Grand Canyon Deals: 7 Reasons for Buying a South Rim Helicopter Tour

The majority of Grand Canyon tours let you sample the National Park. If you are the type of person who wants to see as much of the South Rim as possible in a day, you’ve got buckle up and get airborne. To get you off the ground, here are seven reasons why riding a helicopter gets the job done.

1. It’s the fastest way to see the National Park. All helicopter flight plans follow this route: South Rim, the Gorge, North Rim, and back to Grand Canyon Airport. During this 30-to-40 minute flight, you’ll see:

-The Kaibab Plateau
-The Colorado River & Little Colorado River
-The Dragoon Corridor
-Grand Canyon Village
-Phantom Ranch
-Bright Angel Trail
-The San Francisco Peaks (Humphrey’s Peak is the highest in Arizona)

This is only a smidgen of what you fly over.

2. It’s the best way to enjoy a South Rim sunrise and/or sunset. This is the most incredible thing you can see at the Park. I strongly suggest you reserve your seats in advance, especially during summer when seats sell out fast. Because of their popularity, these flights are labeled “premium” and cost more than others.

3. It’s safe. Of the three helicopter companies that fly the South Rim, there’s never been an accident. Further, a lot of companies are flying the robust EcoStar 130, a state-of-the-art chopper that’s been designed from nose to tail for sightseeing.

4. It’s inexpensive. Trips start out around $ 130 per person. Upgrading to an EcoStar 130 (luxury sightseeing helicopter) will run you around $ 160. Book online to get the lowest price. Prices and availability are subject to change.

5. The aerial views here are some of the best in the U.S. Sitting at about 7,000 feet in elevation, the rim is pancake-flat and covered with pine forest. To get clear views, you have to get to the rim’s edge. Flying, its all sky above and Canyon below.

6. Pilots make the best guides. These guys fly the Canyon daily and know it like the back of their hands. Helicopters come with two-way communication systems and personal headsets that allow you to talk to your pilot and fellow passengers.

7. It’s thrilling. Helicopters take off from Grand Canyon Airport at 200 miles per hour then head through the Dragoon Corridor until turning back at the North Rim. Highly maneuverable, these aircraft descend, ascend, and turn with ease. Nothing comes close to the thrill of hovering in the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the canyon.

Helicopter tours average more than 30 minutes in the air and depart frequently from the airport in Tusayan, located just outside the Park’s main entrance. No helicopters fly from the South Rim to the West Rim. Nor are their direct helicopter flights from Las Vegas to the South Rim. To get here from Vegas, you must book an airplane or bus tour and transfer to a helicopter.

The Grand Canyon is an overwhelming experience. It’s 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and covers up 1,900 plus square miles. My suggestion is to view the Park by Grand Canyon helicopter and then than explore it by foot, possibly going beneath the rim on one of the easy access trails. This combination of air and ground will make sure that you see as much of the Canyon as you can in a limited amount of time.

Check out travel writer Keith Kravitz’ Grand Canyon helicopter tour reviews before you purchase a canyon helicopter tour.

 

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Grand Canyon Deals: 7 Reasons For Booking A South Rim Helicopter Tour

The majority of Grand Canyon tours let you sample the National Park. If you want to experience as much of the South Rim as possible, you’ve got to get airborne. Here are seven reasons why taking a helicopter gets the job done:

1. It’s the fastest way to see the National Park. All helicopter flight plans follow this route: South Rim, the Gorge, North Rim, and back to Grand Canyon Airport. During this 30-to-40 minute flight, you’ll see:

-The Kaibab Plateau
-The Colorado River & Little Colorado River
-The Dragoon Corridor
-Grand Canyon Village
-Phantom Ranch
-Bright Angel Trail
-The San Francisco Peaks (Humphrey’s Peak is the highest in Arizona)

This is only a smidgen of what you fly over.

2. Helicopters are the most awesome way to take in a South Rim sunset or sunrise. This is the most incredible thing you can see at the Park. I strongly suggest you reserve your seats in advance, especially during summer when seats sell out fast. These are categorized as “premium” flights so expect to pay a bit more for them.

3. It’s safe. No helicopter company has ever experienced an accident flying South Rim tours. Further, most companies are flying the robust EcoStar 130, a state-of-the-art chopper that’s been designed from nose to tail for sightseeing.

