Aerial views of Phoenix are a priceless way to crown any visit to the capital of Arizona. Here are five of the best hot air balloon tours that can make that happen.
You might be surprised to learn that there are numerous companies offering excellent hot air balloon flights over the Valley of the Sun, as Phoenix is sometimes known. With the sprawling city spilling out into the Sonoran Desert, there is an intriguing mix of urban jungle and inhospitable land that makes for a unique vision. A hot air balloon is the best way to contemplate this view, gently floating above it all. These five great ways to get up into the air above Phoenix have been selected based on multiple factors, such as the value for money, duration, and health and safety measures taken by the tour operators.
Sunrise Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Ride with Breakfast
If you’ve no qualms with an early start to your morning, there’s no better time to take to the skies than at dawn. The combination of serenity over the land with a sky painted shades of red, orange and pink are bonuses to the expansive views and feeling of escapism that a hot air balloon provides. You’ll also be able to spot wildlife and cacti in the Sonoran Desert, to which you’ll return at the end of the flight to a waiting champagne breakfast. From $149 per person.
Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Half-Day Adventure
As with all hot all balloon rides on this list, the experience begins with the inflation of the balloon. When the wind is just right, you can even walk inside the 11-story canopy before the burner is fired up. Once the balloon is inflated, hop into the comfortable basket and your FAA-licensed pilot will do the rest while you drink in the view. Flights last around an hour, while the whole tour takes three-to-four hours. Celebrate your flight with a toast at the end, plus receive your certificate and balloon flight pin to commemorate the experience. From $169 per person.
Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight over Phoenix
Another option for the early risers is this hour-long flight departing from Deer Valley Airport on the northern edge of Phoenix. As you float into the sky, your pilot will navigate you over the calm expanse of the Sonoran Desert, while pointing out plant and animal life below, which can exist in peace, unperturbed by your balloon drifting above them. Take photos of the distant Downtown Phoenix and landmarks such as Camelback Mountain before returning to the launch site for breakfast. From $179 per person.
Afternoon Hot Air Balloon Flight over Phoenix
For the late risers, and for a slightly higher fee, there is the late afternoon and sunset hot air balloon flight over Phoenix. See out the daylight in style, passing Camelback Mountain and the landforms of the Sonoran Desert along the way as the sky slides from blue, to red, to black and the Phoenix skyline lights up. This option is only available from November to mid-March due to the weather conditions. If you’ve not got your own car, throw in hotel pick up and drop off for an additional $20 per person. From $199 per person.
Sunset Hot Air Balloon Ride over Phoenix
Another tour option that provides a unique window of a spectacular wintry sunset over Phoenix is this hour-long flight operated by Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Ride Co. Revel in the 360-degree view of the desert and city and don’t forget to bring your camera along. Your pilot will point out sites of interest and any wildlife that might be visible from the basket. Finish off with a traditional champagne toast. This tour departs daily during the colder months of the year (usually November to March). From $205 per person.