Are you planning to go on a vacation during the Christmas holiday period? If so, you could plan for the best trip yet, if you choose to visit the Grand Canyon. There are plenty of tours whether you're going to be based in Las Vegas, or even nearby Arizona and the South Rim. Let's take a look at what is on offer and get you ready to book your tickets before the Christmas rush.
What Are Your Options?
You'll be able to choose whether you want to take a flyover air-only tour, or a landing tour at the Grand Canyon. If you're going to be flying from Las Vegas, then you'll get to pass over Lake Mead and the mighty Hoover Dam. If you're coming from Arizona at the South Rim, then you'll be flying within the National Park within minutes of boarding the plane. Tickets are available for every day of the holiday season, including Christmas Day.
West or South?
If you're travelling from Las Vegas, then you'll be flying over the West Rim. It takes about 25 minutes to get out there by plane, and you'll cover around 125 miles in that time. Just because you're in Vegas, it doesn't mean that you can't travel to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you'll just have to take a slightly longer 60-minute flight to get out there. Flights depart from the airports in Henderson and Boulder City, both of which are just outside of Vegas.
A Special Landing Tour at the West Rim
One of my favorite tours is a plane tour that goes to the West Rim, lands, and then allows you to transfer on to a helicopter for a slow descent into the Grand Canyon. You'll land right next to the Colorado River, and you can even include a boat ride on this tour.
Of course, there's plenty to do at the top of the West Rim, such as checking out the Skywalk. You can get VIP tickets if you book everything in a package, and that will allow you to skip the usual line when waiting for the Skywalk. If you haven't heard of this special viewing platform, then you'll be in for a treat. It's a breathtaking glass and steel walkway that allows you to walk up to 70 feet away from the edge of the rim, and you'll be around 4000ft above the bottom of the Canyon and the Colorado River. Stepping onto this platform is one of the highlights of the West Rim Experience.
South Rim Flyovers
There are no landing tours for the South Rim, but the aerial sightseeing makes up for this. You can either connect to this tour from Las Vegas, or start from Tusayan in Arizona. The plane ride covers everything from the South Rim, up to the North Rim, and goes right out to the eastern boundary of the Grand Canyon National Park. You'll be flying through the deepest and widest part of the Canyon, and you'll also see the Colorado River Confluence from the air. This tour allows you to see some of the most remote regions of the Canyon, and it covers around 75% of the National Park. It's the most comprehensive airplane sightseeing tour that there is, and I highly recommend it.
Book Early to Avoid Disappointment
Now that you know more about what you can see at the Canyon, it's time to start booking. Booking early before Christmas will mean that you won't miss out on your preferred tour on the day that you want to fly. You can save quite a lot by booking early, and in some cases it can be as much as 35%. Booking online with your credit card will give you access to all of the best deals, and will ensure that nothing goes wrong with your booking. Once you've completed the process, everything is locked in and you won't be disappointed on the day.
I recommend booking no later than a week in advance.
Stunning views, landing options at the West Rim, and mysterious and remote wilderness at the South Rim – the Grand Canyon has it all. Remember to book early and book online, and go for the West Rim if you want to add on a helicopter adventure to your tour. Whatever you choose, I know you'll have a great time and a memorable Christmas at one of the most breathtaking spots on earth.