want. This is not the case in fall where tourists typically secure their desired departure date and time."
Kravitz advises purchasing helicopter tours at least a week or two in advance. "Planning ahead results in two things," said Kravitz. "First, cheap prices. Second, more selection. This especially applies to such Las Vegas flights like the air-only trip and the one that lands at the bottom for a Champagne picnic."
Grand Canyon helicopter tours take off from Las Vegas, NV, and Tusayan, AZ, which is also known as the South Rim. Las Vegas trips go to the West Rim, which is 120 miles east of town (45 minutes by air). Tusayan flights go only over the South Rim. There are no connecting flights between the rims.
Las Vegas travelers who want to go to the South Rim might want to consider taking an airplane first and then transfer to a helicopter for ride over that part of the canyon. "From Las Vegas, the South Rim is a 6-hour, one-way drive," said Kravitz. "By plane, it's an hour." Upon arrival at South Rim, passengers deplane and transfer to a helicopter for a rim-to-rim ride that flies over some of the area's key landmarks.
There are two kinds of helicopter tours - aerial and landing. Both are available from Las Vegas; only aerial tours are offered at the South Rim. The Las Vegas air-only flight goes over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon while landing tours fly the same course but land at either the base of the canyon or the top.
"Aerial trips are a great way to sample the canyon," said Kravitz. "That said, my preference is for landing tours, especially the one that lands at the bottom and comes with a Colorado River boat ride. This particular tour gets two thumbs up because travelers experience the canyon from a multitude of perspectives."
South Rim helicopters are available as 30-minute and 50-minute flights. The shorter one goes from the South Rim to the North Rim and back. "This is a great entry-level tour," Kravitz noted. "It's the cheapest option and it also includes flying through the Dragoon Corridor, which is the most spectacular section of the canyon."
Kravitz, however, said he prefers the 50-minute package. "This flight covers everything the shorter one does plus everything up to the eastern border," he noted. "By the time you've completed this trip, you'll have seen up to 75 percent of the National Park. It's quite an extraordinary accomplishment and one few other air tours can match."
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