Where do we go ballooning?
Hot air ballooning is an activity that is best suited for areas away from major population centers. Thus, we love hot air ballooning over the non-congested rural areas close to Moab and Castle Valley, Utah. With the cooperation of the Bureau of Land Management and the State of Utah, our flight permit encompasses some of the most incredible land in the country. Views from the balloon are awe inspiring.
When is the best time to fly a balloon?
We schedule all flights in the early mornings when temperatures are low and the winds are calm, making for the safest flight possible.
How long is the hot air balloon ride?
Although time in the air can range from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, our hot air balloon flights average just over an hour. Duration of flight depends on many variables such as wind, weather conditions, potential landing sites, payload, altitude, temperature and other circumstances. We certainly love to fly, and will try to extend the flight as much as possible. The ultimate decision on flight length is based on safety and is determined solely by the pilot-in-command. The whole experience usually takes about three to four hours from beginning to end, so plan on being with us for at least that long.
What is included in the price of a hot air balloon ride?
- A memorable hot air balloon flight
- Special post-flight toast ceremony
- Return transportation to the launch site
- Digital photos on the ground and in the air (on request)
- Memories to last a lifetime!
What should I wear?
You should dress for an outdoor activity according to the season and temperature of that day. The temperatures in the desert can fluctuate by as much as 40 degrees throughout the day so dress in layers which will allow you to adjust as needed. We require you wear closed-toe, low heeled shoes. A hat and sunglasses are highly recommended.
What time do we meet?
We meet about thirty minutes before sunrise. Therefore, times vary throughout the year. Be sure to ask for the official meeting time when you call to confirm your flight.
Confirmation is made by calling (435) 655-1389 the day before your flight.
What areas will we fly over, and what might we see?
This flight offers stunning 360 degree views. It is obvious why Hollywood chooses this set for numerous western and contemporary movies. Some of the things we may see while flying include: the rugged red rock canyons carved by the Colorado River, precarious rock towers and arches, Desert big horn sheep, Mountain lion, Bobcat, Pronghorn antelope, fox and coyote. Numerous birds of prey also call the Canyonlands home, including: the Peregrine falcon, the Bald and Golden eagle, and the Red-tailed hawk. Sharing our lofty heights, the La Sal mountain range stands nearly 13,000 ft. All the above combined with the amazing features of Arches and Canyonlands National Park make for an unforgettable experience.
How far in advance do I need to reserve a flight?
Schedule as early as possible and plan ahead. Weekends are very popular. As a rule of thumb, we recommend booking your preferred flight date at least three weeks in advance to ensure it will be available. However, last-minute bookings and schedule changes are always possible – just give us a call to find out if we have immediate availability. We can sometimes schedule your flight on very short notice.
Do I need to do anything else after reservations are made?
Yes. You must call us to confirm your flight. Confirmation is made by calling (435) 655-1389 on the day before your morning flight (between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM). Based on the weather forecast and actual conditions, we will make the final decision at that time to either meet at the launch field or postpone the flight for another day. Do not assume the weather is good enough or too bad that we won’t fly – call us to confirm.
If you do not check in, we will automatically assume you don’t plan to arrive for the flight. Therefore, it is vital that you call to check in. We will not contact you except in extraordinary situations.
Can I bring a camera?
Absolutely! You are encouraged to bring along a camera or small video recorder. You’ll be able to capture beautiful pictures aloft to remember your flight and show friends your exciting adventure. However, please use a neck or wrist strap, and make sure to bring a padded bag or case to stow your camera before final landing. We cannot be responsible for personal belongings. Bring twice as much film/memory as you think you’ll need, and then some! Many people run out of pictures in the first few minutes of flight.
What else can I bring aboard?
We like to travel light in the balloon. All you need is your camera and sense of adventure. Everything else is best left in your personal or company vehicle.
What if I need to make changes to my reservation? Are there any refunds?
We have a generous cancellation policy to protect everyone in case plans happen to change between the time of reservation and the scheduled flight time. Cancellations and changes to your reservations can be made up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled flight time with full refund absent a $15 per guest cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations within 72 hours of departure. If Canyonlands Ballooning cancels the flight, the price of your hot air balloon ride will be refunded, less the $15 per guest cancellation fee.
How long are gift certificates valid?
Gift certificates are valid for one year from the date of purchase and are non-refundable. We require the information and weight of the passengers for scheduling and flight planning purposes.
How many people will fit in a balloon? How many other people will be flying with us?
We have two FAA certified hot air balloons. One balloon carries up to 9 passengers and our newest balloon carries up to 16 passengers, depending upon total passenger weight, ambient temperatures and weather. Therefore, on a standard flight, singles and couples will generally be paired other couples. Exclusive private flights are always available to reserve the basket for your own party of two or more for more personal adventures. Group rates apply for six or more passengers booked at one time.
I’d prefer to fly alone or in a smaller group. What options do you offer?
Exclusive flights cost more and are available for your special occasion. An exclusive flight is perfect for private occasions such as anniversaries or engagements. Exclusive flights may not be available on certain dates.
How long will the whole experience take?
Plan to be with us approximately three to four hours for the whole ballooning experience. We will meet in the parking adjacent our launch field, take the time to get to know all our passengers and introduce our pilot and ground crew members. Next, the pilot will give a preflight briefing in which he will explain procedures and answer any questions. Guests are more than welcome to assist in the setup and inflation of the hot air balloon. The flight ranges anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, although most of our hot air balloon flights average just over an hour. When it’s time to land, our experienced ground crew will be close at hand to assist with deflating and packing up the hot air balloon for return to the launch site. We will then join in a customary celebration to toast our balloon flight.
Can you steer the balloon?
Since hot air balloons fly with the wind, they can’t be steered like a car or airplane. However, skilled pilots can direct a balloon by maneuvering to find subtle changes in wind speed and direction. We have very accurate altitude control by using the burners to heat the air in the balloon and by climbing and descending. We can use these wind direction changes to adjust our course.
What about a gratuity for the pilot and crew members?
Although not required, it is common practice to tip your pilot and crew. Like any personal service, if they do their job well, it shows your appreciation for their attention to detail. An appropriate amount would be 20% and can be given directly to the crew chief or your pilot. You may also add the gratuity to your credit card after the flight.