Doing a Grand Canyon South Rim helicopter tour during the Labor Day holiday is awesome. The issue is that everybody else wants to do it, too. So if you're planning on flying during this time, I recommend you act now and get your flight booked ASAP.

South Rim

The South Rim is located in northern Arizona and it's where you go if you are visiting Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff and Williams, AZ. If you are coming from Las Vegas, it's a 277-mile road trip that takes 5.5 hours (I also recommend you plan to overnight so book a hotel prior to getting here).

South Rim helicopters do not fly below the Rim and land. It's banned by the National Park Service. Your only option is air-only tours. If you want to land at the bottom, you will have to start from Las Vegas because that's the only place from which they are available.

There are two air-only helicopter tours at the South Rim and they are 30 minutes and 50 minutes in length. The shorter one goes from the South Rim and flies to the North Rim and back via the Dragoon Corridor, which is the widest and deepest section of the National Park.

Max Air Time

The 50-minute tour does that as well but it also includes everything up to the Park's western boundary. Once it reaches the boundary, it will cut across the Canyon and fly over the Colorado River Confluence, which is where the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers converge.

Then you take an extended flight over the remote North Rim. This area is incredibly beautiful and pristine. Be on the look out for wild buffalo as they are permitted to roam freely and graze. Then it's back through the Dragoon Corridor before landing at Grand Canyon National Park Airport. Do this tour and you'll have just witnessed up to 75 percent of the Park.

There's also a helicopter and Jeep option. You can do them throughout the day or you can do one at sunset. It features a 30-minute helicopter ride across the Canyon and back. On the ground, you'll transfer to a 4x4 Jeep and do a 2-hour ground tour inside the National Park, making stops at all the key sites and lookouts.

Deluxe Tours

There are basic and deluxe versions of these tours. The key difference is the helicopter. The basic tours use the AStar or Bell Ranger, which are older aircraft that are perfectly safe but smaller and a little louder than the EcoStar 130, which is used on the deluxe trips. Moreover, the EcoStar comes with a 180-degree wraparound window and stadium-style seats for excellent views.

It's summer at the Canyon so dress for hot weather. Even though the Canyon is at an elevation of 7,000 feet, it can still get up to 100 degrees. I recommend you wear a brimmed hat, sunglasses, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt and closed-toe shoes. I also suggest you take along a bottle of water, sun block and a salty snack like trail mix and the like.


I hope this article about Grand Canyon South Rim helicopter tours during the Labor Day holiday proved helpful. Personally, I recommend taking the 50-minute deluxe tour. You'll see a majority of the Park and you get to fly in the better helicopter. Finally, book these tours now. Labor Day is a very busy holiday at the Canyon and South Rim tours tend to sell out the closer you get to weekend.

The author is a Grand Canyon expert and recommends going here for the best South Rim helicopter tours and here for ones that depart from Las Vegas:

The author is a Grand Canyon expert and recommends going here for the best South Rim helicopter tours and here for ones that depart from Las Vegas: