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Day trip from Las Vegas. Grand Canyon or Death Valley/RedRock/Charleston

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Hi Everyone,
my fiance and I are travelling to Las Vegas in Mid-March. We have one free day, but have to be back in Las Vegas by 9pm to catch our flight home. We were initially thinking of getting a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, but think we'd rather rent a car and drive somewhere. Is it feasable to drive to the Grand Canyon, soak it in for a few hours, and get back to Vegas for 9pm or would it be a mad rush? Would it be a better day trip to go West through Red Rock, Mt Charleston area, and Death Valley? Or... would our initial idea of a chopper ride be worth the expense?

I love driving btw, so that isn't an issue. The timing is the problem.
Any thoughts would be helpful!
Thanks.

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