Come experience the magic of hot air balloon flight and enjoy spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. The unique perspective achieved only from the gondola of a hot air balloon allows us to truly take in the scenery and wildlife of the area.
Our flights depart in the early mornings when the winds are gentle and carry us effortlessly along the Boulder countryside.
Coffee and tea is served, and each mornings voyage is made complete with a Champagne toast to celebrate the flight.
Our pilots are all FAA certified commercial hot air balloon pilots and instructors with perfect safety records.
Hotel pick-up is available and all major credit cards are accepted. Call us today to make your reservation or purchase a gift certificate.
We offer balloon rides from Boulder and Frederick, Colorado. Boulder launch site location map.
Flights take place in the morning when the winds are at there calmest. Typically, flights last between 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
History of Hot Air Balloons in Boulder, CO
All throughout history man has envied the birds and dreamed of flying alongside them. From bizarre contraptions to strapping on feathered wings, there have been many failed attempts at flight throughout history. On June 5th of 1783 the secret to flight was unlocked by the Montgolfier brothers when the first unmanned paper balloon took flight in front of a crowd of spectators. It is said that these two French papermakers got the idea for a hot air balloon while watching a piece of clothing get lifted into the air from the smoke of a nearby fireplace. The Montgolfier brothers claimed that it was the smoke filling the balloon that made it take flight but it was in fact the temperature of the air inside the balloon that was the secret!
Why do Hot Air Balloons Fly?
When the air inside the balloon is heated it becomes less dense than the air outside of the balloon. The greater the difference in density between the inside of the balloon and the surrounding air, the more lifting force is exerted on the basket.
How are Hot Air Balloons Launched?
The large fabric part of the balloon known as the “envelope” is removed from a large bag and laid out in a field. The basket is laid on its side with the burners facing the opening of the envelope. The basket is then attached to the envelope with steel carabiners. A powerful fan is placed near the opening of the envelope inflating it with cool air. After about five minutes the envelope is completely filled with air but is laying on its side. A propane burner attached to the basket is then used to heat the air inside the envelope and the balloon stands up. Passengers are then invited into the basket and with a bit more heat from the burner the hot air balloon takes flight!
What is the hot air balloon flight like?
Aside from the occasional interruption by the burner the flight is very silent. It is very common to hear birds and other wildlife while drifting along with the winds. There is rarely even the slightest bit of turbulence during the flight.
How are Hot Air Balloons Steered?
A hot air balloon only has direct control in the vertical direction, however it is very typical that winds are moving different directions at different altitudes. A skilled pilot can use these different currents to achieve an indirect form of steering.
Where do we land?
Ahh, that is one of the most fun things about a hot air balloon ride. While the pilot may have a good idea of what town the flight may finish in it is almost impossible to tell where exactly the landing site will be. As the flight goes on the pilot will gain an understanding of the different wind layers and will have a much better idea of what landing area he will navigate towards.
Is Boulder Colorado a Good Place to Fly Hot Air Balloons?
The combination of calm morning conditions and the spectacular background
of the Rocky Mountains make Boulder, Colorado an excellent location for hot air balloon rides.
The best season is from May through October although flights are possible all year long.
How is Ballooning Affected by Weather?
Ballooning is a fair-weather sport, and all flights are 100% weather dependent and at the discretion of the pilot in command. We don't fly in high winds, near thunderstorms, or when any significant weather is in the area. Anyone who tells you they can guarantee you can fly in a balloon on a certain day or months in advance is pulling a fast one. We check the weather the evening before every flight between 8pm and 9pm. If we determine at that point that it isn't going to be flyable, we will call you to reschedule your flight. While most days are flyable, there are some that simply aren't and we don't want anyone disappointed. The way we look at it, weather is the one part of this that no one can predict so when you make a reservation, we reserve that morning for you. If we fly at that time, you will be with us. Simply put, there are limits on what conditions we can fly in and your safety is more important to us than anything. Additionally, there are never any charges due to weather cancelations.
Hot Air balloon Traditions
Since the early days of ballooning champagne has been associated with ballooning. One could imagine that seeing a hot air balloon fly past in the 1700’s would be a bizarre and potentially frightening thing. Further still, imagine if a balloon were to land in your backyard! As an act of diplomacy hot air balloon pilots would always carry a bottle of champagne with them while flying and offer it to whomever they may anger or frighten. To this day hot air balloon pilots still carry champagne with them for just this reason!
Once a safe landing has been made and the hot air balloon is all packed up there is a traditional prayer that is said:
“The winds have welcomed you with softness. The sun has blessed you with warm hands. You have flown so high and so well that God has joined in your laughter and returned you gently to the loving arms of mother earth”
Adventure Balloon Sports
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