4. It’s cheap. Trips start out around $ 130 per person. Upgrading to an EcoStar 130 (luxury sightseeing helicopter) will run you around $ 160. Book online to get the lowest price. Prices and availability are subject to change.

5. It’s packed with the best views on the planet. Sitting at about 7,000 feet in elevation, the rim is pancake-flat and covered with pine forest. To get clear views, you have to get to the rim’s edge. Flying, its all sky above and Canyon below.

6. It’s pilots are great guides. These professionals soar above the canyon on a daily basis and know the terrain and landmarks like a map. Helicopters come with two-way communication systems and personal headsets that allow you to talk to your pilot and fellow passengers.

7. It’s thrilling. Helicopters take off from Grand Canyon Airport at 200 miles per hour then head through the Dragoon Corridor until turning back at the North Rim. Highly maneuverable, these aircraft descend, ascend, and turn with ease. Nothing comes close to the excitement of hovering in the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the canyon.

Helicopter tours average more than 30 minutes in the air and depart frequently from the airport in Tusayan, located just outside the Park’s main entrance. No helicopters fly from the South Rim to the West Rim. Nor are their direct helicopter flights from Las Vegas to the South Rim. To get here from Vegas, you must book a plane or bus tour and transfer to a helicopter.

The Grand Canyon is an overwhelming experience. It’s 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and covers up 1,900 plus square miles. My suggestion is to view the Park by Grand Canyon helicopter and then than explore it by foot, possibly going under the rim on one of the easy access trails. This mixture of air and ground will ensure that you see as much of the Canyon as you can in a limited amount of time.

Check out travel writer Keith Kravitz’ Grand Canyon helicopter tour reviews before you purchase a canyon helicopter tour.

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Day Trips from Las Vegas: A Guide to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is located in the United States of America in the State of Arizona and is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon is 277miles long and ranges in width from 4 to 18miles and has a depth of more than a mile. The Grand Canyon is within the Grand Canyon National Park and is one of the world’s top natural attractions, reeling in a whooping five million visitors per year.

 

You can do many things at the Grand Canyon, even if you have just a few hours to explore it. You have to get out there to really be able to say you have seen the Grand Canyon. For starters and the casual sightseeing, head for the South Rim which is home to several historical buildings like the Kolb Studio, the Desert View Watchtower and the Grand Canyon Railway Depot. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is also another fantastic option for those who want to make the most out of their visit. The horse-shaped glass walkway stands at 1,200m in height above the floor of the canyon and allows you a great view into the main canyon.

 

Take a trip down to the floor of the valley by foot, mule back or by raft from upriver or take a hike throughout the Grand Canyon, a great way to see the park. Most visitors begin and end their hikes at the south rim. Long hikes await you with changes in elevation and terrain so be prepared and if you are really unsure but still want to hike nonetheless, get a professional guide to go with you to make sure your trip is a memorable one, instead of you hiking with the thought in your head swearing never to do this again.

 

For another way to see the Grand Canyon (Without much effort), Go on a Helicopter flight specially for tourists that flies over the Grand Canyon and gives you a remarkable birds eye view of this wonder. The Coconino Canyon Train is also another option for those who want a more laid-back leisurely view of the Canyon. A 90 minute train ride, it originates at the old Grand Canyon Depot and travels 24 miles throughout the landscapes of the canyon.

 

If you get hungry on your trip to the Grand Canyon, fret not for there are quite a few places to eat at from Bright Angel Restaurant and El Tovar Hotel Dining Room (think fine dining) on the South Rim and Café on the Rim and Coffee Saloon located on the North Rim.

 

Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Las Vegas trips and rentals and USA vacation Rentals.

Las Vegas To Grand Canyon By Bus: 5 Things You Need To Know

The secret’s out: The bus tour to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is one of Las Vegas’ hottest day trips. If it’s not yet on your list of things to do in Sin City, here are 5 reasons why this bus trip should be:

#1 – The views are incredible – This is the Rim you see in National Geographic. Mather Point, Yaki Point, Yavapai Observation Station and more and more are here and give you unparalleled views of the canyon below.

#2 – The drivers are great tour guides – Professionally trained, these folks know the road like the back of their hands, providing entertaining and informational insights on the way that you won’t get anywhere else.

#3 – The luxury bus is fun – These are state-of-the-art motor coaches with lounge-style seats, TV’s, and over-sized windows. The drive over is super comfortable and effortless. This trip is perfect for groups, families, and special occasions.

