The Grand Canyon South Rim is famous for its scenery, rafting, and trails. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you have just one or two days to explore. To get the most from your trip, here’s a short list of tours that deliver a great experience.
If you are looking for thrills, take a heli tour. These flights depart daily from Grand Canyon Airport. This 30-minute flight goes low over the Kaibab Plateau, home to the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world, before entering the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the canyon. The flight turns back at the North Rim. Descending, you get a great view of Grand Canyon Village, Hopi Point, and Mather Point.
Upgrades include boosting your airtime to 50 minutes and flying an EcoStar 130. This particular aircraft is state-of-the-art and comes equipped with theater-style seating, 180-degree wraparound windows, and a Fenestron tail rotor for an incredibly smooth ride.
Like heli tours, airplane trips leave from the local airport. They head east along the South Rim before turning northward where the Little Colorado and the Colorado River merge. Here you’ll also see the Navajo Indian Reservation and the Painted Desert. The return runs along the North Rim then banks left into the Dragoon Corridor before beginning the descent.
Total trip time is 50 minutes. Flights are conducted aboard the Vistaliner, a commercial airliner that seats up to 19 people. The aircraft also sports oversized windows and wings fixed to the top of the body so views are un-obscured. These tours are manned by two FAA-certified pilots who also serve as guides. The trip narrative they provide is absolutely fascinating.
The ultimate 1 day Grand Canyon river rafting trip is at the South Rim. Options include getting there via airplane or bus. The float trip starts at the base of Glen Canyon Dam and goes downstream past fabulous Horseshoe Bend before ending 15 miles later at historic Lee’s Ferry. This is a no-rapids trip and kids four years of age and older are welcome. I do recommend that you bring sunscreen, a brimmed hat, and water on this trip.
Visiting the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by bus is one of the best deals out there. Prices start around $80 per person and come with breakfast, lunch, and professional driver-guide. Drive time is 5.5 hours. Total trip time is 15 hours. Typical time at the South Rim is about three hours. There’s also a Hoover Dam photo stop. This bus trip can be upgraded to include a helicopter tour. The tour winds up in Grand Canyon Village, home to restaurants, gift shops, and museums.
Time to Explore!
Grand Canyon tours to the South Rim are the perfect solution for visitors who have just 1 or 2 days to see the National Park. Helicopter and airplane tours let you see the most canyon in the least amount of time. The 1 day rafting trip is perfect for the active family. And bus tours offer Vegas travelers the most economical way to enjoy the South Rim. Choose from any of these fantastic trips and you’ll walk away with a very satisfying Grand Canyon experience.