Everything to Know About Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloons

Hot air balloon excursions in Lake Tahoe are an unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of flight with stunning views of one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. Rising above the lake and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains, a hot air balloon ride in Lake Tahoe is an adventure that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. There is only one hot air balloon company that offers excursions in the Lake Tahoe area, which is Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloons. Here are some of the things you can expect from a hot-air balloon excursion in Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe hot air balloons
Photo by Manik Rathee on Unsplash

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1. The Flight and Experience

The Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloon ride in Lake Tahoe starts early in the morning, between 5:15 AM to 6:45 AM, to ensure the best weather conditions. Guests meet at the Tahoe Keys Marina and board the Tahoe Flyer, the only U.S.C.G. certified balloon launch and recovery vessel in the world. While cruising to the designated launch site, Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloons provide a variety of beverages and refreshments.

Once at the launch site, guests can observe the experienced crew inflate the hot air balloon right from the upper deck of the Tahoe Flyer. Guests can then board the balloon and enjoy the flight high above Lake Tahoe with the knowledgeable pilot acting as a guide and pointing out local points of interest and breathtaking views.

The flight offers views of Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Lake, and the Desolation Wilderness, with visibility on many days even allowing for views of peaks in Yosemite and the coastal foothills over 150 miles away.

The hot air balloon flight concludes with a landing on the upper deck of the Tahoe Flyer, where the crew catches and deflates the balloon. To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the pilot, crew, and guests enjoy a traditional champagne toast with plenty of champagne, mimosas, and snacks while cruising back to the marina. The entire experience takes about four hours, and it is a fantastic way to explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe from a unique perspective.

Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloons tries to only book 10-12 people per flight so that the basket isn’t crowded and everyone can get 360 views.

It can be cold so make sure to wear layers just in case you get cold easily.

2. The Crew

A hot air balloon flight requires a team of experienced pros to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloon crew typically consists of a pilot, who is responsible for steering the balloon and controlling the altitude, and several ground crew members who assist with the inflation and deflation of the balloon.

The crew is responsible for ensuring that the balloon is properly inflated and that all safety procedures are followed. The Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloon crew will also provide you with a safety briefing before the flight and answer any questions you may have.

3. The Logistics

If you’re interested in taking a hot air balloon ride in Lake Tahoe, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, you’ll need to book your flight in advance, as Lake Tahoe Hot Air Balloons require reservations.

Second, you should dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes.

Finally, be sure to arrive at the launch site at least 30 minutes before your scheduled flight time to allow for check-in and safety briefings.

How much does a balloon trip cost?

$399 per person

Do they offer photography?

The staff has a GoPro to take photos but make sure that you bring an extra camera or phone to get shots in the air.

How long is the flight?

The flight is one hour long. The boat ride plus safety instructions make the entire experience about 3.5-4 hours.

Does the company provide champagne at the end?

Yes, there is a champagne toast at the end of the experience.

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