Absolute Best Grand Canyon Tours for Mother's Day

Travel & LeisureTravel Spot

  • Author Susan Bissonnette
  • Published May 9, 2014
  • Word count 716

Mother's Day will be here soon. Have you made plans yet? Thrill your mom by taking her on a fun-filled tour of the Grand Canyon. There are several tours to choose from so you'll find one that suits your mom perfectly.

Mother's Day falls on Sunday, May 11 and most all of the tours operate on the usual schedule that day. That is to your advantage since it gives you more choices in tours and times. Try to book an early morning tour if possible, especially now the weather is warm.

You can choose to tour the Grand Canyon by raft, bus, airplane, or helicopter. Let's take a quick look at these choices.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

The tour helicopters depart from Vegas or the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, AZ. Choppers from Vegas fly to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon while flights in Arizona go to the South Rim. One reason to consider a West Rim helicopter tour is you can land on top of the rim or on the canyon floor, the West Rim is the only place this is permitted.

A great option for your mom would be a landing tour that includes a champagne picnic on the bottom of the canyon, a relaxing boat trip along the Colorado River, or passes to the thrilling Grand Canyon Skywalk.

If you choose a tour of the South Rim, you can opt for a 30 minute or 50 minute flight. Be sure to book the deluxe tour that uses the state-of-the-art EcoStar 130 chopper. The South Rim tours have optional add-ons too such as a motorcycle or jeep ride.

Tours By Airplane

The plane tours also depart daily from Vegas and Tusayan. You get to choose from the West Rim and South Rim when you fly out of Vegas on a plane, but the airplanes that take off from Tusayan only go to the South Rim. When you take an airplane tour to the West Rim, you can do a flyover, or you can land on top of the rim, plus you can add on a helicopter ride so you can go down to the canyon floor. The airplane tour of the South Rim follow the flight path of the 50-minute helicopter tours and is quite comprehensive since it covers the South, North, and East Rims, and includes many notable landmarks such as the Dragoon Corridor.

Raft Tours

The best float tour is at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. These leave once daily from the Tusayan airport and go to Page, Arizona. If you prefer, you can go to Page by bus rather than flying. The rafting portion of the tour begins at Glen Canyon Dam, then you float 15 miles down the river until you get to Lee's Ferry. Your mom will love this raft tour since there are no rough waters or rapids, in fact, kids as young as 4 are allowed on these tours because the water is so calm.

If you take a raft tour out of Vegas, you start with a helicopter ride to the floor of the canyon then float 11 miles along the smooth water of the Colorado River from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach. A raft tour is the perfect way to spend the day in warm sun and playing in the cool water of the Colorado, so be sure to bring a swimsuit.

Motor Coach Tours

Bus tours out of Las Vegas leave once daily, early in the morning. These go to the South Rim and the West Rim. However, the West Rim tours offer the most options like riding a helicopter to the floor of the canyon. Helicopter add-ons are available for the South Rim too, but those choppers only fly over the canyon, they don't land on the bottom. If you prefer a more personalized experience for your family outing, you can opt for a private van to transport your family rather than riding on a tour bus.

In Summary

Touring the Grand Canyon is a fun way to spend the day with your mom on her special day. If you will be in Arizona or Vegas, you'll be close to the canyon, so don't miss the chance to surprise your mom. Mother's Day tours are popular so book your trip now to lock in your seats.

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