Full of Hot Air: Great Ballooning Adventures
Superb scenery and an extensive choice of sites make the Rockies one of North America's top spots for ballooning. You can sample a variety of ballooning adventures from day flights at six different resorts to high-altitude balloon expeditions across the Continental Divide.
A number of ballooning events draw participants to the Rockies each year. Colorado Springs, for example, hosts a huge Labor Day gathering which attracts more than 100 balloons. You can arrange with one of the nearby balloon services to join in the fun.
It's easy to organize your own Rockies balloon odyssey to the major resort towns: Fort Collins, Boulder, Arvada, Aspen, Vail, Colorado Springs, Englewood, and Denver. To take a break from flying for a day or two, hit the ski slopes; many Colorado balloon companies offer winter flights, so you can go down the mountain one day, and up in the air the next. Outfits to contact include: Unicorn Balloon Company, (15001 N. 74th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. 800.468.2478 or 970.925.5752. www.unicornballooning.com) or Life Cycle Balloon School (410 19th Street, Golden, CO 80401. 800.980.9272 or 303.216.1990. www.lifecycleballoons.com).
For additional information about ballooning the Rockies in winter, contact flight over the Rockies, contact Camelot Balloons (34500 Hwy. 6, Edwards, CO 81632. 800.785.4743 or 970.926.2435. www.camelotballoons.com). Although it can get chilly aloft, the scenery around Vail looks best under a coat of snow. Camelot's 80-minute flights cost about $225.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication