Without a doubt, the Rockies are one of the best locations anywhere in the United States to go hot air ballooning. There are many hot air ballooning companies operating out of the wider Denver area. Ballooning is one of the best and most novel ways to see the majestic Rocky Mountains. It is a year-round activity across Colorado, although many of the rides are summer seasonal. Another awesome way to explore the Rockies is with the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer scenic train.
Most rides start in the morning when the breezes are calm (wind is not a friend of balloons). This is a fun and leisurely experience where one can really enjoy the majestic scenery from the air. One is flying and yet out in the open area in near silence unlike the enclosed and noisy environment of a scenic helicopter or airplane flight.
About Hot Air Ballooning & Helpful Tips
Note that hot air ballooning is very much dependant on the weather conditions. They can only fly safely in good weather conditions - typically at certain times of the year and in the early morning before the wind picks up. Reservations are subject to cancelation if the weather conditions are adverse (nothing is guaranteed until the last minute).
When going on a balloon ride be sure to dress for the varying temperatures - layers are recommended. Dress casually, comfortably, and warmly - remember most rides are in the crisp early morning and one will be high up. In terms of footwear, wear sneakers or low-heeled shoes.
Don't forget to bring one's camera - just don't drop it over the side! If the company cancels the flight due to bad weather, they will normally happily reschedule one's flight. Shared flights in Colorado are generally around $250.00-275.00, but private tours are also offered by many of the companies.
While the sensation of being up thousands of feet into the sky suspended in a basket may feel dangerous, it is actually very safe. And all the companies are FAA certified. If anyone needs convincing to go on a balloon ride in the Rockies, see here for stunning pictures of the Rockies that can only be seen from above.
Here are a couple of the rides offered by two companies in the region
Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides
Platinum Flight Package
- Cost: $275.00 Per Person (In A Traditional Shared Basket Flight)
- Snacks On Arrival: Includes Hot Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate, and Snacks On Arrival
- Distance: Rises Up Several Thousand Feet (One Of The Highest In The Local Industry) And Travels 2-10 Miles
- Bonus: Get To Take The Controls And Actually Fly the Balloon For a Few Minutes
- Post-Flight: Enjoy Choice Of Champagne, Mimosas, or Sparkling Cider
- Breakfast: After The Ride (the Ride Is Early In The Morning) is Breakfast Time, Enjoy Eggs, Bacon, French toast, Hash Browns, Muffins, and Fresh Fruit (Served In The Great Coloradan Outdoors)
- Souvenir: Take Home A Custom Colorado Hot Air Balloon Ride Champagne Glass
- Flight Season: Runs From May 22nd to October 3rd 7 Days A Week
- Duration: Around An Hour Depending on Weather Conditions
This company has some of the highest rising hot air balloon rides in the state. For more information and booking their rides see here.
Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Rides Colorado
Another company to consider is Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Rides Colorado. They fly in the Front Range area of the Rocky Mountains only in the early morning and during the flying season.
- Season: May through November
- Launch Time: Vary Through The Seasons
- Location: Their Launch Sites Are In The Boulder, Colorado Area (the Exact Sites Vary Due To Climatic Conditions)
- Note: Check The Website Or Call Them To Get The Lastest Info If The Flight Is A Go
- Post Flight: Enjoy A Bottle Of Champagne Or Sparkling Cider
- Souvenir: An Official Fair Winds T-shirt & Balloon Pin, A Personalized Flight Certificate, And With a Photo
- Duration: Flight time Is Around One to One And Half Hours
To see more of their rides and the options for flying with them and their various packages, check out their website.
Other Coloradan Hot Air Ballooning Companies
Other companies in the region to consider include:
- Life Cycle Hot Air Balloon Adventures, LTD
- Grand Adventure Balloon Tours
- Above It All Balloon Co., Inc.
- Camelot Balloons
- No Worries!! Ballooning
- Flights Of Fancy
- Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures
- An Juan Balloon Adventures
- Wild West Balloon Adventures
- Aero-Cruise Balloon Adventures
- Spirit of Colorado
- Windtracker Balloon Adventures
For a full list of hot air balloon tours in and around the Rockies in Colorado see here. Enjoy the leisurely feeling as one gracefully floats up in the sky above the Rockies while in one of America's most stunning mountainous states.