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A pod of hot air balloons floating in the desert

Hot Air Balloon Adventures Near Scottsdale

We all want to get carried away. To be swept up above the Earth, let our worries scurry away like the desert creatures that dash and scuttle across the terrain below. Experience the world from a little higher on a hot air balloon, Scottsdale style. 


Hot air balloon rides near Scottsdale AZ lift you up high enough to soak in sensational panoramic views. Yet unlike other airbound adventures like a helicopter ride, you’ll still be close enough to the ground to make out desert flora and fauna in their natural habitat. There’s also something enchanting about this old-school style of sightseeing, with nothing but a balloon, some hot air, and a basket keeping you afloat. 


Whether a sunrise or sunset flight, the exhilaration of a hot air balloon ride can ignite the childlike excitement and wonder in all of us. Why not get your day (or evening) off to a soaring start with a hot air balloon excursion over the Sonoran Desert?

What can I expect from a hot air balloon ride? 

Generally, hot air balloon excursions occur in the early morning hours, as the nocturnal desert animals head home to sleep and the diurnal animals are just emerging for the day.  Be sure to bring a light layer or two, as the Phoenix/Scottsdale area can be chilly before sunrise. 


You will be rewarded for waking up before the sun with breathtaking sunrise views of the Sonoran Desert. You can even have breakfast and a celebratory glass of champagne awaiting you at landing.


These amazing experiences are weather permitting, as operators aim for safe and ideal conditions for your trip. Some operators will also issue commemorative flight certificates, a fun keepsake from your hot air balloon adventure. 

How long does a hot air balloon ride last? 

Hot air balloon rides typically last about an hour, and most Scottsdale excursions are no different. Operators typically aim to fly in wind speeds of 5 miles per hour, which means you’ll cover somewhere between 5 - 8 miles of terrain during your trip.


This route will be pre-planned, though operators will be in contact with their team on the ground who will be tracking the movements of the hot air balloon from takeoff to landing. 

How much does it cost to go up in a hot air balloon? 

Cost varies  based on region and trip type. You’ll save money on a shared ride, versus securing a private hot air balloon for your group. Shared rides can cost upwards of $150 per person, whereas a private ride can start at $300-400 per person. 

Hot Air Ballooning in Arizona

There are a few companies in the greater Phoenix area that offer hot air balloon rides. Some embark as the sun rises, others take flight as the sun sets. On sunrise flights, you might toast with champagne or even mimosas. On these sunset excursions, you might enjoy post-flight hors d'oeuvres instead of the breakfast available for the early morning flights. Choose from one of the top Arizona operators, many of which are near The Scottsdale Resort. 

Aerogelic Ballooning

The team at Aerogelic Ballooning is committed to delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences. They offer sunrise, sunset, dawn, and full moon rides, each of which will leave a lasting impression. Don’t miss your chance to cross one of their unique hot air balloon rides off your bucket list.

Arizona Balloon Safaris

Arizona Balloon Safaris pride themselves as home to North America’s single largest hot air balloon. Take flight at sunrise, complete with a balloonist’s ceremony and champagne breakfast. 

Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Co. 

Soak up views of Deer Valley at either sunrise or sunset on your excursion with Rainbow Ryders. Their trips are about more than the hot air balloon, however, and feature special details like Prickly Pear Mimosas, local Arizona treats, and even an etched champagne flute for private couples’ adventures. 


Need help choosing? At the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, we believe a little shift in perspective can have a big impact. Let our concierge service make the arrangements for a hot air balloon adventure so you can focus on making the most of your Arizona vacation.

A woman looks out on a sky full of hot air balloons
A hot air balloon floating in the sunset sky
A pilot ignites a flame in their hot air balloon
Hot air balloons descend over the desert.
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