#4 – The souvenir shopping is phenomenal – On the subject of gift shops, the one at the Bright Angel Lodge is where to go. Hats, t-shirts, minerals, DVDs, day packs, magnets, food specialties. You name, it’s here.

#5 – It’s cheap – Tours start at $ 80 per person and include lunch, guide, and up to three hours at the Rim. You also get to see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, where you pull over for a photo stop. Now that’s a bargain!

This bus tour is an all-day trip that takes 15 hours to complete. Trips, which come with free shuttle service to and from your Vegas hotel, leave at 7 a.m. The rim is 277 miles east of Las Vegas and one-way drive time is 5.5 hours (it goes fast aboard these luxury buses). Expect to be back on The Strip around 9 p.m. Refrain from making dinner or show reservations after this trip. There’s no guarantee that you’ll make it on time.

Dress accordingly. Summer means shorts, running shoes, t-shirts and hats. Pack along some sunscreen and bring a bottle of water. If you intend to sample one of the trails that go into the canyon, limit it to 15 minutes down. Thats plenty of time to get a feel of what its like to be in the gorge without overheating. Winter is cold at the South Rim. The best strategy is to dress in layers. Bring a hat and gloves and wear pants. I’ve seen Vegas travelers in shorts. Don’t do it. The rim’s elevation is nearly twice that of Vegas’ and its a complete weather change.

There are three main tour operators that run bus trips from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon: Papillon Tours, Grand Canyon Coaches, and Grayline. There’s also a number of smaller, niche bus tour companies out there and many are excellent. From reviews I’ve read on some of the top travel forums, Grand Canyon Coaches gets a lot of kudos for its commitment to comfort, value, and safety. The up-and-comer is Paradise Found, which has one of the best all-inclusive tours I’ve ever taken.

It’s best to book your Grand Canyon bus tour online and in advance as this is a popular trip that sells out. If you want the best deal, shop the Internet and keep your eye on what’s being offered on the sites of the companies that operate the tours. These business compete hard for your travel dollar and constantly post great rates on their websites.

The Grand Canyon bus from Las Vegas is a fantastic trip. From beginning to end, it’s packed with things to do and see. Highlights include Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Mather Point, Yaki Point, Bright Angel and more. If you’re searching for a day trip that let’s you say, “been there, done that,” this bus tour’s the one. See you up there!

Travel writer Keith Kravitz reviews Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas. Use this link for his Top 3 Grand Canyon bus tours.

Native American Perspectives On A Grand Canyon River Rafting Trip With Arizona River Runners

When you set out on a Grand Canyon River rafting adventure, there is so much to learn. Of course there are boat safety facts, camping etiquette and hiking instructions. There are tips for packing your gear, layering and sun protection. You will learn the basics of leave no trace camping. And then theres a little something calledThe Grand Canyon. Anyone who ventures out with Arizona River Runners on a Colorado River trip will have the benefit of their guides knowledge of this natural wonder, from flora and fauna to geology to Native American perspectives and interpretation of the Grand Canyon.

All Arizona River Runners guides not only meet the requirements of the National Park Service, but then spend approximately 3 to 5 years in active training on the river before they reach the status of trip leader for the outfitter. Arizona River Runners is also an active participant in and strong supporter of the Native Voices on the Colorado River program, a collaboration of the Grand Canyon River Outfitter Association, Northern Arizona Universitys Anthropology Department and Institute for Native Americans. This program currently works with 15 affiliated tribes and provides information and education to the river guide community to share with their passengers as they make the journey whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon.

Native Voices on the Colorado River provides a valuable perspective on the Native American tribal relationships with the Grand Canyon and the surrounding region. The goal of the program is to provide an increased understanding about this relationship from the perspective of the affiliated tribes, in their own voices. Grand Canyon river guides learn how tribal groups refer to and identify themselves, tribal perspectives on the archaeology and history of the Grand Canyon, and tribal perspectives on the cultural landscape of the area. These unique perspectives are supported by relevant tribal stories and knowledge that helps visitors on a river rafting adventure understand better the bond between various tribes and the Grand Canyon.

The Colorado River and Grand Canyon carry a special significance for affiliated tribes, as spiritual places and sacred sources of minerals, plants, animals and water. The Havasupai and Hualapai consider this area their homeland, with the Colorado River forming the backbone of their lifeline. The Grand Canyon is viewed by the Hopi and Zuni people as their place of emergence into the world. The Southern Paiute bands hold the Grand Canyon as a living, sacred place that should be treated respectfully and sacredly. Arizona River Runners guides know that sharing information through Native Voices on the Colorado River with guests is an important part of understanding the Grand Canyons significance to everyone who calls it their home.

