Las Vegas, NV (PressExposure) November 22, 2014 -- It's expected to be a busy winter sightseeing season at Grand Canyon National Park this year and that's one of the reasons that Grand Canyon Tours is urging travelers to book their day trips now before seats sell out.
"The weather has been incredibly favorable so far and thus it's expected that this could be one of the busiest winter travel seasons the Park's experienced in years," said Keith Kravitz, owner of Grand Canyon Tours.
Travelers can take tours to the Canyon from Las Vegas, NV, and South Rim, AZ, which is typically the starting point for visitors based in Sedona, Flagstaff, Phoenix and Scottsdale. "From Phoenix, the South Rim is a 3.5-hour drive on a very scenic piece of Arizona highway," noted Kravitz.
From Vegas, travelers can visit the West Rim, which is 125 miles east of town, and the South Rim, which requires a 5.5-hour drive but can also be done in 60 minutes by airplane. "How one gets to the South Rim is usually determined by the time it takes to there," noted Kravitz. "These days, most are opting for the plane."
The most popular Vegas tours are done by helicopter, which go to the top or bottom of the Canyon. "By far, the most popular trip is the one that goes to the base for a Champagne picnic," said Kravitz. "That's followed by the one that includes a boat ride on the Colorado River and tickets to the Grand Canyon Skywalk."
The Skywalk is Vegas' most famous outdoor attraction. Made of glass, the bridge lets visitors walk 70 feet over the edge until the bottom of the Canyon is 4,000 feet below the surface of the structure. "It's a fantastic experience and some of the best views of the Rim are to be had from the glass walkway," noted Kravitz.
Travelers need to be advised that Vegas helicopters only fly to the West Rim because the South is too far. Further, these particular flights are the only ones that land at the bottom; flying below the rim and landing is banned at that South Rim by the National Park Service (NPS).
At South Rim, there are 30-minute and 50-minute helicopter rides. The shorter one goes form the South Rim to the North and back. Before landing, it cruises through the Dragoon Corridor, the widest and deepest section of the Canyon. The 50-minute flight does the same plus it includes everything up to the Park's east border and extended time over the isolated North Rim.
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Plane tours are available from Vegas and the South Rim. For the most part, Vegas planes are similar to helicopters in that they offer opportunities for travelers to land at the top and bottom of the Canyon. "The way to do this is to add a helicopter ride to the bottom," noted Kravitz. "And for those visitors who want it all, the Colorado boat ride option is also available."
Helicopter rides often sell out because they are limited to six or seven people per aircraft. Planes, by contrast, hold up to 19 people, which means more seats are available at a lower price. "If a traveler can't get the helicopter tour they want, it's recommended that a plane tour be considered. Indeed, planes fly at a higher altitude, but that's not a deal breaker if the goal is to get airborne."
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Buses from Vegas
Vegas bus tours are very popular with budget travelers. Trips leave once daily in the morning and go to either the West Rim or the South Rim. Total tour time for these trips is 13 hours for the West and 15 hours for the South. "Travelers need to allocate an entire day for bus tours," said Kravitz. "And it's advised not to make evening plans afterward because exact return times can't be guaranteed."
For more information on Grand Canyon tours, including how to get great deals, please visit: