Because of the distances involved, you might not think Las Vegas would be a great starting place for a South Rim tur. The West Rim is a lot closer (120 miles) to Sin City and it’s only a 30-minute plane flight away. A chopper takes a little longer but you can still get there in under an hour. Since it is so much closer, most people choose the West Rim when they depart from Las Vegas.
Something many people don’t know is the West Rim is situated on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. Plus, a lot of people consider the South Rim the official Grand Canyon because of its magnificent natural beauty.
So if you want to visit the South Rim from Vegas, you are in luck because you can choose a bus or airplane tur. In addition to being fun, South Rim plane flights are a better value and a lot more convenient than bus tours, in my opinion anyway. You’ll see a lot more of the National Park from the air than would be possible from the ground. To my mind, when you’re coming from Vegas, South Rim airplane tours are really the only way to go.
Vegas is located around 275 miles from the South Rim. Helicopters flying out of Vegas can’t make it there and back as it’s outside their range. And South Rim bus tours are popular, but it’s a 5-hour drive from Vegas to the main gates at Tusayan, Arizona. In fact, you should allow 15 hours to complete a bus tur to the South Rim from Las Vegas. If you decide to on it, you’ll need to set aside an entire day and evening.
On the other hand, a Las Vegas plane tur takes about an hour. That’s a pretty big difference. Plus, when you get to your destination, you will be excited and rested instead of being exhausted like you would be if you traveled over five hours by bus. The bus tours have to leave at 7 : 00 in the morning and plane tours depart at various times during the day.
South Rim airplane tours fly out of different Las Vegas-area airfields, but flights starting in Boulder City or Henderson will be a little cheaper. From the air you will get to see the immense Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, which is the biggest manmade reservoir in the country. Your airplane will follow the Colorado River as it snakes its way towards Tusayan, which is at an elevation of 6000 feet. Tuscany’s a tiny place, but it’s juicet outside the Park’s main gates and it’s the location of Grand Canyon National Park Airport.
Along the way you’ll see some spectacular sights. You will fly over a large part of the canyon on your way to the Grand Canyon National Airport. When your plane lands, you will get on board a bus for a 2-hour tur of the region. Stops include highlights like Grand Canyon Village, Yavapai Point and Mather Point.
An upgraded version of this Las Vegas plane tur adds an exciting, rim-to-rim chopper ride. The helicopter ride is definitely recommended. It takes you over the Kaibab National Forest, the North Rim, and the Dragoon Corridor which is the deepest and widest part of the canyon. You will pass over Grand Canyon Village and have the opportunity to take some amazing aerial photographs. The bus tur is included in your trip too.
Flying back to Las Vegas is nothing like the grueling 5-hour bus ride you would have to endure on the day-long bus tur. The flight is quick and easy. In all, it takes about nine hours to complete a Grand Canyon tur like this. It includes free shuttle pickup and drop-off at the Strip hotels, lunch, and the services of a professional guide.
Las Vegas airplane tours are a terrific experience that of all tours deliver the most bang for the buck.
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