To look at the Grand Canyon as simply a phenomenon of nature would be missing out on an important part of what makes visiting this destination a life-changing experience. Exploring the tribal relationships to the Grand Canyon is an important part of understanding the rich historical and cultural significance of the natural wonder. It is a place that has touched the hearts and spirits of people for generations, and Arizona River Runners is dedicated to preserving this unique opportunity so that future generations can enjoy the wonders of the Grand Canyon, rafting the Colorado River.

Whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon offers a unique view of one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world. Experience the adventure of a lifetime on a Grand Canyon rafting trip with Arizona River Runners. They operate with customized state-of-the-art rafts, provide all the camping and rafting gear you will need for your all-inclusive Colorado River trip. Give us the opportunity to guide you on a fun and wild family rafting trip.

Las Vegas To Grand Canyon West By Tour Bus

On a tight budget but want to see the Grand Canyon while visiting Las Vegas? No problem. Take a Skywalk-West Rim bus tour. These tours promise good times and are light on the pocket book. Got your interest now? Here’s seven more reasons why the West Rim bus needs to one of your Vegas must-do’s:

1. Lake Mead and Hoover Dam are included. These famous landmarks are on the way to Grand Canyon West. Most trips include a photo stop on the Arizona side of the dam. Drive over the incredible Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge.

2. Experience the Skywalk Grand Canyon. The bridge is made entirely out of glass. Walk it’s horseshoe-shaped path and you’ll be 70 feet over the edge and 4,000 feet over the Colorado River. The views are astonishing. Most visitors compare their Skywalk experience to that of defying gravity.

3. Ride a helicopter to the base of the canyon. The West Rim is the only place where you can do this. The distance from rim to bottom is 4,000 feet. Deplane and enjoy a Champagne toast. Explore the floor, home to some of the Earth’s oldest exposed rock.

4. Ride a pontoon boat down the Colorado River. Board an adventure-class rubber boat and float the rapids of the river that continues making the canyon what it is today. Remember to bring (or wear) a bating suit. A quick swim is encouraged.

5. See an real Indian pueblo. Walking tours are available and are led by members of the Hualapai Indians, the tribe that owns the land that includes Grand Canyon West. This tour takes you among tribal dwellings like ceremonial huts, tee pees, and an outdoor amphitheater. Browse the Hualapai Market for handicrafts.

6. Luxury buses are paragons of comfort. These aren’t the coaches of lore. Today’s buses sport large, climate-controlled cabins, large windows, plasma TVs, and trip narrations that have been translated into more than 10 languages. On-board restrooms are spotless, too. Seats are plush. Plenty of legroom. And the bathrooms are extraordinarily clean.

7. These all-inclusive tours are affordable. Basic tours start at $ 94. This gets you entrance to the entire park. Inside, ride the free shuttle bus to Eagle Point, Guano Point, the Rim, the Indian Village, and more. If you want to do the Skywalk, or think you want to do it, I recommend you book a tour that includes tickets to it.

The West Rim is a mere 120 miles east of Vegas. This distance can be done in 2.5 hours by bus. Tours include a quick breakfast and a barbecue lunch. Expect to spend a minimum of half a day on these trips, longer if you upgrade to include a helicopter ride or pontoon boat float trip. Book in advance: I suggest one to two weeks before you arrive in Vegas.

I also recommend purchasing your trip online. I’ve seen prices cut by up to 35%. Consider buying direct from tour operators. I do and I’ve never had a problem with my bookings. Be sure you print out your trip confirmation email and take it with you to Vegas.

These are just seven reasons why I propose taking a Grand Canyon bus tour to Skywalk Grand Canyon. But the bottom line is this: If you come out to Vegas, you’ve got to do the canyon. The proximity alone makes it a nearly mandatory visit. Plus, the best place to enjoy this magical land is just a 2.5-hour bus trip away! So climb aboard. It’s time to enjoy this incredible outdoor attraction.

Travel writer Keith Kravitz reviews
Grand Canyon tours and posts the top 3 Grand Canyon bus tours here.

