One of the most popular, exciting and memorable attractions for visitors to Las Vegas is Grand Canyon National Park, among the great natural wonders of the world and less than an hour away by air. Its amazing views, dramatic rock formations, American Indians, wildlife, river adventures and changing colors of purple, red and orange make the Grand Canyon a highlight of any U.S. trip.
Visitors to Las Vegas can be picked up at their hotel and flown to the Grand Canyon in as little as 45 minutes for breathtaking tours that vary in length from three hours to eight hours, which makes it convenient for people who want to do a lot of sightseeing in a short time. For those who want to stay longer, there are tours that spend a night or two in rustic lodging at the canyon.
Scenic Airlines and Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, two of the best-known airlines for aerial sightseeing tours into the canyon, offer a variety of tour options and prices. Scenic flies its passengers on fixed-wing Vistaliners that provide narrations in 16 languages and oversized windows for a better view of the vast canyon and mighty Colorado River. The Grand Canyon Deluxe Tour for $279 lasts about eight hours from the time one is picked up at their hotel until their return. The shorter Grand Canyon Highlights Tour for $159 takes three hours from pick-up to drop-off and includes a 45-minute flight. Prices are lower for children aged 2 to 11. (http://www.scenicairlines.com/)
Papillon flies helicopters with comfortable cabins, vista windows, narratives in 11 languages and equipment that minimizes noise. Prices can range from $75 to $500, depending on how long the tour lasts and how many activities are included. Some tours also offer a champagne picnic on the canyon floor beneath an authentic Indian cooking shelter, horseback riding, or whitewater rafting from the heart of the canyon. (http://www.papillon.com/)
Although the Grand Canyon is in Arizona, Nevada’s neighboring state, it is so close to Las Vegas by air that it is one of the most sought-after sightseeing tours for international visitors to the Southern Nevada “Entertainment Capital of the World.”
On the way to the canyon, passengers are treated to magnificent views of two other favorite attractions for Las Vegas visitors, wondrous Hoover Dam, one of the engineering wonders of the world, and Lake Mead, formed by damming the Colorado River. (www.nps.gov/grca/grandcanyon)