I can’t think of a better way to explore the Grand Canyon National park than by airplane. Flights go over the best parts of the National Park, and, once you’re back on the ground, you’ll have seen in an hour what would take up to two weeks on the ground.
Points of Departure
Catch an airplane tour from Las Vegas, NV, or from Grand Canyon National Airport in Arizona. From Las Vegas, you can go to the West Rim or the South Rim. From Grand Canyon Airport, you’ll see the South Rim and everything up to the Park’s eastern border.
Las Vegas air tours are a great value. This is because there are numerous companies offering such trips. Types of flights include air-only and landing tours. Aerial trips are ideal for visitors who have just a day or two to spend on sightseeing. These trips are also the cheapest.
There’s another airplane tour that comes with tickets to the Skywalk. If you haven’t heard, the glass bridge is the world’s largest all-glass cantilevered bridge and it lets you walk over the edge. By the time you reach its farthest point, you’ll be standing some 4,000 feet over the bottom!
Tours here are limited to air-only. This is due to flight restrictions set by the National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration (presumably to reduce noise pollution). The one I recommend is the 50-minute flight. It covers the South Rim, North Rim, and everything up to the east boundary. By the time you’ve completed this flight, you’ll have seen 75 percent of the canyon!
Dress for the weather. Summers at the West Rim are hot (100-degree temperatures are the norm) while the South Rim is temperate. Either way, wear loose, comfortable clothing and pack a hat, sunglasses, sun block and water. Winter is dry and cool at the West Rim and fairly cold at the South Rim. As such, wear jacket, hat, gloves, pants and good footwear.
Grand Canyon air tours are a terrific way to experience the National Park. Do one and you’ll have seen more of the canyon than the majority of people who opt to take a ground tour or who self-drive. Because these trips are catching on with the general public, I recommend booking them at least seven days ahead of time. Further, make sure you purchase them on the Internet – that’s where the best discounts, specials, and promotions are.