Las Vegas Excursions: Helicopter Rides To The Grand Canyon’s West Rim

If you are planning to visit Las Vegas, be sure you include a Grand Canyon West Rim helicopter tour. There are three kinds of flights from which to choose, and I’m very sure that there’s a trip that’s just right for you.

The classic air-only ride is your most basic flight. It basically helicopters to the rim, does some awesome fly overs, and returns. You can upgrade this trip to include tickets to the Grand Canyon Skywalk or to land at the bottom of the canyon. Here’s a closer look at each of the these West Rim helicopter tours:

Air Tour

A great introduction to the canyon. Includes a ton of West Rim highlights, including Eagle Point, Guano Point, the Skywalk, and the Colorado River. Upgrade to include a flight over the fabulous Las Vegas Strip on the return. Sunrise and sunset flights are available.

Skywalk Grand Canyon Tour

Land at the new Grand Canyon West airstrip. Enter the Skywalk and be prepared to walk 70 feet past the edge and to be lifted some 4,000 feet above the mighty Colorado River. Enjoy a BBQ lunch. Ride the free shuttle service to all major rim-top sights. Explore a realistic Hualapai Indian Village.

Landing Tour

Canyon carve 4,000 feet downwards to the base of the canyon. Deplane. Toast your descent with Champagne under a real Indian Ramada. Explore the canyon’s ancient floor. Feeling really adventurous? Add a pontoon raft ride down the Colorado river.

Most helicopter tours include free shuttle bus pick up and drop off to all hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. Landing and Skywalk trips are led by professional pilot-guides and include a delicious lunch. Internet prices start at $ 230 per person.

Trips take off year round from the Vegas metropolitan area and fly over Lake Mead, the biggest man-made reservoir in the U.S., Hoover Dam, the brand new Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge, and the majestic Grand Cliffs Wash. I see these extra sights as a huge bonus, especially since helicopters fly at a lower altitude than airplanes and give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of them.

I strongly suggest that you book your Las Vegas helicopter tour in advance. Peak season is spring and summer and low season is winter. Flights are limited, popular, and sell out quickly, especially sunrise and sunset tours. If you are lucky enough to book a flight within 24 hours of your departure, I can assure you that you will pay a premium.

Always get your flights online. Tour operators are very generous with discounts on their websites, some even giving up to 35% off on select packages. I buy all my trips on the Web, and can attest that these sites are secure and safe when processing your credit-card transaction.

Las Vegas canyon helicopter tours deliver loads of fun and adventure. The West Rim is home to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, and it’s the only place where you can land at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and take an optional boat ride down the Colorado River. If you’re looking for a Grand Canyon experience that comes with a huge “wow” factor, book a helicopter flight. It’s an activity that will make this Las Vegas trip magical.

Travel expert Keith Kravitz rates and reviews tours to the Grand Canyon. Here’s his list of the best Grand Canyon Helicopter tours to the West Rim…

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Native Fishes of Glen and Grand Canyons

The native fishes of the Colorado River make up one of the most bizarre and unusual faunas found anywhere in the world. This assemblage of fish is specifically adapted to the historic environment of the Colorado River, and the species that make up this assemblage are often found nowhere other than the Colorado River Basin.

Even prior to the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River in Grand Canyon was dominated by introduced fish species, mostly warm water types. The construction of Glen Canyon Dam changed the river from a turbid, flood-prone, warmwater river to a perennially cold, clear river. This allowed trout, which were introduced, to flourish and expand their use of the river.

These fundamental changes to the ecosystem in which the native fish evolved may present numerous challenges to their survival. They encounter a physiological challenge of being a warmwater adapted fish now living in a cold environment. Introduced fishes residing in the Grand Canyon may interact with, compete with, or prey upon these native fishes. Finally, changes in the foodbase have occurred due to the presence of much clearer water than existed prior to construction of Glen Canyon Dam.

Common Native Fish in Grand Canyon – Conservation Through Adaptive Management

Speckled Dace (Rhinichthys osculus) – This small minnow is widely distributed across the western United States. They inhabit tributaries of the Colorado River through Glen and Grand canyons, and are not uncommon in backwaters in western Grand Canyon.
fish image: bluehead sucker

Bluehead Sucker (Catostomus discobolus) – Blueheads occur throughout the upper Colorado River Basin and extend into the Lower Basin through the Little Colorado River Drainage and through Grand Canyon to Lake Mead. They are common in tributaries in Grand Canyon. An adult bluehead may approach 20 inches in length, and can live up to 20 years.

