There’s nothing more magical than riding in a hot air balloon (except maybe riding a unicorn), and it’s something just about anyone would try if given the opportunity. Luckily, Colorado has a booming balloon market, with at least 15 different vendors available for use. These expert flyers, together with our babe-of-a-state’s gorgeous landscape, promise a memorable experience. As an added perk, our “mile high” altitude makes for the highest altitude balloon ride available in North America.
Planning your balloon adventure? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The official “air balloon season” runs from May to October, and pricing is typically $200 and up per person.
- If you’re going for a special occasion, try to book your flight well ahead of time. As rare as a hot air balloon ride may seem, it takes a lot of preparation to get your ride ready to go. If you’re going purely for the fun of it, you may be able to arrange a flight as early as the next day—provided weather conditions are right, of course.
- If you’re not an “early bird catches the worm” kind of person, this might not be your thing. Rides take place in the morning due to the balloon’s reliance on the early morning wind. You can expect the crew to be preparing the equipment before the sun rises (oof).
- Practice your bottle poppin’! The traditional way to top off a balloon ride is with a champagne toast (which usually comes included in your flight package).
- The landing is actually pretty easy; most flights land in a grassy field or other padded (and open) space, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the journey down.
Still “up” for it? Awesome, we thought so. Here are some top-rated vendors to check out:
- Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides: On sale now for as low as $199/person
- Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights: Monday-Friday $209/adult, $189/child; Saturday-Sunday + holidays $229/adult, $209/child (but currently running a $70 off online sale)
- Rocky Mountain Balloon Rides (best option for couples): Currently offering a $75 off deal, but you gotta call for it
If riding in a giant colored balloon thousands of feet in the air seems too risky for you, stay safely on the ground and enjoy these interesting facts about the sport instead. Or, take a look at these incredible balloon designs. Or, how about checking out the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo we talked about a few weeks ago? Otherwise, buckle up and get ready for some sick views.
P.S. If you take a ride anytime soon, let us know! We’d love to hear about your personal experience (especially those of you using a hot air balloon ride to pop the big question—we love proposals over here).