Air Tours in Grand Canyon South Rim
Flights by plane and helicopter over the canyon are offered by a number of companies, departing for the Grand Canyon Airport at the south end of Tusayan. Though the noise and disruption of so many aircraft buzzing the canyon is controversial, flightseeing remains a popular, if expensive, option. You'll have more visibility from a helicopter but they're louder and more expensive than the fixed-wing planes. Prices and lengths of tours vary, but you can expect to pay about $145 per adult for short plane trips and approximately $175–$250 for brief helicopter tours (and about $400 for tours leaving from Vegas). These companies often have significant discounts in winter—check the company websites to find the best deals.
Grand Canyon Airlines. This company flies a fixed-wing on a 50-minute tour of the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon, the North Rim, and the Kaibab Plateau. All-day combination tours combine flightseeing with four-wheel-drive tours and float trips on the Colorado River. Grand Canyon Airlines also schedules combination tours that leave from Las Vegas (plane flight from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Airport, then helicopter flight into the canyon). Grand Canyon Airport, Tusayan, AZ, 86023. 928/638–2359 or 866/235–9422. www.grandcanyonairlines.com. From $159.
Maverick Helicopters. Maverick Helicopters has 25- and 45-minute tours of the South Rim, North Rim, and Dragon Corridor of the Grand Canyon. Airplane tours are also provided. A landing tour option for those leaving from Las Vegas sets you down in the canyon for a short snack below the rim. Grand Canyon Airport, Grand Canyon, AZ, 86023. 928/638–2622 or 800/962–3869. www.flymaverick.com. From $165.
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. Leaving both from Grand Canyon Airport and Las Vegas, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters offers a variety of fixed-wing and helicopter tours of the canyon. Combination tour options include off-road jeep tours and smooth-water rafting trips. Grand Canyon Airport, Tusayan, AZ, 86023. 928/638–2764 or 888/635–7272. www.papillon.com. From $124.
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