Flannelmouth Sucker (Catostomous latipinnis) – Flannelmouth Sucker are widely distributed in the Upper Colorado River Basin, and extend into the Little Colorado River Watershed of Arizona and through Grand Canyon. An adult flannelmouth sucker may approach about 20 inches in length,and like other large suckers of the Colorado River may live up to 20 years.

Endangered Fishes of Grand Canyon – A Major Focus of Adaptive Management

Humpback Chub (Gila cypha) – This endangered fish is only known from the Colorado River System, and is restricted to a few remaining populations. One of those populations resides in the Grand Canyon. It was historically widely distributed in the Upper Colorado River Basin and extended down the main stem of the Colorado River into the Lower Basin to at least current Lake Havasu.

In Grand Canyon, most humpback chub are found in the vicinity of the Little Colorado River and its confluence with the Colorado River. This is a warm water species, and its spawning and recruitment appears limited in the now cold waters of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Spawning and recruitment of young chub appears to be principally restricted to the lower portions of the Little Colorado River in Grand Canyon. An adult chub might reach 20 inches in length, and may live 20 years or more. Population levels have declined over the last decade, though recent information suggests some recent increases in recruitment. Modification of the river’s temperature, expansion of tributary populations, and nonnative fish control are all strategies for improvement being evaluated through Adaptive Management.

Endangered Fish Absent from Grand Canyon – Possible Restoration Species

Razorback Sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) – The endangered razorback sucker may be extirpated from Grand Canyon. This fish was historically widely distributed throughout both the Upper and Lower Colorado River Basins. No razorbacks have been captured from the River in recent years. Adult razorback suckers are found in the Colorado River and the lower San Juan River above Lake Powell; in Lake Mead; and Lake Mohave. A large razorback sucker can reach a length of three feet, and may live upward of 40 years.

Colorado Pikeminnow (Ptycocheilus lucius) – This fish is the giant of the minnow family, reported achieving a maximum length of six feet. Historically, this fish was widely distributed throughout the Colorado River Basin. It is now extirpated from the Lower Basin, including Grand Canyon, and is listed as an endangered species throughout its range.

Bonytail Chub (Gila elegans) – A cousin of the humpback chub, they share many features in common. Its size and lifespan are similar to a humpback chub. This species is very rare and is listed as endangered. Bonytail chub have not been reported from Glen or Grand Canyon in recent history.

Jay Bryce is a community manger at iFished.com (http://www.ifished.com/). iFished.com has fishing and local information for over 40,000 lakes and fishing areas in the United States. Information includes current weather and forecasts, best times fishing charts, maps, local businesses and more. iFished.com also has a large library of how to fishing videos, fishing articles and current fishing reports to help you catch more fish.

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Grand Canyon Hotels: Planning Ahead for the Perfect Vacation

Research and well-laid plans are the keys to ensuring your vacation is one to remember. Here are a few tips to help you find Grand Canyon hotels and plan ahead.

When taking a trip to the Grand Canyon, where you stay can have an undeniable bearing on how much you enjoy your vacation. There are many Grand Canyon hotels in the area to choose from, but all of them are different, so you will have to decide what amenities are important for you and weigh your choices.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing between Grand Canyon hotels.

How close do you want to be to the park?

There are plenty of lodgings available only about a mile away from the park, in Tusayan, as well as lodgings right inside the park, at the South Rim. You give up something either way: If you stay inside the park, you make some sacrifices as to the food that you’ll be eating during the vacation, and certain niceties such as wireless Internet access and cell phone service. If you stay in a Tusayan hotel, on the other hand, you will forego the convenience of having the park right there when you walk out your doors in the morning, not to mention the spectacular view outside your windows!

Do you need Internet access and cell phone service?

Staying inside the park can mean beautiful views right outside your window, but at the same time, it also means you will be rather cut off from your ordinary life — no cell phone service and no Internet access. You will have a TV and a telephone, but for visitors who want to be able to talk to friends and family members, and blog or Facebook about your trip, you will need to stay outside the park in order to find those amenities.

What else are you planning on doing during your vacation?

If you plan on spending some time in the park, but also doing other things such as eating at nicer restaurants, you will probably want to stay outside of the park. Staying in Tusayan is still pretty convenient, since you are only a mile from the South Rim entrance, but at the same time you will enjoy nicer hotels and have more choice in restaurants and other entertainment. If you are planning on focusing almost solely on the park, on the other hand, taking tours and going hiking as well as other activities, you might benefit from staying right in the park. The accommodations are typically pretty functional and the food is mostly cafeteria-quality, but for the serious park-goer, staying here makes sense!

How much do you want to spend?

How much you spend on Grand Canyon hotels will depend on how close to the park you stay. Staying inside the park is typically the most expensive, as you are paying for convenience and magnificent views. The cheapest lodging is about $ 80 a night, with prices climbing from there, depending on how nice of a room you choose. If you stay just outside the park in a Tusayan hotel, you will likely also pay a little more than usual, as you are combining close proximity to the park with the offerings of a tourist town. The farther you get away from the park, the more reasonable the rates will be, but of course, the longer you have to drive to get there and back every day.

Sandy Winslow is a writer on many topics, including travel and tourism. There are obviously many factors to take into consideration when choosing between the many Grand Canyon hotels available, but by asking yourself these questions, you can get started on narrowing down your choices!

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Grand Canyon Tours: 7 Reasons to Take a South Rim Airplane Tour

Grand Canyon South Rim airplane tours are by far the best way to see as much of the National Park as possible. Enticing? Here are seven more reasons why this trip should be at the top of your “must-do” list:

1. No other tour gives you this much canyon! Leaves from Grand Canyon Airport, located just 10 minutes from the park. Flight goes east along the South Rim, where you’ll see Zuni Point, the Zuni Corridor (where the Little Colorado joins the Colorado River), the Desert Watchtower, the Painted Desert, and the Navajo Indian Reservation. And that’s just mid-way. On the way back, you’ll follow the isolated North Rim before heading into the Dragoon Corridor, the deepest, widest part of the canyon. What you will see in 50 minutes would easily take several days on the ground.

2. Large, comfortable Vistaliner aircraft are flown on this route. This aircraft is not a bi-plane. It’s a twin-engine, commercial-class aircraft that seats 19 people. Further, they have been built from the start for sightseeing and sport large windows, lounge-style seats, and headsets for each passenger. Even the wings have been elevated so as not to obstruct your view. The aerodynamics of these planes is such that you are guaranteed the smoothest flight possible.

3. The airplane flight is the fastest way to reach Grand Canyon National Park from Las Vegas. Flight time is just 45 minutes. How does this stack up to other modes of transportation? The bus, for instance, takes 5.5 hours. Your flight includes Lake Mead and Hoover Dam as it follows the Colorado River to Grand Canyon Airport, AZ. This tour comes with a bus trip to the South Rim and a box lunch. For more aerial thrills, add a helicopter ride to your package.

4. You have an option to include a no-rapids float trip on the Colorado River. This journey leaves from Grand Canyon Airport and heads east along the canyon’s rim to Glen Canyon Dam in Page, AZ. Here you’ll hop a pontoon raft and begin the 15.5-mile float trip to historic Lee’s Ferry. Runs from late March to November. Open to kids four years and older.

5. The flight includes a trip narration that’s been translated into 16 different languages. German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese…it’s all here. The Grand Canyon’s history, science, and landmarks are all revealed in this unobtrusive narrative. You’ll know as much as a Park Ranger when you deplane.

6. These flights are safe. Two pilots, each certified by the FAA, fly every South Rim airplane tour. Planes are equipped with a TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) and a GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System). The airspace above the Grand Canyon is strictly regulated with all sightseeing flights operating under the same FAA rules that apply to commercial charter flights. It doesn’t get any safer than this.

7. It’s priced right. Tours start at about $ 120 per person. That’s a major deal considering how much Grand Canyon sightseeing you get. For the best deal, get your flight on the Internet. As a travel reviewer, I order tickets regularly online. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s safe and secure. And all of my reservations have been recorded correctly.

Grand Canyon airplane tours cover more of the canyon than any other form of transportation. You will see three of the rims as well as Glen Canyon Dam and the Painted Desert. No other tour delivers half as much. Your safety is job one, too. From professionally trained pilots to the state-of-the-art Vistaliner aircraft, you’re cleared for take off. Definitely book your tour on the internet and look to pay about $ 120 per person. Ready to take to the skies? Do it aboard a South Rim Vistaliner aircraft. It’s the ultimate way to experience this natural wonder.

Fly the South Rim? Travel writer Keith Kravitz reviews the best Grand Canyon Airplane tours here.

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